[sixties-l] More on the WTO bombing

From: monkerud (monkerud@cruzio.com)
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 14:07:59 EDT

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    Why I'm Not Waving the Flag
    By Don Monkerud

    The media is filled with stories of war and newspapers print American
    flags with the legend, "United We Stand." Flags fly from houses,
    businesses and pickup trucks.

    Americans are pulling together out of a deeply felt need for
    connection. Grief touches us all for the wanton killings in the WTC
    and only the most hardened fail to shed tears. Some say it is too
    early to voice dissent in the midst of such appalling catastrophe,
    others claim it is unpatriotic.

    While Americans certainly have a right to feel sadness, outrage and
    even seek vengeance, there's a nasty undercurrent in flag waving that
    should cause us to consider the deeper meanings such patriotism has
    for our society. There's a real danger of war hysteria.

    Dissent and calls for peace and reflection are being turned aside as
    illegitimate. For example, General Alexander Haig told CNN that we
    have to combat "moral equivalency." He means that just because the US
    does bad things in the world, it's not okay for others to do the same
    to us.

    Pointing out that the WTO bombing is no worse than what the US has
    done to other countries and peoples around the world does not excuse
    the bombing, but it does place the conflict in different terms. It
    also places a great responsibility on the American people to be aware
    that our actions in the world have repercussions. And it doesn't
    allow us to easily dismiss others as "evil" and place ourselves on
    the moral high road.

    This is not to suggest that those responsible be allowed to go free.
    Each individual involved needs to be hunted down and brought to
    justice. It's far easier to bomb a country in retaliation, but who?
    Although Bush focuses on the Taliban, the WTO bombers appear to be
    from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine. Other radical
    Islamics come from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, former Russian Republics,
    Sudan, Pakistan and make their homes in such places as France,
    Britain and the US. Obviously there's no country that can be held

    When we start looking for "the enemy" we discover that the US helped
    create bin Laden and armed and funded the Muslim extremist who
    support him. Remember President Reagan's "freedom fighters" that we
    supported in Afghanistan because we wanted to defeat Russia, "the
    evil empire?" Maybe tracking down those responsible for the WTO
    bombing should reach into the State Department, Defense Department
    and the CIA. Why do policies developed by these folks make others
    want to kill American citizens?

    US policy makes enemies around the world and too often does as much
    harm as good. The US supported the Contras that killed thousands in
    Nicaragua, invaded Grenada, and burned and bombed Panama City. We
    send helicopters, tanks and jets to Israel to be used against
    stone-throwing Palestinians, bomb Iraq regularly, and support
    repressive regimes in the Middle East and around the world. Designed
    to benefit multi-national corporations, globalism leads to poverty
    and starvation on these countries.

    There's a picture in the newspaper of people carrying a banner saying
    "Americans, Think! Why you are hated all over the World." While
    propaganda, the banner points out that the US represents an
    oppressive domineering capitalist force for much of the world. We
    recognize this before we can understand what happened at the WTC and
    build toward peace.

    Mentioning such facts shouldn't create a backlash against those truly
    concerned about the role of the US in the world. War rhetoric can
    easily be turned to nefarious purposes much like it was in both world
    wars and Vietnam. Recall that the US government jailed socialists,
    communists, utopians and others who didn't jump aboard the war
    bandwagon. Dissenters suffered jail and ostracism, they lost jobs and
    were beaten. Civil liberties were suspended.

    Hopefully we've learned something since Vietnam and realize that we
    need a wider perspective that doesn't foster hysteria and reaction.
    We must realize that making" war on terrorism" does nothing if it
    perpetuates policies that caused the terrorism in the first place.

    The American people just paid a very heavy price for our support of
    US foreign policy. Although there is a strong good streak in
    Americans, too many of us are asleep, watching TV or merely shopping
    when US policy is being formed. Making war on the people of
    Afghanistan will not put an end to terrorism. Our actions could lead
    to a wider war in the Middle East and escalate terrorism at home.
    It's a treacherous time-the end of innocence in America-and a wake up
    call that as citizens, we need to pay more attention to what is being
    done in our name.

    The End

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