When things cool down and Americans recover a little from the trauma and numbness created by the September 11th tragedy, and the media led campaign of singing patriotic songs and waving the American flag quiets down, we must start thoughtful and meaningful debate, and must think and begin asking serious questions, ‘why?’
We can no longer sit and be silent. We have just witnessed that our lives are at stake, and so are the future and lives of our children. Our President, who, afraid for his safety, delayed his return to Washington to lead the nation on its tragic day, has made it clear that the lives of our sons and daughters who will be marched into war will not be at this time a high priority.
It is naéve and also stupid to believe our government’s claim that America is hated only by a small minority of Muslim ‘fundamentalists’ because of their fanaticism, jealousy and savagery. Young men and women are not prepared to die just because they envy our achievement, way of life, and prosperity. Nor will they kill because our country is the ‘brightest beacon of freedom and democracy’ that shines all over the globe.
We must not accept our leader’s assertion that ‘spiritually’ driven Osama Ben Laden is the architect of every terrorist act; and his capture, ‘dead or alive’, and the destruction of his bases and networks, not only in Afghanistan, but worldwide, will bring an end to ‘terrorism’ and rid the world of evil so that we may enjoy peace and prosperity.
Above all, this rhetoric is an insult to the innocents who perished or were injured in the horrible assault on New York and Washington.
Who wants to be a terrorist? Who wants to be a ‘suicide’ bomber?
The truth, which our government works diligently to conceal, is the fact that ‘terrorism’ is not carried out only by few religious ‘fanatics’, but by real people, who represent all walks of life. ‘Terrorism’ is bred in refugee camps, in lands under occupation, across countries that are subjected to sanctions and embargoes, among people who are subjected to assaults by F-15, F-16 and Apache helicopters. ‘Terrorism’ flourishes when a certain people or group exhaust all peaceful means to redress grievances; when those who have the means to act and make a difference stand by and watch suffering and injustice but do not take action; and certainly when, for the last fifty years, the main bully, abuser and oppressor is an arrogant superpower that forces its will on weaker nations.
America today is hated not only by a few hundred or a few thousand Muslim ‘extremists’ dedicated to ‘destroy western civilization’, but also by all Third Word Nations in Latin America, Asia and Africa. America is even hated by almost all of its European allies who have no choice, at present, but to rally behind her.
Today we somewhat know the identity and background of the 19 men who commandeered the four jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They do not fit the criteria of ‘misguided’ devout Muslim ‘zealots’. They were highly educated and lived a life that is no different from most young westerners- girls, booze and dancing. They were not strict adherence to Islamic code of ethics and conduct, as Ben Laden requires from all his followers; or the desperate breeds of refugee camps or poverty stricken rural areas. All are highly educated who come from well-to-do families. None seemed to belong to any of the ‘rogue’ states that America hates. What is terrifying is the fact that these men came from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that are considered to be among the staunchest allies of Washington. One, Waleed Al-Shehri, was the son of a wealthy Saudi diplomat in the U.S.
Our political and military leaders are not willing to tell us the truth. According to experts, including Americans, the September 11th horrible tragedy could not be planned, coordinated and executed by a few hundred men scattered in the remote caves of Afghanistan, the most devastated country on earth. The land is littered by more than ten million land mines left by a CIA led war against Soviet occupation, and claims thousands of victims annually.
Under the name of operation ‘Noble Eagle’, our President has declared war against ‘terrorism’ that may last 10 years. How can our government win a war against ‘terrorists’, who are willing to die for a cause they believe to be just? It has failed to win a single battle in its all-out war that it declared years ago against a tiny number of known drug lords, whose only motivation is greed and profit? It has miserably lost the war on poverty. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer here at home and abroad as a result of globalization.
‘Terrorism’ was capable of crossing the oceans, toppling down the mightiest structures and symbols of power, injuring our pride and giving a bloody nose to our military and technology. Nothing can shield us except atonement. ‘Terrorism’ can only be defeated when our government recognizes its sins, misdeeds and the suffering it has inflicted on others! It is much much cheaper to march for peace! The fruits that all will reap are awesome!