An Open Letter to The Bin Laden USA Network

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To Whom It May Concern:

So, now its crop-dusters and trucks hauling hazardous materials? Just when I thought your dark genius could not fall any deeper into the abyss, ten of your buddies, all Middle Eastern men, have been arrested for fraudulently obtaining hazardous materials (hazmat) transportation licenses. Another nine are being investigated for similar fraud. The New York and Washington, D.C. massacres were not enough; your twisted minds had plotted more horrifying acts.

Crop-dusters? Where did you get the sick idea of converting these seemingly harmless aircraft é 4,000 in the US — into delivery systems for bio-chemical terrorism?

Hazmat trucks? There are eight million trucks in the USA, only a few haul such materials. We’ll be ready this time.

We now know that the neighbors of your nineteen dead comrades, fourteen of whom lived here in South Florida, considered them un-neighborly é sullen, isolated, and unfriendly — not the types likely to attend the local PTA or Tupperware parties.

Estranged from their neighbors, so removed and unassimilated in their new American homes, they must have spent countless hours watching videos. Heck, a few of you who, like Hani Hanjour, came in on student visas never attended even one day of college. The VCR must have been on overdrive.

When you patronized the nearest Blockbuster, what films did you rent? “Towering Inferno”? “Air Force One”? “Natural Born Killers”? I have a pretty good idea where you got that crop-duster scheme. Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest.” Bet that scene of Cary Grant running in terror as a crop-duster tries to send him into Paradise caught your attention. Perhaps you popped into the VCR “Outbreak” shortly after viewing Hitchcock’s masterpiece.

A kind of Hollywood-inspired cultural diffusion must have taken place as your eyes absorbed the cathode-rays: Ah yes, Anthrax spraying crop-dusters. The freight truck bit is not all that creative: “Die Hard, Part é” I lost count, but the one in which Jeremy Irons’ character plots to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel with several truck bombs.

And just where did you intend to dust-off millions of innocents? Mohamed Atta had visited Belle Glade in rural Palm Beach County, Florida as recently as August 2001. There are not too many folks in Belle Glade, and a crop-duster doesn’t have great range, so Ft. Lauderdale or Miami must have been in the crosshairs. The latter’s my hometown.

Where does your brand of “Fascism with an Islamic face” end (Christopher Hitchens, “Against Rationalization,” The Nation, October 8, 2001)? Passenger planes converted into flying bombs, Anthrax-dispensing crop-dusters, and now hazmat truck bombs. Your murderous insanity is so far off the deep end that lexicographers are searching for new words to describe such madness.

Did you seriously believe that your massacre of the innocents in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., would be limited to nearly 7,000 murdered, over 6,000 injured, and our nation’s emotional health damaged? I bet you thought your bargain-basement, murderous plot é nineteen men lost at an operational cost of $300,000 (NBC Nightly News/9-26-01) é to inflict such carnage and over $40 billion in damages in New York alone (NBC Nightly News) was a great deal. You pervert Winston Churchill’s famous praise of the RAF after the Battle of Britain:

“Never before in the annals of human history have so many been so harmed by so few and for so little cost. This was indeed their foulest hour.”

You claim you’re fighting for Islam against the infidel Christian and Jewish “Crusaders”. Dear demented killers, the harm you have inflicted on your cause far exceeds anything we could have done. Do you have any idea of the damage you have inflicted on Islam and the Arab world? For starters, you have provided Hollywood with another fifty-year supply of dangerous, dark, brooding evil Arabs as stock characters for the next wave of ultra-violent, pyrotechnic action dramas. Poor Jack Shaheen. His book, “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People” (Interlink Books, 2001), a twenty-year labor of love, now will go largely unnoticed and unread.

Next, you have set back the cause for Palestinian justice by at least another decade. Your attack on the World Trade Towers murdered nearly 7,000 human beings (including 700 Muslims) from over 65 countries and all but buried any chance of American public sympathy for the Palestinians, the ultimate scapegoats here.

Make no mistake about it, you monstrous idiots, in a country where few know anything about Islam, where a majority is bewildered with all the “Stans” é Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan é you have set back for at least a generation any understanding and empathy for Arabic and Muslim issues in this country. And you have endangered all Arabs and Muslims in America by inciting our “fundamentalists,” the racists, bigots, and xenophobes.

Finally, you have guaranteed that the country which so carelessly, liberally and foolishly trusting, allowed foreigners like yourselves easy access to our shores, universities, technical schools, and even quaint, placid neighborhoods, will never again be that naively hospitable. That may be the most lasting wound on our society.

With utter contempt,

Michael Lopez-Calderon

Mr. Michael Lopez-Calderon taught High School Social Studies in Miami, Florida for seven years until March 2, 2001, when he was asked to leave the Jewish Day school where he had taught for the past five years. Michael was asked to leave for having posted pro-Palestinian comments on Palestine Media Watch’s subscriber-only e-mail. He remains an activist in the Miami area.

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