Scrolling through radio stations and TV stations, I have listened to a million news reports and talk shows in the past 72 hours. The news reports, for the most part, are identical.
However, one stark difference I noted between the responses of people living on the east coast and those in the rest of the USA is that the people on the east coast have for the most part, already made up their minds, and have already begun picturing Osama Bin Laden on the gurney, waiting to be pierced with a lethal injection, after having gone through an arrest, trial and conviction. Midwesterners, and west coast Americans, as I have heard over numerous country wide radio shows, have been slightly ‘rational’, if i may dare say that, compared to their east coast counterparts. They have basically called on the US Government to first and foremost, get done with the task of rehabilitation for the victims of these accidents. The next task that they ask the government for, is to take stock of its foreign policy….to evaluate the reason behind all this targeted terrorism….to take steps that will positively ensure that such an incident wont be repeated ever again, rather than go out and bomb some country, just to have another terrorist attack wipe out another few thousand Americans….to ensure that the cycle of violence ceases….to figure out why there is so much hatred in the hearts of the people who do it. Could it be because of something that we have done in the past? Could it be because of something we are doing currently? Lets take notes. 1. The gulf war, which was supposed to have ended in ’91, never did. The military war may have ended, but it was followed by an even more brutal economic war, initiated by stifling economic sanctions against the Iraqis. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that economic sanctions target the population of a country, NOT the government. If the US had a beef with Saddam Hussein, then why did they target the civilians?
The sanctions, over the past 10 years, have been directly responsible for the deaths of upwards of 600,000 Iraqi civilians, mostly children. That comes to approximately 60,000 deaths per year. That comes to approximately 5,000 deaths per month. That is approximately the same number of deaths that may, sadly enough, come out of the World Trade Center tragedy. To put it in perspective, Iraq has been witnessing a twin tower bombing every month for the past 10 years.
2. Afghanistan is a country ravaged by 22 years of war…11 years of which were with the blessings of the USA itself. The following 11 years have no doubt been a remnant of those initial 11 years. Add to that, America’s infatuation with Osama, as a result of which, once again, they have installed sanctions against a country already severely hit by famine, drought, disease, homelessness, lawlessness, warfare, infighting, and a massive refugee problem. America has equated its desire of Osama Bin Laden’s capture to the very existence of upwards of 25 million people in Afghanistan! The sanctions have reduced Afghanistan’s life expectancy to around 40 years. Child mortality is around 150 per 1000 births. And despite these appalling figures, the US, sadly enough with the blessings of the UN, has continued to stifle and choke that country via economic warfare.
3. Palestine. A country displaced. A population living under the muzzles of tanks. A people living with no access to their own resources. A race being systematically eradicated…all with the blessings of the USA. American taxpayers provide $6 billion a year in aid to Israel…..that is AID…money that does not need to be returned. That is apart from the billions they get in loans. Those billions are used to purchase F-16s and Apaches, once again from the USA, and then used to bomb refugee camps. Is USA responsible for this? You bet. USA law clearly states that if American weapons are used by a buyer country for the wrong reasons (to put it simply enough), sanctions will automatically go into effect against that country…in this case, Israel. However, despite this issue having been raised numerous times in the Congress, it has routinely been killed by the majority Israeli sympathizers in the US govt.
Does this enrage the Palestinians? You bet. Does this enrage the Muslim world? You bet. Does this justify the world trade center bombing? hell no.
Does it make it understandable? Sadly enough, yes. As long as America continues to walk away from conferences, as long as America continues to take independent and isolated decisions, as long as America refuses to listen to the viewpoint of others, it will never realize the opposing potential.
If the US Government thinks bombing the daylights out of Afghanistan and Taliban will accomplish anything, they are mistaken. If they think capturing Osama bin laden and giving him the lethal injection is going to stop terrorism worldwide, they are mistaken. If they think threatening Pakistan with dire consequences at a time when Pakistan is virtually immune to them is going to get their point across, they are sadly mistaken. What will the US Government have to say, if the day after they annihilate Afghanistan and capture Osama Bin Laden, God forbid, a jumbo jet flies through the Empire State building? Who will they have to blame this time around? Who will they go after this time? Pakistan? After that, who? The entire middle east? who then? the entire Muslim world?
The US needs to take stock of what the primary reason is behind all this opposition and hatred in the hearts of people who dare enough to commit such acts of violence. The US needs to correct its stance of those reasons. The US needs to revamp its foreign policy. The US needs to focus on internal stability, and not try to do a balancing act with one foot in Europe, and another in the middle east, with no foot left to hold the ground in the good old USA. The US, for one, needs to adopt a hands off approach as far as the politics of other countries are concerned. The USA simply needs to lay off.
Prayers for all those who died in the tragedies, and prayers and hope for those who are still missing.