This article from todayís Guardian is disgusting. Their argument is that it is American foreign policy that is at fault for the tragedy of the last week.
Here is a quote from the article (but I encourage you to read the whole thing and make your own decisions):
Any glimmer of recognition of why people might have been driven to carry out such atrocities, sacrificing their own lives in the process - or why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only in Arab and Muslim countries, but across the developing world - seems almost entirely absent. Perhaps it is too much to hope that, as rescue workers struggle to pull firefighters from the rubble, any but a small minority might make the connection between what has been visited upon them and what their government has visited upon large parts of the world.
This is absolutely ridiculous. To make such an argument is like blaming someone for the acts of Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. Those men were disturbed, sick individuals, whose acts cannot possibly be explained or understood by anyone with the capability for rational thought. Likewise, those who planned and carried out the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Anyone who could do something like this is sick, twisted and evil.
Anyone who can decry those people as heroes, or in any way justify what they did is just as sick and wrong. President Bush, along with the U.N. and leaders from around world have stated that this attack isnít just a declaration of war against American, but a war against the entire world. But, as this is a very different kind of war, where the enemy has no home, no flag to wave, any retaliation would be taken against those countries found harboring or in any way supporting the terrorists who brought this violence.
We may not know who, precisely, is responsible for this atrocity, but irresponsible rhetoric, like that found in the Guardian, cannot be allowed to dismiss the end of all those innocent lives and it is clear from the words and tone of this article, that the The Guardian supports those terrorists.
Iíve previously used The Guardian as a source for news, but I never will again. This is the last time I will ever visit that site. I urge everyone who is as angered as I am to boycott The Guardian, send them emails with your opinions of their defense of these terrorists, and to alert others about The Guardianís America bashing, which has, in whatever small way, ďjustifiedĒ the killing of thousands of people.
What really bothered me about it is how he really didn't give detailed examples to back up his argument. It sounds a lot like the rhetoric that he is complaining about. Yes, to of had such a thing happen, the US must of made some people insanely angry. Does that justify killing so many, no.
You may of gotten this e-mail, but Iím going to post it as a counter to such a claim.
Make sure to read the bottom, too:
The following was forwarded by a friend. The editorial is old but the spirit of the message still stands true. We will come out of this with our flag flying high.
This, from a Canadian newspaper, no less, is worth sharing.
America: The Good Neighbor.
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.
Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.
The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?
Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -- not once, but several times and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.
I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."
Stand proud, America!
PER URBAN LEGENDS:
Claim: Canadian radio commentator Gordon Sinclair delivered a stirring, pro-American editorial.
Origins: On June 5 1973, Canadian radio commentator Gordon Sinclair decided he'd had enough of the stream of criticism and negative press recently directed at the United States of America by foreign journalists (primarily over America's long military involvement in Vietnam, which had ended with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords six months earlier). When he arrived at radio station CFRB in Toronto that morning, he spent twenty minutes dashing off a two-page editorial defending the USA against its carping critics which he then delivered in a defiant, indignant tone during his "Let's Be Personal" spot at 11:45 AM that day.
The unusualness of any foreign correspondent -- even one from a country with such close ties to the USA as Canada -- delivering such a caustic commentary about those who would dare to criticize the USA is best demonstrated by the fact that even thirty years later, many Americans doubt that this piece (which has been circulating on the Internet in the slightly-altered form quoted above as something "recently" printed in a Toronto newspaper) is real. It is real, and it received a great deal of attention in its day. After Sinclair's editorial was rebroadcast by a few American radio stations, it spread like wildfire all over the country. It was played again and again (often superimposed over a piece of inspirational music such as "Battle Hymn of the Republic" or "Bridge Over Troubled Waters"), read into the Congress Record multiple times, and finally released on a record (titled "The Americans"), with all royalties donated to the American Red Cross. (A Detroit radio broadcaster named Byron MacGregor recorded and released an unauthorized version of the piece that hit the record stores before Sinclair's official version; an infringement suit was avoided when MacGregor agreed to donate his profits to the Red Cross as well).
Sinclair passed away in 1984, but he will long be remembered on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border -- both for his contributions to journalism, and for his loudly proclaiming what no one else at the time would stand up and say.
by Josh at September 13, 2001 10:19 AM
Ready for more ridiculousness? This, from an an article from AlterNet:
ďBin Laden will not cease his opposition until the United States leaves the region. Paradoxically, his strategy for convincing the United States to do so seems drawn from the American foreign policy playbook. When the United States disapproves of the behavior of another nation, it "turns up the heat" on that nation through embargoes, economic sanctions or withdrawal of diplomatic representation. In the case of Iraq following the Gulf War, America employed military action, resulting in the loss of civilian life.Ē
ďThe State Department has theorized that if the people of a rogue nation experience enough suffering, they will overthrow their rulers, or compel them to adopt more sensible behavior.Ē
ďThe terrorist actions in New York and Washington are a clear and ironic implementation of this strategy against the United States.Ē
by kd at September 13, 2001 10:27 AM
I have already got a "form" e-mail for such places as the guardian. If you look out there you will see that there a several European sites that are claiming much the same things. What is sad is that these same people, when under any kind of attack, will and do call on the U.S. for help! But that is nothing new...So ship out those e-mails and do not entertain giving them hits. That really is the best course of action for such ignorance...
by Pristine at September 13, 2001 10:35 AM
The Alternet arcticle doesn't seem as wacky as the first. It sounds like they are trying to explain why the attack happened and not trying to justify it. A A group of people don't just do a suicide mission for nothing. I'd like to know why those poeple think that Americans are so horrible.
by Josh at September 13, 2001 11:02 AM
Well, the part I quoted, in which the author asserts that this action was a page taken directly from our own foreign policy playbook, is what got me going. How could he say that? How could anyone?
by kd at September 13, 2001 11:19 AM
USA isn't worse, or better than any other western country. I feel as if New York is my neighbour town thats been hit.
I hope America will ask for help and assistance (you already have our solidarity) for dealing with this situation the way democraties do deal with scum like theese.
I was really going to say something 'bout the article, but it came off.
Hang in there.
by Max at September 13, 2001 3:26 PM
Seumas Milne is a radical left wing socialist, anti globalisationist, and Palestinian sympathizer. He's essentially the UK version of Michael Moore. I've never thought he was a very good writer. I think The Guardian keeps him on mainly to hold onto a little lefty cred. Pristine is right, a lot of the European left wing media is taking advantage of this to wave the anti-capitialism/anti-globalisation flag. The bastards are in poor taste. This type of political analysis and opportunism should at least wait until the country is over a period of mourning. I think the trouble is a lot of Europeans are all about their political beliefs, and have little concept of nationalism. They don't understand the unique quality of the US - that it's unlike anywhere else. our borders aren't just lines on a map - our country IS our identity and history. Nowhere in Europe does the same sense of national pride and identity exist. A German capitalist feels more unity with a Spanish capitalist than his own German brothers who may be socialists. It's really tacky to use this for immediate political gain - but doesn't surprise me.
by Charles at September 14, 2001 4:38 AM
I thought about it some more. The thing that pisses me off is not the tone so much as the timing - so I wrote a rant myself:
by Charles at September 14, 2001 8:06 AM
Three of my friends, one of whom had been a lover, were waiters at The Loisiana Pizza Kitchen in New Orleans and in 1996 had been executed after some ex-employees had robbed the restaurant. The killers were black, and there was NO doubt the murders were racially motivated. We were all stunned that someone could shoot three people in the head for $2,000.00 in cash.There was no fucking excuse. But there was racism in the city and CERTAINLY in the restaurant, where all the waitstaff was white and all the kitchen staff was black. It is NOT an excuse for the violence to acknowledge that the environment was SERIOUSLY deranged and helped fuel anger and resentment. The murderers should be fucking punished -- they ARE guilty -- BUT ALSO THE RACSISM SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED AND DEFEATED!!
For me, The Louisiana Pizza Kitchen shootings and the TWC attacks draw remarkable parallels. It makes me look closer at how I deal with the world and relate to others in my personal life. It's not enought to punish those directly responsible.We HAVE to look at ourselves and acknowledge that what we do and say and IGNORE affects those around us. I don't think the article was a justification of the attack. And I DO think it's important to ask WHY these people thought this was something to do. WHY do they hate us that MUCH? Ameicans ARE largely oblivious to how our government and industry affect the rest of the world. We DO need to become more aware of that, and we DO need to be more conscious of the world outside.
My friend Kenneth's answer to my "WHY!?!" back in 1996 was, "We are all responsible."
by Ralph at September 14, 2001 5:03 PM
Ralph, I had to respond. It is true that a majority of Americans do not have a clue as to what goes on outside of our Country. Alas, you must also remember that a good majority of those same Americans do not even know what is going on in their OWN Country. In reference to those shootings, when will people realize that each individual is and should be held accountable for their own actions??? Racisim is certainly on both sides of all fences, however, those individuals made that choice to go there and to kill. I beg your pardon, but that is not anyone's fault but their own! Racism must change with one person at a time as Martin L. King stated. Yes if I know that there is racisim going on in my place of work and I refuse to do something about it, I too am guilty. However, those that are being hurt are also guilty if they do nothing! There will never be justification for anyone to claim because they were hurt they have a right to kill! If just one person out of a group of 20 persons would stand-up to try to correct wrongs in this society, the rights of society would out number the wrongs! Yes this is on all of us as individuals to do, but one's actions such as killing and the WTC are never justified!!! The day we say revenge such as those acts are justified or understandable, is the day the world will end!!! We have all been wronged by someone at some point! There are ways to handle things other than killing! Killing, is not NORMAL!
by Pristine at September 14, 2001 9:53 PM
Way to miss the point entirely.
This author is not valorizing terrorism, he's trying to put the tragedy into a broader and more sophisticated frame of reference than the disturbingly simplistic one we've been handed by the President and others in the wake of Tuesday's tragedy.
What, you thought the WTC was attacked literally "because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world" ?? What does that even mean? These terrorists may have been madmen, but they didn't do what they did just for the hell of it.
Is it so inconceivable that there may have been real (though obscenely misguided) political motivations behind the attacks? Without excusing violence of any kind, isn't it possible that U.S. foreign policy has helped to foster the kind of feelings abroad that culminate in bloodshed again and again, especially when we Americans fail to recognize and take an interest in the way our government does business?
No one is responsbible for the attacks but the terrorists themselves, and any sponsors they may (or may not) have had. And without a doubt, these people must be punished. But unless we make an effort to understand what motivates individuals to commit mass violence, rather than simply dismissing them as evil maniacs, these tragedies will continue to occur.
Americans tend to be taken aback by the intensity of feeling that so often accompanies foreign criticism of U.S. policies, probably because many of us are encountering these viewpoints for the first time, and in this case under harrowing psychological conditions as well. I'll agree that this columnist should have taken a more sympathetic tone out of respect for the victims and their loved ones, but he makes a vitally important point.
In these emotionally charged times we cannot afford to automatically go on the defensive and fail to hear what is being said. Before you shout "irresponsible rhetoric" and demand a boycott, please take a moment to try and understand a position you probably won't be hearing much on CNN, for reasons which should be obvious.
by Josh at September 15, 2001 12:44 PM
First off, I haven't watched a second of CNN. I don't have cable and there are only two of the usual ten or so broadcast channels. My news has come from the internet, radio and newspapers, from conservative (foxnews.com, ny post) to liberal (ny times, cnn.com), and domestic and foreign. I don't have a limited view of what is going on.
Josh, you ask if it is "so inconceivable that there may have been real (though obscenely misguided) political motivations behind the attacks?" You've answered your own question. There action was obscenly misguided. And why was it misguided? Because no political agenda is worthy of taking thousands of innocent lives.
Saying that the terrorists have a valid motive for their action justifies that action, if even slightly, and there is no justification for what happened. Finding any justification in the motives of the terrorists is like finding justification in David Berkowitz's murders.
The terrorists may have felt justified, but to any rational person, the actions they took in response must be as irrational as Berkowitz's defense that he was only following the orders of his neighbor's dog.
All I'm saying is that in their twisted mind they may have felt they had very valid complaints with American foreign policy. Suggesting they had a reason for their attack is, in effect, forgiving those actions, and no complaint could ever, in any way, validate actions this extreme.
by mg at September 15, 2001 1:17 PM
In one fell swoop you have invalidated the legitimate views of millions (the majority of whom, like most Americans, would never harm another human being) and you have done so based on the actions of a few sick individuals.
That a Labrador retriever ordered the "Son of Sam" killings is a patently irrational proposition. That the US State Department, in defiance of UN human rights accords, has endorsed and underwritten the slaughter and persecution of Israeli Palestinians for half a century is a matter of public record. That is NOT a justification for more violence, but it is no less true in light of what happened last week.
Your conflation of politically motivated terrorism with serial murderers like Berkowitz and Dahmer is not only grossly fallacious, but overtly inflammatory--the very definition of "irresponsible rhetoric."
You rightly condemn the attacks themselves as evil and perverse, but you make the error of presuming the same moral status for the viewpoint these acts claim to represent. Suppose you blew up a building full of people in the name of, say, equal rights for women. Does your decision to use violence automatically invalidate the case for women's rights?
At any rate, trying to recognize and understand the reasons behind atrocity is hardly tantamount to "justifying" it. It is, in fact, the only responsible course of action available to us under the circumstances, if we are to have any hope of averting such catastrophe in the future.
And by the way, if cnn.com and the Times are your idea of credible "liberal" news sources, your take on world affairs is anything but balanced. Removing overseas publications like the Guardian from your daily news diet won't help matters.
by Josh at September 15, 2001 2:23 PM
One of the major problems here is that Josh there is NO reason WHY! If you do your home work on Bin-Laden you will see that his justifications are frankly ludicrous! If you are looking for a reason to justify the means you will not find it! You are very Liberal. I can not imagine anyone in a time like this being able to even TRY to give some sort of justification to what has happend! (That is as bad as Hillary Clinton now kissing President Bush's butt after KISSING and hugging the leader of the P.L.O.!) I mean honestly, an act such as this will never be justified! Even if we spend the next 100 years trying to understand why Bin-Laden feels that America is the Devil and needs to be destroyed, we will never honestly understand it! You said in an earlier comment that you would like to KNOW WHY they think American's are so horrible. Research will help you gain that knowledge, if that is truely what your looking for! I fear though, that is not really what you want. I doubt any of us "missed" any point, we just do not agree with YOUR point. And since there are people that read this groups out-put that have actually been TOUCHED by this incident, your so called point is really just a knife! For you to honestly THINK that by understanding what has happened and why, this will avoid further actions as such, you have become the epitome of a Liberal who wears blinders as a horse does! Wake-up! Not all of us WANT a war or revenge for these acts! But please do tell me sir, what would have us to do? I know...sit back for about five years and try to understand why they feel we are guilty and why they were justified with their actions and how America is so guilty of years of bombing the Palistines (you need to look at the U.N. also here since they have been the main source for those bombings)! In the end, you try to speak with such clarity yet you are so much in the dark! If you want to babble about the years of bombings of these people, go talk to all of the families who have lost loved ones over seas from a direct result of the years of terroism that Bin-Laden has ragged against America! What justifications were there for those sir? How is it that Bin-Laden was at one time a "partner" with the U.N. and the U.S. just a short time ago, only to turn around totally? Research that a little more before you spout off about how we need to CONSIDER THE WHYS OF HIS ACTIONS OF TODAY! Sorry about all of this MG, but I have a real problem with Liberal FENCE RIDERS!
by Pristine at September 16, 2001 1:02 AM
Pristine -- the things we are talking about are NOT a justification.
The Louisiana Pizza Kitchen murders DID motivate my friends and I and the whole city to more closely examine the racism in our city. A city where black people are MURDERED and beaten EVERY day by the police, a city with the WORST public education imaginable. And while it is a masturabatory tool for throngs of Frat boys during Mardi Gras -- New Orleans is STILL one of the poorest cities in America. Our city creates murderers and crackheads - thatís what they get taught in school. The murders of poor black people in New Orleans, which occur daily, almost never even MAKE the news. New Orleans is neck and neck with DC with the highest murder rate. HELLO! WE HAAAAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE GETTING SLAUGHTERED! We canít just talk about "evil," execute mostly the black offenders and allow the racism and economic oppression to continue!!! It's LOGICAL to address the seed as well as the fruit., because if you don't... MORE seeds will grow.
by Ralph at September 16, 2001 12:15 PM
Here's what I don't understand (one of many things, actually, but.):
IF there is no motivation *whatsoever* (legitimate or otherwise), for the actions of the terrorists responsible for what occurred, if these acts were as arbitrary and insane as Berkowitz's murders....
then what the FUCK is the point of retaliation against terrorism? What would it accomplish?
Retaliating is only effective when one can expect a rational response. Retaliation is not simply to punish those who are responsible, it is to "send a message" that such acts will always be severely punished. But if an individual or a group is verifiably insane, why would retaliation affect their behavior? How can you expect them to react in a rational way, e.g. see the punishment inflicted and decide against committing further terrorist acts? How does bombing turn an irrational person into a rational one?
by Drywall at September 16, 2001 12:27 PM
For one, I did not hear one time that President Bush would BE bombing. However, I have heard and seen the very opposite! He is taking his time in the stratigic planning of the U.S. course of action! I dare say that the idea that he will just BOMB the country in question will be up to that country. If they do not turn over those at fault for the WTC, what would you have them to do? I am sorry folks but a war is never RATIONAL! The WTC was by far NOT rational! The Pentagon was NOT rational! I think the best thing for ALL of us to do as Americans is to just stop jumping the gun here and wait to see what course of action our Country WILL take before we over analyze this to death! What good is it doing?
by Pristine at September 16, 2001 1:20 PM
Uh...what good is it to "analyze it to death?" excuse me... but that is such an absurd question.
by Ralph at September 16, 2001 2:55 PM
justify v. - to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable.
Therefore, to show reason for an action is the same as justifying that action.
Secondly, I think we can agree that bombing a building would never be the proper course to go about winning equal rights for women, can't we? And I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here and say that women actually deserve equal rights and that it would be a cause worth fight for. However noble that cause, there would never be any way to justify the nobility of that cause with the severity of bombing a building. NEVER.
Another analogy: Some people think abortion is murder. Because they have a "reason" to bomb an abortion clinic, does that make their actions noble or in any way justified? No, of course not. The murder of innocents is wrong, no matter what the reason.
We are on the same page here in thinking this is a horrible and evil act. I also think we agree that American foreign policy is not nearly as altruistic as it portrays itself to be.
What I have trouble with is people who say this bombing is wrong, but then excuse the bombers by saying they had justification for their actions. In that equation, one and one are not two. It just doesn't add up. There is no possible way to justify those murders. And admitting that the cause someone died for is a noble one (or even a reasonable one) is the equivalent of forgiving the actions they took in the aid of that cause.
by mg at September 16, 2001 5:47 PM
Well put MG! And agreed with!
by Pristine at September 16, 2001 7:14 PM
Oh my GOD, MG! No one is justifying! You're making a tremendous leap in logic! The reasoning that we are talking about is to help stem the tide of FUTURE violence by addressing the fact that our actions or inaction MAY contribute to violence. We have to recognize our own complicity; if we DON'T... there will be MORE violence.
So youíre going to high school and other students are calling you a faggot and terrorizing you. You complain to the administration... but it's HARDLY on their list of priorities, because THEY think of you as a FAGGOT TOO! This goes on and on. Soon you are being BEATEN and people are threatening to KILL you. You press charges. SOME of the kids get arrested. THEY are punished. Excuse meÖ but action MUST be taken against the system that allowed as well as helped to CREATE the hatred. Who cares if those who directly raped you with a broom handle are punished when the school, A.K.A homophobia manufacturing plant, is allowed to continue with their fucked up ways, allowing MORE MURDERERS to be encouraged to MURDER! TO MURDER YOU and the kids that come after you! OF course the system is responsible! HELLO!
by Ralph at September 16, 2001 7:18 PM
The difference here is that the school in your example is encouraging homophobia, is in fact a "homophobia manufacturing plant." The United States is not encouraging people to fly planes into our skyscapers. We may do some fucked up things, but those fucked up things can not be used to excuse people taking extreme and irrational actions. If some kid who got tortured like you describe went into his school and shot the principle, his teachers, and dozens of kids who had nothing to do with his torture, would it be justified? Hell no!
Again I have to go back to the example of the abortion clinic. Would any of you be defending someone who would do such a thing? Eric Rudolph believed he was doing God's work when, in 1998, he bombed that clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. In deranged mind, he had a valid reason for his action. But his actions were not reasonable, they were sick, twisted and wrong.
Even most Pro-lifers decryed the bombing. Why? Because murderis never the correct response to ideaolgical differences. By your arguements, because someone was willing to die and kill for his cause, it is somehow more valid.
Should we make abortions illegal because some nut decided to bomb a clinic? Hell no! Should we forgive and forget, let terrorists do whatever they hell they want to whoever they want, just because they are, likewise willing to die and kill for their cause? Hell no!
by mg at September 16, 2001 7:40 PM
There's another Josh here! Please don't confuse us.
Ralph, you made sense until that last part. What the heck are you talking about? The system? Being gay and a terrorist are different things. One is OK and one is not. How can you parallel them?
Showing reason is NOT the same a justifying. The articles linked above do not try to say that the attacks were right, they are trying to explain why the terrorists thought it necessary (but it doesnít excuse the first from being too mean spirited right after a tragedy). Thatís something that I would like to know Ė even if it is as insane as the "dog telling them to do it".
The analogy I get from the articles is this question: If there is a mine field and someone decides to run through it, knowing that it is there, and gets killed, who do we blame for that death? The person who knowingly went through or the people who planted the mines? I think that the articles are saying that the U.S. knew that the mines were there and ran through anyway.
There is an impulsive, emotional reaction from the nation to go out there and kick some ass, that we have to hurt the ones responsible as much as they hurt us. That would work if there was another, evil country to fight, but there isnít. Itís a group of terrorists. I am so afraid that even if we catch the few responsible and execute them, that the national bloodlust wonít be satisfied. Are we going to plow through any country that stands in our way, killing innocent civilians that get underfoot, to get the villain? Of the countries in the world showing sympathy, I wonder how many are truly sympathetic and how many are simply scared. I want justice, but what will it cost?
by Josh (mrblank) at September 16, 2001 8:49 PM
To tell you just how awful all of this has been and just what it is doing to people all around the country I am going to share something you guys. Friday, after a 15 year old got out of his Plano Texas High School, he started to walk home. Just like any other day to him, get-up, go to school, and walk home. On thing was different that Friday other than any other Friday before, the World Trade Centers had been bombed and the Pentagon bombed. Many lives had been killed. He is a United States Citizen who was affected by the horror as we all were. He cried just like any of us did. He, at first, screamed revenge too. He may never be able to see anything in the future that we will be able to see. He may never see this "war" or those individuals being brought to justice. Why you may ask? He is a Muslim teenager living in Plano Texas. On his way home from school, he vanished into thin air! He is now missing! Kidnapped? Maybe, but the authorities and his own family fret the worst! Since he is Muslim the authorities are already saying it is more than possible that this young man met some very bad individuals. We hope here in Dallas this young man comes home, safe. Yet in our hearts because of the situation, we feel he may never come home safe! The point that I am making and the point I tried to pass on Ralph/Josh is that right now none of us really know what is going to happen. We do not know if there will be "ground" war fare! What our efforts maybe really need to center on should be joining rather than DIS joining each other. We can force blame for these acts on just about anything or anyone. Meanwhile people are still dead, there are still several thousands missing and worst yet, there are U.S. Citizens who are being harmed because of ignorance! When I say "over analyze" in the above comment I simply mean that by trying to "reason" actions of or by trying to understand what COULD have been done differently we are not going to accomplish anything here! We all know U.S. policy is not great, we also know that Bill Clinton did not do his job! How can we change this from ever happening again? We cannot! We will never be able to stop a terroist from doing damage, whether it is an abortion clinic or the Pentagon. What does need to happen is for the people of America to become educated in what is going on in their Government! What needs to happen is young people need to be educated on how to make good sound decisions for our country when they take over our country. I truely think we all know WHY Bin-Laden has done what he has done. This had nothing to do with any American policy, rather it has to do with his Biblical study! He feels this is the right time to start the "Christian War" with the "big" devil-the U.S. I doubt any of you are saying that you are really trying to "justify" or "make-right" his actions. Yet in the word play with which you have used, the appearances are there. As I commented before, this is a touchy subject for everyone but more so to those who have personally felt the explosion, smelled the smells and can hear the cries of people when they walk outside. Be it in New York or be it in D.C. I think that for the most part each of us really need to step back from the situation and think about what we are saying. What is the true point to what we are trying to convey? We all agree that something has to be done about this attack, think about what you really honestly would do if you WERE the President. Then work from there! If you are truely an American and will stand behind your president then why argue anyway? If you would like answers as to why our American Policies are a mess, do something constructive, work on change! That is how Americans do things! If you see a major wrong, work on making at right! Right now people, I am graveling with the decision to join the United States Air Force. Not as much by choice but rather by recruitment. I had taken the ASVAB back in high school and had a very high score. A year ago they contacted me again and again recently. Why? Because they would like to have personel that have the potential to use their brains. Besides this point it is people like Ralph that has made this decision on me harder. It is people who feel that this Nation is nothing! (for more information on Ralph's comments about this nation check out his blog dated Friday at 6:09) So the whole point Iam further making here is that we really DO need to evaluate what we are saying and what course of action we are wanting. This indeed is a sad day when there are people of this Country very serious about NOT doing something to TRY to stop this from ever happening again. It is indeed a sad day when there are people who would rather give as much leway to these nations who harbor terrorist as we would a peaceful nation! It is indeed a sad day when United States citizens cannot be free to come and go as they should be able to! It is a very sad state of the Union when Young College persons feel that the United States is nothing but a bully and has in turn caused this terrible thing to happen! That is what you have BEEN saying! That due to the U.S. being such a bully on the world play ground we should all have expected this to happen and therefore should take our medicine! It is a very sad day indeed!
by Pristine at September 16, 2001 9:59 PM
In case anyone is interested, this show should be interesting.
Behind the Terror: Understanding the Enemy, an in-depth look at the roots of terrorism, on Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health and our digital networks on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 9 p.m.
by Josh (mrblank) at September 16, 2001 10:46 PM
I plead that everyone STOP making personal attacks, here and on their own personal sites. We can have a difference of opinion without threats or attitudes. We are all adults, and, though emotionally aroused, we should be able to continue the discourse without taking our aggressions out on each other.
Though I wholeheartedly disagree with Ralph and Josh (not mr blank), I bear no ill against them. I don't know either of you personally, but I've read your sites for months now, and feel that I know you both to some extent. I hope you feel that you know me as well, and that I'm not the right-wing nut you think I am right now. And to Pristine, all I can say to you is calm down.
by mg at September 16, 2001 11:44 PM
It's all good, MG. I still love ya. I just disagree.
And Josh/mrblank, I was comparing the homophobes with the terrorists, not gays to terrorists.
As the school in my analogy allowed as well as encouraged homophobia, so does our government interfere with and cause violence in other countries. Our policies directly and indirectly contribute to slaughter in other parts of the world. I mean...THE CIA TRAINED BIN LADEN (whom I might add has not been proven guilty) for christsakes! Is it Ok when madmen slaughter in our governments interestsÖ when itís underplayed, abstract and distant? The U.S has been fucking the third world for most of the 20th century. It is no MORE of a justification to admit THAT as a catalyst for terrorism than saying that, "They are insane, evil madmen bent on destroying the shining beacon of American democracy!" THAT is a justification as well, only a far more simplistic, diversionary one.
I am not being anti-American when I criticize our country. Iím not anti-American because I think slavery was fucked up. This countryís saving grace is that things CAN be changed through criticism. However it CANíT be changed for the better with any kind of "love it or leave it" attitude. I am not anti-American; I am anti-patriotism. I view patriotism as a diversionary tactic. I love my home and my culture Ė not a disembodied media campaign. I didnít sit in at high school football games yelling "GO TEAM" and Iím not going to do it NOW. I am not the best and greatest and WE are not the best and greatest nation on earth. Some things are greatÖ some things not so great. We live here. We TRY to make our stay as PLEASANT as possible. But I have NO false pride over the living conditions. We HAVE to face that things arenít so great and WE arenít so greatÖ and that they and we arenít getting any better. And if we donít face it, they and we most certainly WILL get worse.
by Ralph at September 17, 2001 12:44 AM
I don't think you're a right-wing nut, or any other kind... and I'd say so even if I hadn't been a regular badsam reader for many months now.
In fact, I was surprised and more than a little bit alarmed at how rapidly this discussion deteriorated into that old, tired liberals-versus-conservatives formula, as if those reductive and relatively meaningless binary categories were adequate to an understanding of the variety of ideological and moral viewpoints available to each of us in the first place...let alone as a means of dealing with the increasingly absurd and violent conditions of modern life as manifested last week. At times like these we need to listen to our emotions and to our deeply held belief systems, but we simply can't afford to let them do our thinking for us.
Anyway, I'm grateful to you for your call for civility and respect, and I hasten to add that there are no bad feelings on my part either. If we lose touch with our humanity in this crisis, the terrorists have already won.
To Josh (mrblank): I apologize for the confusion over which Josh is which... I hope you didn't get hit with any venom that was intended for me as a result.
by Josh (stickybuffalo) at September 18, 2001 1:19 AM
Thanks, Josh. I didn't get hit with anything. I think our writing is different enough that there was no confusion.
I'm glad that BS is here to talk on. After my site bit the dust, I haven't had a chance to chat. By the way, I wonder what is going on with the BS message board...
by Josh (MrB) at September 18, 2001 6:31 PM
Josh, (this being public no less) my intentions were not cruel. Emotional maybe, but not cruel. In the wake of everything I think we ALL may have gotten emotionally charged to say the least. Having said that, my comments were not of an intent to threat, nor was your e-mail I am sure. I wanted you to know, since you probably have no reason to look, I have removed the "babble". It was silly, and totally against my morals. You were not "hit" by me I hope and in saying that I do hope that we will be able to further remain on terms of being adults?
In otherwords....PEACE???? :0)
by Pristine at September 19, 2001 1:56 AM