Humble Pie
by A. M.

clip art drawing of an old-fashioned car at a gas pump with caption 'nearly 20 million dollars a week'.

Disclaimer: Please forgive any over-simplifications that may occur in this post. I am just trying to introduce another argument in support of the pacifist idea.

Why is it that no one who is arguing for immediate retribution talking about the impetus behind these attacks? Why can't these outed nationalists recognize any side but their own? Bin Laden and his supporters are upset with the United States because they feel that we have desecrated Islam in the Middle East. Bin Laden is not the next Hitler. He does not want to conquer the world. But, again, he is acting out because of Western influence in the Middle East.

Our troops in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries are notorious for their disrespect of the culture there. They get wasted, carouse, etc. And American troops are notorious for their bad behavior all over the world. I am not trying to say that every service person posted in foreign bases are disrespectful, but this is generally true. Bin Laden is a Saudi. He sees this disrespect as a desecration of Islamic culture. The behavior he sees represents to him the callousness and disrespect of Americans and Amercia in general. And to me, this is one of the major reasons all of this is happening.

So what should we do? How about bring our troops back home? The thing is, if we do go over to Afghanistan and bomb the crap out of them, it won't change anything. They are already in dire straits. If we do capture and/or kill Bin Laden, the Taliban will demand retribution. And with god-knows-how-many latent terrorists still in North America, that could have even worse consequences than we can imagine. The most prudent thing we could do, the most defensive thing, is to pull our troops out of these countries, first and foremost. But we won't do that. God forbid the chosen Empire of America (hey, sounds like a fitting name for our country at this point, doesn't it?) should have to go home with its tail tucked between its legs (hi Vietnam!).

A lot of people seem to think that we need to go over there and bomb them, and capture them, and that will solve the problem. It won't. This isn't about any one country. This is about how our economic and cultural imperialism has affected others and come back to bite us in the ass. Right now most of the country is reacting with an understandable anger. No one is denying that what has happened is a horrific tragedy. But we need to be rational about this. We need to realize that our country must take responsibility for its actions as well.

Just because this is America, doesn't mean everything we do is right or just. Some of us seriously need to eat some humble pie.


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