We Stand United Against Terrorism -- All Terrorism|
by Robert Kaplan
I would hope that the message on the flyer that Ann posted--WE STAND
UNITED - WE WILL NOT TOLERATE TERRORISM!--means that people will also be
taking a stand against American government-supported terrorism. Yes, what
happened at the WTC was a crime against humanity, but I find the assumption
of American innocence and virtuousness that's behind the public discussion
extremely disingenuous, to say the least.
Let's see: this country is the largest supplier of military weapons on the planet.
Whether or not Osama Bin Laden is responsible for this atrocity, he's certainly been responsible for numerous others. Yet, we trained him! How much reporting has there been about the fact that when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the CIA--under George Bush, Sr.--trained, armed and organized Islamic resistance. We funded Bin Laden for years. But at that point, he was a "freedom fighter." When he turned against us during the Gulf War, he became a "terrorist."
We have killed--and continue to kill--thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq. We killed innocent civilians in Belgrade. In the Sudan. But that's called "collateral damage."
We support military dictatorships around the globe that kill thousands of innocent civilians (e.g, Serbia, Colombia, Indonesia, Peru, Guatemala, Chile). But that's called "supporting our allies" or "maintaining stability."
We have unconditionally supported 34 years of repressive Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
Yes, we should mourn all those innocent people who were killed on Tuesday. Yes, there should be justice. But it seems to me that true justice should include public soul-searching and discussion of U.S. foreign policy and why so many people in what is euphemistically called "The Third World" hate us.
And when we light our candles, point the finger at George Bush and every other American politician who has initiated and/or supported U.S.-sponsored terrorism for far too many years.
Reminds me of how the Puritans came here, took more and more land away from the natives, and then called them agents of Satan when they rose up against them. I guess some things don't change.
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