War Cry Masks US Role in Global Terrorism
warning, terrorists struck at the symbols of US economic and political
power: the World Trade Center and Pentagon. US authorities estimate
around 5000 dead. Together with the world, we mourn the waste of human
lives and condemn the acts of terrorism. Images of people leaping from
the higher floors of the World Trade Center to their death and other
dramatic pictures of violent death continue to haunt us.
mourn, however, we are also starting to become concerned. The US, in the
words of President Bush, is mobilizing for the “first war in the 21st
century”. And most heads
of states are supportive. Yes, justice must be pursued. Yes, terrorists
must be held accountable. But there is a growing sense that this does
not mean engulfing the world in war and making it hostage to a vicious
cycle of escalating violence.
teaches us. Violence begets violence and a greater capacity for more
violence. In the present case, how will the US contain the retaliatory
strikes of the victims of its “first war in the 21st
century”? A “star wars” defense system will be totally useless
against biological warfare weapons created through genetic engineering
and spread on selected US targets. How about sophisticated attacks on US
nuclear power plants? Or chemical poisoning of water systems? Or the
poisoning of the food chain? Terrorist bombings incarnate evil in the
world. A scorched-earth policy will only hasten the incarnation of
greater evil in the world.
announced that he will not make a distinction between terrorists and the
countries which harbor them. But one can ask. Did the children and the
citizens of these countries really make the decision to harbor
terrorists? An Afghan,
Tamin Ansary, captures the futility and destructiveness of this blind,
angry approach to containing terrorism.
the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done.
Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done.
Eradicate their hospitals? Done.
Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and
health care? Too late.
Someone already did all that. .
. . Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's
Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move
around. They'd slip away
and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans. They
don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over
Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the
criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making
common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've
been raping all this time.”
Buckley, Program Officer of
Christian Aid for Afghanistan, shares a similar sentiment.
real Afghanistan is one where 85 per cent of the population are
subsistence farmers. Most Afghans don't have newspapers, television sets
or radios. They will not have heard of the World Trade Centre or the
Pentagon, and most will have no idea that a group of zealots has
attacked these icons of western civilisation. There isn't even a postal
in these isolated villages, families are down to their last few weeks of
food and already men women and children in the bulging refugee camps are
dying of cholera and malnutrition. I have spoken to orphans with swollen
bellies. I have spoken to men who have no money to hire trucks to escape
the drought and make it to the camps. I have spoken to families who say
they will wait in their villages for death.”
reporting also does not help the situation. It glorifies half-truths,
thereby encouraging action on the basis of illusion. The US wants to
lead the global war against terrorism. But is it morally qualified?
policies have created terrorist groups and have resulted in de
facto terrorism against hundreds of thousands of innocent lives. The
CIA trained Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists groups to serve its
interests in Afghan war versus the USSR. In the process, the US military
resurrected jihad or “holy
war”, a concept that was last used in the 10th century. If
you hear jihad in the Mindanao
war, you have the US military operatives to thank for proving a moral
basis for terrorist kidnappings.
Bin Laden, after he turned against US interests, the US military bombed
a “chemical weapons factory” in Sudan, destroying half of the
country’s pharmaceutical industry. Tens of thousands of Sudan’s poor
died for lack of medicines. Yet the US blocked a UN investigation of
their terrorism against the Sudanese. These are terrorist acts by the
US, yet we rarely get to know about them, much less to mourn the death
of thousand innocent Sudanese children and parents. Are our heartaches
only reserved for people of specific color and status in the world?
stresses the close relationship between the Taliban and Bin Laden. Yet
the Taliban are the product of those US and UK-supported holy warriors
once praised for stopping the USSR. There is still another bizarre
connection of the Taliban with US covert military and economic policies.
The military government of General
Musharaf, the self-declared president of Pakistan, protects the
Taliban. But the military of Pakistan have long benefited from the
financial and technical support of the Pentagon and the State Department
- the same departments now reeling from enemy attack and espousing a
global war on terrorism.
also whip up emotions. Imbalanced reporting is fueling division and
hatred against innocent Muslims and those that look “Arabic”. In the
US, Pakistani taxi drivers are being stabbed. Deli owners of Middle East
origin are being forced to close shop. Mosques are being shot at and
defiled with blood. This last is ironic given that the CIA often used
mosques as fronts for their recruitment of Muslim fighters during their
clandestine war with the Russians in Afghanistan.
media reporting is also encouraging a narrow, materialistic response to
the tragedy. Trauma, especially a national one, requires sensitive
handling. There has to be an in-depth, sober, objective process of
taking stock of the root causes of global terrorism and developing an
appropriate response to it. Without justifying the current terrorist
attack on the US, we can ask the following questions.
Is the US
reaping the terrorist policies it has sowed? Why the intense hatred for
the US? Will the ordinary US citizen awaken to the global impacts that
US government policies are having, policies that are crafted by a few in
power? Are US economic policies that one-sidedly glorify competition and
profit over equitable human development, resulting in massive poverty, de
facto terrorist policies?
present hysteria for bloody revenge continues and the media continues to
fan the flames of hatred, then we can only expect more evil, violence
and devastation to be sown in the world.
individual level, humanity has been forced to cross a threshold. The
sense of security is gone. US friends write. They no longer feel secure.
They now join others, all over, who know that physical safety is an
illusion in today’s world.
This situation forces us all to re-evaluate where our hearts are. Do we place all our trust in physical security? Or shall we now learn to live in this lack of security and the attendant sense of homelessness in order to awaken our spirit to fill the desolate void that can no longer filled with materialistic self-assurance. And what world policies will emerge if we learn to view the present tragedy from the perspective of active non-violence?
There is a bright spot in the dismal state of affairs. Global civil society organizations, including those in the US, are starting to give a different, more-balanced picture. As the independent cultural force in their societies, they are starting to counter one-sided political and economic reporting and are providing alternative analysis and action on the US tragedy. They are also bringing into discussion the quality of soul needed to confront the global trauma.
The terrorist attack in the US is tragic and needs a measured response. But an irrational, self-righteous pursuit of war, including the attendant intrusion of privacy and the possible rebirth of the totalitarian state, will be even more tragic. It will drag humanity, including government leaders who blindly follow the US war policy, into the abyss.
NP-19 September 2001
 Nicanor Perlas is President of the Center for Alternative Development Initiatives, a Philippine civil society organization and author of Shaping Globalization: Civil Society, Cultural Power and Threefolding.
.my_code_6377594268.andrews bookstore collar knives wifi goat bleach antiques denise cocks slot taste peterson cosmetics baking kitty trains treo row palmer pt edit named cottages savage lobster limo breed means trap lots roast voting tornado chemicals baskets webster cuba benz herald spas alfred frontier retreat calif visit locator cables latina kennel pyramid harold partner jungle 97 poland servers feat briggs bracket dildo nasa lotus dui jill rover f150 lakeland waters fried sight boutique falling buyers tina stockings allison monterey islam dicks viking simmons meal oscar bingo lakewood rebate herb marcus capture thin tubes stretch gets leon mud bella usage mar goes pony remover pest screensaver loose guardian tin weird midnight climbing branson