I also don't like to pass on forwards by e-mail... I hate when my own box gets filled with spam... but this is worth reading:
Subject: The Attack on the US: What Now?
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 21:55:01 -0700
Dear Friends and Family,
I hope you are all coping OK after this awful, horrific week. I have found the attack of last Tuesday extremely distressing. And as terrible as the past week has been, I am equally distraught about what will happen next.
What kinds of racist attacks against those of Arab descent and Muslims will continue to unfold across North America?
What will happen to the civil liberties of those who express dissent, and to our immigration and refugee policies?
And most troubling of all, what kind of military response are we moving inexorably towards? And can voices of reason and peace change the course of events?
To me, one of the clear lessons of Tuesday's attack is that no amount of money can buy security. And yet, the dominant conclusion seems to be just the opposite. Already, Congress has given unlimited funds to the Bush administration to beef up the US's military expenditures.
As one very wise person wrote in a letter to the Vancouver Sun this week: "On Sept. 11, terrorists attempted to smash the two icons of US military might and economic power. We, in the democratic tradition, must respond in kind. We must smash the very things that allow terrorism to exist: poverty and injustice." (Tom Northcott)
Americans are struggling to understand how and why some people could so utterly hate the US. President Bush tells us these terrorists resent the US because it is a beacon of freedom and democracy.
Nonsense. The truth is much more complex, but it clearly has to do with US foreign policy, military aggression and the global position of a package of economic policies that lead to desperate inequality and despair.
Of note, a cruel statistical irony emerged by late week: it appears the dead from Tuesday's attack number approximately 5,000. Horrific.
Yet coincidentally (and much less visibly), as a direct result of the West's economic sanctions, about 5,000 children under the age of five die in Iraq every month - over one million since the Gulf War, guilty of being born into a dictatorship over which neither they nor their parents have any control. But where are the vigils, the public displays of horror, the outrage at our complicity in this on-going murder?
One thing seems clear to me: a military response that in turn kills hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of innocent people will solve nothing. Indeed, it will produce a new generation of hate and despair and insecurity.
After the Oklahoma bombing, once it became clear that the act had been done by one of America's own, there was never any question but that the appropriate response was to bring the perpetrator to court and let justice take its course. Why is this week's tragedy any different? And in the longer term, let us redouble all efforts to build a world of justice.
Please forgive this rant. I needed to share these thoughts.
One final recommendation: If you are looking for progressive analysis and commentary of these events that's hard to come by in the mainstream press, go to http://www.rabble.ca (a Canadian e-magzaine sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives). It has original content, and also serves as a portal to all the progressive commentators you can shake a stick at (including Naomi's analysis).
Director, BC Office
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
tel. (604) 801-5121 1400 - 207 West Hastings St.
fax. (604) 801-5122 Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7
ccpa webpage: http://www.policyalternatives.ca
The CCPA is a non-partisan, non-profit research institute dedicated to producing and promoting progressive economic and social policy research of importance to Canadians and British Columbians.