The terror in (horrible) context-- Part 4

Steve Gilman sgilman at
Fri Sep 21 10:58:12 EDT 2001

PART 4......................

	The American public is being prepared for war while being fed a
continuous stream of shocking and horrific repeated images of Tuesday's
and heartfelt stories from the survivors and the loved ones of those who
lost family members. These stories are real and should not be diminished.
In fact, those who lost family members can be considered a representative
sample of humanity of the 8,000,000 who have been lost previously. If we
multiply by 800-1000 times the amount of pain, angst, and anger being
currently felt by the American public, we might begin to understand how
much of the rest of the world feels as they are continually victimized.

	Some particularly poignant images are the heart wrenching public
stories that we are seeing and hearing of family members with pictures and
flyers searching for their loved ones. These images are virtually the same
those of the "Mothers of the Disappeared" who searched for their
(primarily) adult children in places such as Argentina, where over 11,000
were "disappeared" in 1976-1982, again with U.S. approval. Just as the
mothers of Argentina deserved our respect and compassion, so do the
relatives of those who are searching for their relatives now. However we
should not allow ourselves to be manipulated by the media and U.S.
government into turning real grief and anger into a national policy of
wholesale terror and genocide against innocent civilians in Asia and
Africa. What we are seeing in military terms is called "softening the
target." The target here is the American public and we are being
ideologically and emotionally prepared for the slaughter that may commence

	None of the previously identified Asian and African countries are
democracies, which means that the people of these countries have virtually
no impact on developing the policies of their governments, even if we
assume that these governments are complicit in Tuesday's actions. When one
examines the recent history of these countries, one will find that the
American government had direct and indirect influences on creating the
conditions for the existence of some of these governments. This is
especially true of the Taliban government of Afghanistan itself.

	The New York Metropolitan Area has about 21,000,000 people or about 8
% of the U.S. population. Almost everyone in America knows someone who has
been killed, injured or traumatized by the events of Tuesday. I know that
do. Many people are calling for "revenge" or "vengeance" and comments such
as "kill them all" have been circulated on the TV, radio, and email. A
few more potentially benign comments have called for "justice." This is
potentially benign since that term may be defined by people such as Bush
and Colin Powell. Powell is an unrepentant participant in the Vietnam War,
the terrorist contra war against Nicaragua, and the Gulf war, at each
level becoming more responsible for the planning and execution of the

	Those affected, all of us, must do everything in our power to prevent a
wider war and even greater atrocity, do everything possible to stop the
genocide if it starts, and hold those responsible for their potential war
crimes during and after the war. If there is a great war in 2001 and it is
not catastrophic (a real possibility), the crimes of that war will be
revisited upon the U.S. over the next generation. That is not some kind of
religious prophecy or threat, it is merely a straightforward political
analysis. If indeed it is Bin Laden, the world must not deal only with him
as an individual criminal, but eliminate the conditions that create the
injustices and war crimes that will inevitably lead to more of these types
of attacks in the future. The phrase "No Justice, No Peace" is more than a
slogan used in a march, it is an observable historical fact. It is
time to end the horror.

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