On Terrorism Begins With U.S.A.
This letter is addressed to the authors who advocated for war in
last weeks letters to the Review. You want to erradicate terrorism
in the world, but it lies within your own borders, too. McVeigh
was American, did you start a war on America? He who gunned down
those children in the school was a classmate, did you wage war on
You claim the Taliban holds its population hostage, while in your
own country black American males are more likely to be incarcerated
than their African counterparts were in South Africa under apartheid.
You cry freedom and democracy, freedom and democracy, while your
government continues to train assassins in the School of the Americas,
and has in recent history installed military dictators over democratically
elected governments in Latin American countries such as Chile, Bolivia
and Guatemala, among others.
You target nations harbouring terrorists as enemies,
and forget that the U.S. military aid package to Colombian security
forces reach 1.3 billion dollars. These security forces have been
repeatedly charged with human rights violations in a country where
at least 35,000 non-combatants have disappeared or been murdered
since 1987. It is known that they coordinate operations with paramilitary
forces, which were recently placed on the American governments
blacklist of terrorist networks. Do you dare tell a displaced Colombian
citizen that this isnt terror?
My intention is not to offend you. These are not theories, or opinions,
merely facts. Well-documented facts of history, and of the present
day. It is important to remember and refer to them because they
show us that terror isnt only the Taliban, or bin Laden. Many
Americans, with the most powerful military in history, give themselves
the privilege of defining what terrorism is for the rest of the
world. But Sept. 11 is terror that happens in very different ways,
in different time frames, in many nations around the globe, including
The realistic solutions (since one of you cared to ask for one),
from the point of view of actions that this nation can take, lie
only partly in the CIA, FBI and the military. Much more lies in
our long term foreign and domestic policy revisions. In our schools
and prisons, factories and parks, homes and communities. In our
relationships among ourselves, with our environment and with other
nations. This may take hundreds of years, but it takes that long
to work through the conflicts we face. These conflicts have been
thousands of years in the making. No amount of stealth fighters,
laser-guided bombs, long-range cruise missiles, intelligence agents
or highly trained special-ops forces will ever solve such deep-rooted
conflicts. It is childish of any government, or any human being
for that matter, to declare Infinite Justice.
You want to insist on war, at the cost of more innocent deaths?
Fine, I dont see how that will be avoided at this point. I
will do my part to stop it, as will many others. But please, do
address the underlying issues. As mobilization for war continues,
I challenge you, as a responsible citizen and human being, to look
within your own nation and community, and make an honest effort
to eradicate the terror that surrounds you.