Terrorism in America, War in Afghanistan
[Editor's note: Thanks to the hundreds of readers who continue to send e-mail about the September 11 attacks. To keep this letters section of managable size, we only are presenting a selection. As always, we are not reprinting open letters (which are always widely available elsewhere) or messages that appear to be mass-mailed.]
I say ignorance is our enemy. There is no fundamental difference between the Taliban ignorance of the likes of Osama bin Laden and the ignorance of those Americans who still cannot find Afghanistan on a map, but now consider people who look like me to be dangerous. We humans, regardless of citizenship, need to look for our enemy no further than the dark cave in our own selfish hearts. Our "evil, uncivilized enemy" does not live in some cave in Afghanistan. Our enemy is here, called indifferent ignorance. Today, 2 - 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Our planet cannot afford to continue with one-fifth of its human inhabitants rich, two-fifths in abject poverty and another two-fifths struggling hard for a tolerable life. This is the kind of cage that inevitably breeds terrorists.
I ask my fellow citizens to stop attacking your Middle Eastern-looking neighbor with your stares, thoughts, emotions, words, hands, guns, etc. Cherish such neighbors. They are not evil, enemy sleepers. Most likely, this "sleeper" is a patriotic soul, placed in your path to awaken you from your Earth-destructive island mentality. Buy a map. Thank him or her for making your civilization even more unique by bringing you the enriching gems of diversity. Celebrate your common humanity with him or her, in the fragile bosom of your common mother, the planet. Take care of her -- she is quite ill.
I would like to add that I believe the U.S .has made many foreign policy blunders, and for many of them, we may be despised. One policy that has not been a blunder is Israel. Beating all odds, just three years after the Holocaust in Europe, the Jews defeated the armies of six Arab countries. UN meddling left an Israel with bits of Palestine scattered through it like holes in Swiss cheese. The Jews have one homeland, one place to have a Jewish State, while the Palestinians have all of the Middle East to immigrate to. Let their Muslim brothers take them in. Let them show charity instead of murderous intent.
Iftekhar A. Khan (Pakistan)
We must band together to shut down Bush's dirty little war, just as we shut down the WTO meeting in Seattle, except this time for good.
I'm sick. I am physically ill from seeing what another country will do to try and what? Make us all have the same spiritual belief? That's not possible, and any sane person can see that. No this is not about spiritual beliefs, this is not a holy war. I believe this war is about money. The Taliban have no reason to attack us, except if it was for money. America is the richest country in the world. We shall remain the richest country in the world, no matter what. Jealousy is the reason. We have, and they have not. We have Freedom to live as we like, to move to other states, to marry the person we love. We are rich because that is the form of government we have. Of, By, and For the people, is what, I believe, we all live for. The Constitution of the United States. This democracy to keep us free, made by our forefathers who we honor.
I'm proud to say that I am a Christian. A guy whom our Lord showed mercy to and has accepted to be his adopted son. Praise God. As a Christian I have been taught that Love is the answer. I believe this. I also believe that you can push anyone around too long and they will fight back. We've, and God, have had our faces slapped so many times, that turning the other cheek is hard to do when you don't have any more cheeks to turn. We have forgiven seventy times seventy. I believe it is now time for us to give back what we have received. My God is also a warrior, a deity that, I believe, gets disgusted with some people. My God has always stood ahead of His people, moving aside that which stands in the way of His people. I want to reinlist. I want to do something to these people who would attack the friendliest nation in the world. I'm mad that I'm 53 yrs old, and the armed forces probably wouldn't take me. Maybe the FBI or CIA or NSA? The Taliban think they have the only people who would willingly die for their beliefs.
Allen King Durfee Jr.
God help us, and thanks for the website.
U.S. Should Stop Using Arab Oil
In light of the plane hijackings in September and the culmination of anti-American feelings, the need to wean ourselves off Arab oil is stronger than ever. According to the American Petroleum Institute, 21 percent of our oil comes from the Middle East, some of the same nations that declared themselves to be against the U.S. on the issue of terrorism. The Persian Gulf nations jointly possess 65 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. America is one of OPEC's biggest customers; we're the ones that made these countries rich.
We criticize nations such as Afghanistan and China for human rights violations, while we are willing to overlook repression and autocracy in Iraq and Iran because we want their oil. Our large military presence in the Middle East costs millions of dollars, while we have no alternative plan to remedy a Gulf oil shortage or Arab nations decide to make us suffer by cutting off oil supplies completely or raising prices again. Subsidies to the oil industry are dangerously increasing our dependence on foreign oil and hurt the U.S. economy putting us in a pernicious position.
If the U.S. wants to ensure an adequate energy supply, alternative energy is the best route to survival. Instead of providing petroleum and oil subsidies, providing subsidies for alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, biodiesel, geothermal and hydroelectric power would be wiser. Not only will these alternative energy sources end our reliance on often shaky governments in the Middle East, but they are cleaner and more dependable. The cost to our military will be less because we won't be stationed there. To truly show support for the U.S. the most patriotic action an American citizen can take is to stop using Arab oil.
"Homeland" rhetoric smacks of Nazi Germany
Since the tragic disasters of September 11, there has been an increased use of the word "homeland" to refer to the United States. We even have a White House Office of Homeland Security with a new Cabinet-level Secretary of Homeland Security. The term, "homeland," is a bizarre choice that evokes the strident militaristic rhetoric of Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s.
Not surprisingly the use of the term here originates with the military. The ANSER Institute for Homeland Security, a non-profit conservative think tank linked to military and intelligence agencies, says while the concept of "defending the homeland" is a historic one, the first American use of the term homeland defense was in a report by the National Defense Panel in 1997.
Since then, ANSER says, the idea of the homeland is almost universally accepted by policy makers. And, we might add, by the media. CNN even has an official Homeland Security Correspondent and MSNBC has a special "Homeland Security" segment.
Before the media institutionalize the term "homeland' as an acceptable synonym for the United States, we hope they would consider the source.At a time when we're seeking international support to rid the world of terrorism, it would seem incongruous to identify ourselves with a term that portrays a disturbing chauvinism. We are not the homeland. We are a democracy. We are a republic. We are the United States of America.
Are you willing to put your wallet where your mouth is? If these "children" didn't have these jobs they could be a lot worse off. Where they live there is poverty and only a lucky few have the opportunity to work for just pennies a day the rest starve. I know, I came from one of those countries. It is very sad and I can see that your heart is in the right place, but closing down these places is not the answer, we have to try harder to educate the world, and pay unskilled labor reasonable wages. I'm sure that when you are making a purchase you try to pay the least amount and get a bargain. We all do. Well, someone is being exploited somewhere in the world so that we can get things cheap. What you forget is that they have hope in their hearts and what seems like a curse to you could be a blessing for someone who would have nothing if it wasn't for that lousy job.
With the exception of indices, a date appears on every article. It can be found at the bottom of each web page and, since 1997, also in the title field, which is what appears in the search results. -- Editor
No one is saying that she didn't need help, but she could have done something to prevent herself from letting it get this far, she could have prayed, or she could have got up one morning and take and enroll her kids in public schools.
People (women) everyday are beaten and tormented by their husbands/boyfriends, and they have children, but they don't go and kill their kids. The case with Andrea Yates is that it doesn't even appear that he beat her, instead he went out and worked (a really good job) so that she could be so fortunate to get the joy of staying home with her children, which is something a lot of women do not get and wish they could.
Molly Ivins, I love you! In these terrible times, we need you more than ever. Your column is right on. Nobody has quite said it as eloquently.
The Trans Alaska Pipeline system was only pierced by only one (1) bullet. Just think what a determined person could do. A state Trooper was on a local television channel and said it was fired from close range at a 90 degree angle.
Thank you for the piece on the Carlyle Group; I made many copies of that excellent article and sent it all around; most perplexing, I find the NY Times has never done a follow-on piece to their article in March. The most minimal journalistic standards woud, in my view, dictate a follow up, as so many questions were raised.
J. A. Van Sant (New Mexico)
Dick, Are You There?
We haven't seen his face for days...has he died?
Albion Monitor Issue 93 (http://www.monitor.net/monitor) All Rights Reserved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to use in any format.
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