Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
October 1, 2001
U.S. has provided help for terrorists
I have done my share of crying, sometimes in empathy, sometimes in rage. Like you, I lived through a century of violence when scores of innocents were mowed down indiscriminately in far away places.
Of all the human rights violations perpetrated over the last few decades after the great "war to end all wars," the imposition of poverty, hunger and exploitation and exclusion has been the most widespread violence ever and perhaps the least reported as an ongoing act of war against the majority world.
On Sept. 11, I was on my way to Calgary to attend a consultation meeting organized by CIDA to discuss its new approaches to Canada's International Assistance Program. All the way I listened to radio reports describing the horrendous attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon that may have taken over 6,000 civilian lives.
When I arrived at the convention centre in Calgary, the lobby was filled with people watching the televised commentary. Men looked stunned, women were crying. This was not supposed to happen to us.
President George W. Bush wondered out loud why Americans are hated so much to elicit such a devastating blow to the very symbols of American pride.
A week later, in his address to Congress, Bush alluded to the possibility that the terrorists hated American freedom and democracy. This analysis might be patriotic, but it is misleading.
No mention was made of the real roots of terrorism. A people subjected to the terror of unfair trade practices, structural adjustment programs and foreign policies designed to protect North American political and economic interests, will sooner or later lash out in desperation.
All who have visited the Third World have been moved by the resilience of the poor. They accept their poverty and exclusion with grace.
But for how long can you watch your children die, 30,000 to 40,000 every day, before you resolve to resist the forces that perpetuate such injustice? As a friend from India suggested, the horrendous disaster that happened in New York, is but a mosquito bite compared to what happens in the rest of the world all the time.
That does not mean that we should condone such acts of willful destruction, but neither should we condone the inhuman conditions that lead to such acts of violence.
Bush proclaimed self righteously to "bring the terrorist to justice or justice to the terrorists, but justice will be done." He was referring to a wanted, dead or alive, wild west justice.
What is needed is global social justice. It is the absence of such justice that leads to violence.
Bush vowed to root out evil and eliminate the evildoers. Perhaps he doesn't realize the terrorists might have been motivated by the same sentiments.
Bush characterized the terrorists as Nazis and fascists. If he would read the history of his own country, he might discover that almost every fascist regime in the last 50 years was implemented and supported by American interests.
The most obvious example would be that of Chile. Curiously enough, on Sept. 11 as well, but 28 years ago, Henry Kissinger and the CIA staged a military coup which killed the democratically-elected president Salvador Allende and brought Augusto Pinochet to power.
Yet Bush claimed in his speech that the U.S. would not allow "terror to threaten the stability of legitimate governments."
Dear George, in the short history of your nation as an imperial power, numerous governments were toppled in the name of freedom and hundreds of terrorists were trained on U.S. soil to do the dirty work. Read your history and weep.
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