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Topic: We Should Not Have Allowed 19 Murderers to Change our World

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Ojai, California

    We Should Not Have Allowed 19 Murderers to Change our World

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    We Should Not Have Allowed 19 Murderers to Change our World
    By Robert Fisk
    The Independent U.K.

    Saturday 11 September 2004

    So, three years after the international crimes against humanity in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania we were bombing Fallujah. Come again? Hands up those who knew the name of Fallujah on 11 September 2001. Or Samarra. Or Ramadi. Or Anbar province. Or Amarah. Or Tel Afar, the latest target in our "war on terror'' although most of us would find it hard to locate on a map (look at northern Iraq, find Mosul and go one inch to the left). Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.

    Three years ago, it was all about Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'ida; then, at about the time of the Enron scandal ~ and I have a New York professor to thank for spotting the switching point ~ it was Saddam and weapons of mass destruction and 45 minutes and human rights abuses in Iraq and, well, the rest is history. And now, at last, the Americans admit that vast areas of Iraq are outside government control. We are going to have to "liberate" them, all over again.

    Like we reliberated Najaf and Kufa, "to kill or capture Muqtada Sadr'', according to Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, and like we lay siege to Fallujah back in April when we claimed, or at least the US Marines did, that we were going to eliminate "terrorism'' in the city. In fact, its local military commander has since had his head chopped off by the insurgents and Fallujah, save for an occasional bloody air raid, remains outside all government control.

    These past two weeks, I've been learning a lot about the hatred Iraqis feel towards us. Trowelling back through my reporter's notebooks of the 1990s, I've found page after page of my hand-written evidence of Iraqi anger; fury at the sanctions which killed half a million children, indignation by doctors at our use of depleted uranium shells in the 1991 Gulf War (we used them again last year, but let's take these things one rage at a time) and deep, abiding resentment towards us, the West. One article I wrote for The Independent in 1998 asked why Iraqis do not tear us limb from limb, which is what some Iraqis did to the American mercenaries they killed in Fallujah last April.

    But we expected to be loved, welcomed, greeted, fêted, embraced by these people. First, we bombarded Stone Age Afghanistan and proclaimed it "liberated", then we invaded Iraq to "liberate" Iraqis too. Wouldn't the Shia love us? Didn't we get rid of Saddam Hussein? Well, history tells a different story. We dumped the Sunni Muslim King Feisal on the Shia Muslims in the 1920s. Then we encouraged them to rise against Saddam in 1991, and left them to die in Saddam's torture chambers. And now, we reassemble Saddam's old rascals, their torturers, and put them back in power to "fight terror'', and we lay siege to Muqtada Sadr in Najaf.

    We all have our memories of 11 September 2001. I was on a plane heading for America. And I remember, as the foreign desk at The Independent told me over the aircraft's satellite phone of each new massacre in the United States, how I told the captain, and how the crew and I prowled the plane to look for possible suicide pilots. I think I found about 13; alas, of course, they were all Arabs and completely innocent. But it told me of the new world in which I was supposed to live. "Them'' and "Us''.

    In my airline seat, I started to write my story for that night's paper. Then I stopped and asked the foreign desk in London ~ by this time the aircraft was dumping its fuel off Ireland before returning to Europe ~ to connect me to the newspaper's copytaker, because only by "talking" my story to her, rather than writing it, could I find the words I needed. And so I "talked" my report, of folly and betrayal and lies in the Middle East, of injustice and cruelty and war, so it had come to this.

    And in the days to come I learnt, too, what this meant. Merely to ask why the murderers of 11 September had done their bloody deeds was to befriend "terrorism". Merely to ask what had been in the minds of the killers was to give them support. Any cop, confronted by any crime, looks for a motive. But confronted by an international crime against humanity, we were not to be allowed to seek the motive. America's relations with the Middle East, especially the nature of its relationship with Israel, was to remain an unspoken and unquestioned subject.

    I've come to understand, in the three years since, what this means. Don't ask questions. Even when I was almost killed by a crowd of Afghans in December 2001 ~ furious that their relatives had been killed in B-52 strikes ~ The Wall Street Journal announced in a headline that I had "got my due" because I was a "multiculturalist". I still get letters telling me that my mother, Peggy, was Adolf Eichmann's daughter.

    Peggy was in the RAF in 1940, repairing radios on damaged Spitfires, as I recalled at her funeral in 1998. But I also remember, at the service in the chancel of the little stone Kentish church, that I angrily suggested that if President Bill Clinton had spent as much money on research into Parkinson's disease as he had just spent in firing cruise missiles into Afghanistan at Osama bin Laden (and it must have been the first time Bin Laden's name was uttered in the precincts of the Church of England) then my mother would not have been in the wooden box beside me.

    She missed 11 September 2001 by three years and a day. But there was one thing she would, I feel sure, have agreed with me: That we should not allow 19 murderers to change our world. George Bush and Tony Blair are doing their best to make sure the murderers DO change our world. And that is why we are in Iraq.

  2. #2

    Re: We Should Not Have Allowed 19 Murderers to Change our World

    Three Years Later
    9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Statement

    Saturday 11 September 2004

    Nearly three years ago, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was born out of a shared belief that America's military response to the 9/11 attacks which took our loved ones' lives would result in the deaths of countless innocent civilians and increase recruitment for terrorist causes, making the United States, and the world, less safe and less free for generations to come.

    Today, as we commemorate September 11, 2004, we find that our worst fears have been realized. The terrorism of September 11th has been neither neutralized, nor ended, by the terrorism of war.

    Since our bombing and military action in Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of more than 130 American troops and an estimated 4,000 civilians - and compounded by our failure to rebuild that broken nation - we have seen the return of Taliban warlords, the departure of relief agencies, and the continuing deaths of American service people and innocent civilians. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that he is seeking the support of former Taliban officials in an effort to stabilize the political process. Osama bin Laden remains at large, and al-Qaeda remains a potent terrorist force, as evidenced by the March 11 train bombings in Madrid, Spain.

    Our illegal, immoral and unjustified invasion of Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with the September 11th attacks, has cost the lives of 1,000 American troops and an estimated 12,000 Iraqi civilians, while leaving tens of thousands of others physically and emotionally traumatized. Today, our continuing occupation, our failure to provide basic services like electricity and water, and our torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib has turned Iraq into a focus of anti-American sentiment where a new generation of terrorists is being recruited from around the world.

    In Guantánamo, approximately 600 detainees from 40 countries remain incarcerated without charge and without access to lawyers. Those who have been returned to their home countries attest to conditions that violate the Geneva Conventions and our own democratic principles. In America, the USA Patriot Act gives government free reign to surveil law-abiding citizens. Restrictions on peaceful protest mock our Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and assembly. Meanwhile, bias crimes and discrimination continue to cast a shadow over our nation.

    That all of this has been done in the names of our loved ones who died on September 11th makes the suffering of their innocent counterparts around the world even harder to take. When actions that are making the world less secure are carried out in the name of US security, we must reconsider the true sources of the security, freedom, and respect we once commanded around the globe.

    Is the source of our security and freedom the exercise of overwhelming military power? Have we found security and freedom by dividing the world into "us and them," and labeling entire nations "evil"? Three years ago, the French declared, "We are all Americans," and Iranians held spontaneous candlelight vigils for our dead. Today, American prestige is at an all-time low. Friend and foe alike tremble at the sense of exceptionalism that drives America to conduct pre-emptive war.

    And what example have we set by our use of violence as a tool for addressing complex grievances? In the past week, heartbreaking pictures of children abducted and killed in Russia remind us that terrorism against civilian populations, which did not begin on September 11th, has not abated as a result of our actions since then. In Iraq, abductions of more than 40 civilians from nations including Japan, Jordan, Italy, China, Ukraine, South Korea, Egypt, Nepal, India, Kenya, the Philippines, Bulgaria and our own have escalated the level of human suffering.

    On September 11th, 2002, we urged America to participate fully in the global community, by honoring international treaties, endorsing and participating in the International Criminal Court, following the United Nations charter, and agreeing in word and action to the precepts of international law. Today, we redouble our call for America to return to full membership in the community of nations.

    We call for an end to war as our nation's one blunt instrument of foreign policy in our increasingly complex world. We recognize that our freedoms and security derive not from politicians or the Pentagon, but from our Constitution, and call on all Americans to rise in its defense against the triple threats of fear, lies and ignorance.

    Finally, we draw hope from those around the globe whose historical experiences of terrorism and war have brought them not to a place of vengeance, but to a commitment to creating a peaceful world. They include victims of the violence in Israel and Palestine; families of victims of the Bali nightclub bombing; family members of those killed in Oklahoma City; atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki; those who survived the bombing of Guernica, Spain and Dresden, Germany; those affected by terrorism in Kenya; Cambodia; Chechnya; South Africa; Northern Ireland; Bosnia; Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Through their witness and their efforts towards reconciliation, they have demonstrated that peace begins in the heart of every individual, and that people united have an unparalleled power to change the world.

    Every day, we choose to create the world we want to live in, through our words and through our actions. Today, we reach out to others around the world who recognize that war is not the answer. Today, three years after September 11th, we continue to choose peace.

    -September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

  3. #3

    Re: We Should Not Have Allowed 19 Murderers to Change our World

    Nor will it end by negotiating with E.U. and Coffee Anon, as Russia has found out.

    Been going on for more that 30 ~ 40 years (remember the Berlin oympics?).

    But if blamig Bush everyday lets you vent some your frustration - I understand - don't agree one bit - but understand.

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