The urge for Americans is great, they've even dragged the Europeans into it, and they have to be concerned not to side too much with the US for fear that they too will become targets in the future, yet they couldn't very well refuse to support an ally. It's almost like the treaty entanglements that led to World War One, which set the stage for Two and a host of conflicts.
If we could go back in time to when the US first proposed a military strike against Iraq and warn then to stop and consider that such an action might lead to increased tension and that the very millitary might and superiority the United States was bragging about, would convince its victims that conventional warfare against such a superior force was useless, that the best retaliation they could hope for was just the kind of act committed this week...but they wouldn't have listened as they wouldn't today.
Would America have listened then to such a warning? Of course not...remember how patriotic everyone felt, the same flags were unfurled, the same "strong" speeches made, the same committment to the ideals which this country stood for. They went ahead with the Gulf War and even farther to starvation and murder of innocent civilians and children.
As Americans are outraged and want revenge, which they call justice...so were Iraqis and others outraged and clamoring for justice in the guise of revenge.
These people who flew the planes were not instant fanatics...they were professional pilots who planned for the long haul. They weren't wild-eyed youths who decided one morning to strap a bomb on their backs and go to an Israeli disco. They were pilots, lived and trained in the United States, shopping for food, going to movies, talking with others, maybe dating etc...anything to appear "normal"..and in some sense they were...they thought this thing through and planned it meticulously...the logistics alone, the timing etc. and all undetected, are amazing...nerve shattering.
And would America pause today, as it wouldn't do in 1990, to consider how much worse things could get if it moves ahead? No, it can't afford to, not politically at least, not in a way that would have to justify its military pork barrel. America seems committed to its own undoing, to the ruin of its way of life even as it tries to save that way of life.
If it was up to me, I would apologize to Iraq NOW...not fifty years from now. I'd pull out all troops, I'd offer financial assistance and reparations while ASKING that Iraq show respect for the rights of its minorities...realizing that America itself has had difficulty in this area...but in hopes that Iraq and America could find a better way to live at peace with their mown citizens and each other.
I'd halt all illegal settlements in Palestine immediately, tell the Israelis that we will help guarantee their safety without providing another nickel, but only if they sit dowm immediately and discuss fairly and frankly what needs to be done for the Palestinians...as America should have intervened immediately at the first hint that Jews were being rounded up by the Nazis and their pals. I'd close the refugee camps, give every Palestinian family as much money as it would take to resettle them comfortably elsewhere, provide a Benz for each family, scholarships for their children's medical care...I'd provide jobs in manufacturing or service and try as much as possible to meet their reasonable needs while all the time affirming the fact that Jews needed a homeland because of what WE, WE, WE, have done to them for 2000 years...and that Muslims have plenty of land to share...and that as odd as it may seem, this was the only way to bring peace to all the troubled children in that region from whose ranks the terrorists of tomorrow will come.
The attacks this week were more sophisticated than anything in the past...of course they would be...humans are endlessly ingenuous, for good or ill. It may be that even these kinds of attacks will be old fashioned soon...as simply hijacking a jet to make a point years ago became.
One teaspoon of anthrax or botulism or who know what kind of ugly in the drinking supply of a major Urban center could be devastating and impossible to guard against. Fruits and vegetables coming now from Mexico could be tampered with...poison gas, as the sarin used in the subway attack in Tokyo, could be used at rush hour...and on and on and on.
Airport travel they say has been changed for good...vacations with the family will now begin and end in fear and tension. In time every aspect of what we call "Life" could be so fraught with terror and uncertainty and fear and anger and hatred and anxiety as to make life in America a curse.
The Gulf War made things worse for everybody, though it took longer to hit the United States...any retaliation now will have the same effect, exactly...it's in human nature.
The attack in New York marks the first time America proper has been attacked....the first time it has lost anywhere near the casualties other people have suffered routinely. Pearl Harbor was a military target and Hawaii was not then a state then anyway. This one hit home...at the real AND symbollic center of America and the financial stranglehold America increasingly has on the developing countries. Americans now know what it feels like in Baghdad and any number of other cities and countries...it must be a sobering feeling and yet they react in ways which will only bring more of the same...you can bank on it...just as Colin Powell said..."violence will not end these things"....before the attack on America of course...which has got to be one of the most violent countries ever on the face of this earth. Remember America is the only country to have dropped atomic bombs...TWICE, and on sleeping women, children and old people. Every religion, every ethic, every example teaches that you cannot escape the consequences of the injustice and violence you spread...sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost...and the FBI had Malcolm X killed for stating that simple truth. They haven't learned anything either.
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