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Will Tears Ever Stop?

Posted by John Gerassi on September 26, 2001 at 00:43:23:

> Will Tears Ever Stop?
> By John Gerassi
> I can't help crying. As soon as I see a person on TV telling the
> heart-rendering story of the tragic fate of their loved-one in the
> Trade Center disaster, I can't control my tears. But then I wonder
> didn't I cry when our troops wiped out some 5,000 poor people in
> El Chorillo neighborhood on the excuse of looking for Noriega.
> Our leaders knew he was hiding elsewhere but we destroyed El
> because the folks living there were nationalists who wanted the
U.S. out
> of Panama completely.
> Worse still, why didn't I cry when we killed two million Vietnamese,
> mostly innocent peasants, in a war which its main architect, Defense
> Secretary Robert McNamara, knew we could not win? When I went to
> blood the other day, I spotted a Cambodian doing the same, three up
> the line, and that reminded me: Why didn't I cry when we helped Pol
> butcher another million by giving him arms and money, because he was
> opposed to "our enemy" (who eventually stopped the killing fields)?
> To stay up but not cry that evening, I decided to go to a movie. I
> Lumumba, at the Film Forum, and again I realized that I hadn't
cried when
> our government arranged for the murder of the Congo's only decent
> leader, to be replaced by General Mobutu, a greedy, vicious,
> dictator. Nor did I cry when the CIA arranged for the overthrow of
> Indonesia's Sukarno, who had fought the Japanese World War II
> and established a free independent country, and then replaced him by
> another General, Suharto, who had collaborated with the Japanese
and who
> proceeded to execute at least half a million "Marxists" (in a
> where, if folks had ever heard of Marx, it was at best Groucho)?
> I watched TV again last night and cried again at the picture of that
> wonderful now-missing father playing with his two-month old child.
> when I remembered the slaughter of thousands of Salvadorans, so
> graphically described in the Times by Ray Bonner, or the rape and
> of those American nuns and lay sisters there, all perpetrated by CIA
> trained and paid agents, I never shed a tear. I even cried when I
> how brave had been Barbara Olson, wife of the Solicitor General,
> political views I detested. But I didn't cry when the US invaded
> wonderful tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada and killed innocent
> who hoped to get a better life by building a tourist airfield,
which my
> government called proof of a Russian base, but then finished
> once the island was secure in the US camp again.
> Why didn't I cry when Ariel Sharon, today Israel's prime minister,
> planned, then ordered, the massacre of two thousand poor
Palestinians in
> the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, the same Sharon who, with
> other Irgun and Stern Gang terrorists become prime ministers as
Begin and
> Shamir, killed the wives and children of British officers by
blowing up
> the King David hotel where they were billeted?
> I guess one only cries only for one's own. But is that a reason to
> vengeance on anyone who might disagree with us? That's what
> seem to want. Certainly our government does, and so too most of our
> media. Do we really believe that we have a right to exploit the
poor folk
> of the world for our benefit, because we claim we are free and they
> So now we're going to go to war. We are certainly entitled to go
> those who killed so many of our innocent brothers and sisters. And
> win, of course. Against Bin Laden. Against Taliban. Against Iraq.
> Against whoever and whatever. In the process we'll kill a few
> children again. Children who have no clothes for the coming winter.
> houses to shelter them. And no schools to learn why they are
guilty, at
> two or four or six years old. Maybe Evangelists Falwell and
> will claim their death is good because they weren't Christians, and
> some State Department spokesperson will tell the world that they
> were so poor that they're now better off.
> And then what? Will we now be able to run the world the way we want
> With all the new legislation establishing massive surveillance of
you and
> me, our CEOs will certainly be pleased that the folks demonstrating
> against globalization will now be cowed for ever. No more riots in
> Seattle, Quebec or Genoa. Peace at last.
> Until next time. Who will it be then? A child grown-up who survived
> massacre of his innocent parents in El Chorillo? A Nicaraguan girl
> learned that her doctor mother and father were murdered by a bunch
> gangsters we called democratic contras who read in the CIA handbook
> the best way to destroy the only government which was trying to
give the
> country's poor a better lot was to kill its teachers, health
> and government farm workers? Or maybe it will be a bitter Chilean
who is
> convinced that his whole family was wiped out on order of Nixon's
> Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who could never tell the
> between a communist and a democratic socialist or even a
> When will we Americans learn that as long as we keep trying to run
> world for the sake of the bottom line, we will suffer someone's
> No war will ever stop terrorism as long as we use terror to have
our way.
> So I stopped crying because I stopped watching TV. I went for a
> Just four houses from mine. There, a crowd had congregated to lay
> flowers and lit candles in front of our local firehouse. It was
> It had been closed since Tuesday because the firemen, a wonderful
> of friendly guys who always greeted neighborhood folks with smiles
> good cheer, had rushed so fast to save the victims of the first
> that they perished with them when it collapsed. And I cried again.
> So I said to myself when I wrote this, don't send it; some of your
> students, colleagues, neighbors will hate you, maybe even harm you.
> then I put on the TV again, and there was Secretary of State Powell
> telling me that it will be okay to go to war against these children,
> these poor folks, these US-haters, because we are civilized and
they are
> not. So I decided to risk it. Maybe, reading this, one more person
> ask: Why are so many people in the world ready to die to give us a taste b> of what we give them?

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