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Posted by FYI on September 28, 2001 at 00:25:59:

By Dr. Louise Wisechild
I pressed my palm against my heart and listened to the Pledge of
Allegiance as my neighbors recited it around me on the grass in front
the local fire station. In our other hands we held small flickering
candles which grew brighter in the gathering dusk. Even as we
for those who had lost their lives and loved ones we pledged allegiance
to a country of liberty and justice for all.

Although President Bush invoked justice, not once has he spoken of
process or trials to separate the guilty from the innocent. Nor did he
talk of capturing only those individuals responsible for this tragic
crime against us. Instead our government has declared war against
thousands of alleged terrorists and future terrorists. Is this justice
or vigilantism?

President Bush says we are hated because we have a democratically
elected government and the freedom to disagree. It is hard to imagine
in this regard that we have lately given them much to hate between our
Presidential non- election, our current lack of Congressional debate,
and our newly formed Office of Homeland Security. It was not the
of Congress that the terrorists chose to strike. Rather their targets
were the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, symbols of American
policies which have caused enormous global suffering. From Columbia
Cuba, Palestine to Iraq, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, and Puerto Rico
name just a few, people have lost loved ones, land, livelihood, and
human rights because of the arrogant, uncaring action of our government
and trade organizations. Our heartbreak at this tragic loss of life is
the same pain we as a nation have caused in countries around the globe.

Now our government has determined to ignore this pain. Rather, today
we have divided the world into those for us or against us, forgetting
there are nations and peoples who ask no more than to be for
themselves. Among these are people who have never known freedom
our CIA toppled their democratically elected governments, assassinated
their leaders and funded totalitarian rulers.

This same intelligence network President Bush is now calling upon to
save us from terrorists has helped to create them, from the training of
Osama bin Laden by the CIA to our past support of the Taliban itself.
How can we possibly trust these agencies to work for democracy when
again and again they have interceded on behalf of despotic brutal
regimes? How will they separate the terrorists from people who simply
donít benefit our economic interests, like the indigenous people around
the world who struggle to rise up against our crushing trade policies
which benefit the wealthy and leave the rest of the world hungry and
poorer than they have ever been.

If we are to bring light to the face of this tragedy, we must stand by
our democratic mechanisms of justice in bringing those responsible for
the attacks to trial. Instead of fighting a war without end, we must
touch our hearts and promise to honor freedom
Louise M. Wisechild, Ph.D., is an author and educator who lives on
Vashon Island.

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