Terror is in the mind of the beholder: join Afghan war protesters
The fact that “we” are reportedly moving “out of Afghanistan” notwithstanding, I believe the following to be representative of an upswelling of newly informed outrage at the policies and actions that, unchecked, may well bully this beleaguered planet into George Bush Sr.’s deeply held personal mythology: Armageddon. (He is reported to quote often from Revelations.)
In the days following the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, I found myself searching through the morass of television media in attempt to ascertain what response might be forthcoming from the Bush administration to this horrific criminal act, as the hope for a World Court Tribunal faded with every cowboy quip George Dubya bellowed. I came upon a late-night interview with the commander who had led the (new-called, since we are now “friends” with Russia) “campaign” against Afghanistan. In response to the interviewer’s question as to “what it will take to ‘take’ Afghanistan,” this comrade confessed, in his rather apologetic Russian-English, “To get into those high desert canyons, I’m afraid you will have to use napalm.”
Napalm. (Will we wonder that we will not be seeing any images coming out of the Mideast such as the one that helped end the travesty in Vietnam … the photo of the burning, terrified young girl fleeing from her napalmed village?)
I like Ike:
The Bush administration’s so-called “War on Terror” grieves me not because I’ve recently been called a “terrorist” by a few anonymous phone abusers (for my pro-peace ideology), but because I have so deeply valued the constructed philosophies (borrowed from the Seneca Nation) bequeathed to this young nation by its founding fathers. I am reminded that, after the Spanish Civil War and World War II, this nation was revered by the world, honored as a heroic people whose compassionate moral principles dictated our foreign policy. Can we ask ourselves why, in one short-memoried generation, this extraordinary attempt at humane and equitable government that was “America,” has been molded into the Third World’s most feared and despised national entity? Professor Noam Chomsky cites public-domain State Department records from 1948, when the United States was at an energy-policy crossroads. The decision to continue with status-quo oil exploitation (as opposed to offering incentives for alternative-energy production) was consciously made “in order to maintain the economic disparity between the United States and the Third World.” Shall we consider whether this objective might be an overtly immoral one? President Eisenhower warned that the greatest challenge facing our nation post-WWII would be the imperative gearing down of the war machine. In that endeavor, do we fail? Do we fall to the mercy of profit-driven war mongers and the fear and prejudice that is their legacy?
East-Indian author Arundhati Roy, Molly Ivins and William Thomas (among others) report that the Taliban had been unsuccessfully wooed during the Papa Bush and Clinton administrations. These overtures have taken place in Houston, home of Enron, Maxxam and Bush babies. The negotiations for the oil pipeline across northern Afghanistan, during Clinton’s tenure, were apparently quashed by American feminists, who objected to any alliance with the Taliban and their brutally oppressive treatment of newly conquered women. So Hill & Knowlton (the ad agency that sold us the Gulf War) knew it had to market any new-risen conflict opportunities to North America’s newly found, politically correct feminist consciousness. They appear to know what they’re doing. Do we? And, who are “They?”
Ivy League white men:
Can we ask ourselves who might profit from a pipeline through Afghanistan to lucrative Asian markets? We might observe that the Carlyle Group (described by the Industry Standard as “the world’s largest private equity firm”) invests in the defense sector and makes its money from military conflicts/weapons spending. Carlyle is run by men with impeccable credentials: Chairman/managing director is Frank Carlucci (college roommate of Donald Rumsfeld); other partners include former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III and Fred Malek (Bush Sr.’s campaign manager). And Papa Bush is reportedly paid not inconsiderable sums of money to make “presentations” for the Carlyle Group to potential government-clients from Asian markets. And may we not forget that other allied branch of the Bush/Cheney traditional family business – oil.
“And the desert and the parched lands will exult … the steppe will rejoice and bloom … .” The horrors that have been inflicted, by a succession of superpowers, on this once friendliest of peoples have engendered a race of woman-hating orphans. The Taliban continue to thrive on the enraged human rubble (“collateral”) in the wake of the unconscionable allied bombings of culturally rich, notably honest and heretofore independent peoples. The reports we may someday be allowed to receive from the front (numbers of those killed and maimed) will not tell us of their suffering … of the stilled silence of children, the anguish of fathers, the grief of mothers, the screaming of horses.
And as for the bombings that will have “liberated” the women of Afghanistan (and Somalia, and Iraq, etc?), let us pray for the survival of their once-arable lands, for the marigolds and sweet basil, for what may be left of the dye plants and high-mountain sheep whose prized wools are employed for use in the exquisite traditional textiles of these extraordinary people.
Let us ask what might be left of the people. We will not be told about the napalm.
“What then shall we do?”
Americans from 142 organizing centers nationwide are gearing up for an action of political dissent which is building into the largest anti-war demonstration our great country has yet seen. Only two cities are designated for this action: Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. The Union’s readers are invited to join their neighbors in boarding chartered buses from Grass Valley or carpooling to San Francisco April 20. Buses depart Grass Valley at 7:30 a.m. and return 5 to 7 p.m. If you are able to sponsor seating ($30 per seat) for students, seniors or low-income persons, money can be received by P.E.A.C.E, a local nonprofit organization committed to providing enrichment/educational opportunities for the community, at 470-9797, P.O. Box 2505, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Thanks go to BriarPatch Co-op, Flour Garden Bakery and Wolavers for donating food and drink for the ride. And thanks for support from KVMR 89.5 FM Community Radio. For further information, go to Yubanet.com or http://www.internationalANSWER.org
Good people of Nevada County, you are invited to join your neighbors in making history – a better history – for our children.
Loraine Webb lives in Nevada City.
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