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Friends_ I know this outside our remit - yet find so many relevencies, Subject: A few personal reflections at the end of a terrible day Date: Tue, Sep 11, 2001, 11:22 pm <PRE>============================================================ In Orlando, close to The Magic Of Disney, enjoy an unforgettable family vacation from only $69.00 a night, in a beautiful home with 3bed/2baths & pool <A HREF=" http://click.topica.com/caaacYSaVxicOaVxK27a/Orlando ">http://click.topica.com/caaacYSaVxicOaVxK27a/Orlando</A> ============================================================</PRE> I've been fighting back tears all day as we've watched the televised flames and smoke and death, trying to take in the enormity of what has happened, and trying not to become numb as the tv stations all endlessly looped the tape of the second airliner tearing a hole out of what, on any other day, I would have chided as a 110-story monument to US greed and arrogance. I've been worrying about what lessons will be drawn from these events, and who will draw them, and where the response will lead us. Stepping outside to get some air, I wondered if this was the horror that people in Yugoslavia experienced as US and NATO warplanes and cruise missiles rained destruction on them from a safe distance. And of course it had to be. From ground zero, where the physical victims were, this was also a revisiting, regardless of scale, of the terror of the V2 bombings of London, and the incendiary carpetbombings of Dresden and Tokyo, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So now we can prepare for another round of retaliations, against whomever this administration finds responsible -- with whatever level of proof. There will be ramped up attempts to create a fortress America, with the predictable militarization of civil institutions and erosion of civil liberties. Even now, Rumsfeld is ginning up his arguments for missile defenses and the military occupation of space. And G. W. Bush is already marketing the self-absorbed depiction of the US as the besieged victim of the world's most evil and envious forces. They -- whoever "they" are (and it's far too soon to rule out an organized militia of Timothy McVeighs) -- have destroyed the altar of American capitalism and have torn a hole in the five-cornered symbol of our ability to work our will on the world. They have even forced us to close down Amtrak, Disneyworld, and the casinos of Las Vegas. Gunnar is right. The dominant emotions are bewilderment and disbelief. I can defend neither the American values that came under attack today, nor the means by which they were attacked. But behind all of this, for me, is the sickening realization that no other outcome was ever possible once we started down this path of trying to achieve and maintain economic dominance backed by undefeatable military might. There is no justification whatsoever for what was done today. It was purely evil. But if Americans claim that it was "senseless" -- a word that is already being used by some government officials and reporters -- and if we refuse to understand why it happened and how our own actions in the world have contributed to the hostility on which others have now acted, this will be only the beginning. When our armed forces boasted that they had "prevailed" in the airstrikes over Yugoslavia without the loss of a single American life, and when our governmental institutions were taken over by a gang of corporate thugs whose overriding goal is to guarantee the unimpeded accumulation of wealth for the already wealthy, protected by a permanent nuclear deterrent and a missile shield, we were, in effect, taunting the world with arrogant claims of invincibility. Today someone in the world proved us wrong. I don't know what, if anything, IPPNW can or should say in response to this horror, though I have some thoughts about it. We will sort that out together rather soon, I expect. My personal response is to hope against hope that this country will not retaliate, and will instead reflect long and hard about what it ought to mean to belong to a community of interconnected and interdependent nations, and that we can begin to engage more humbly and cooperatively with those who have rights and interests and values and loved ones other than our own. I fear I will be sadly disappointed, once again. For now, the only possible response is solidarity with the thousands of families devastated by this terrible crime against humanity. -- John Loretz Program Director International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) Executive Editor, Medicine and Global Survival 727 Massachusetts Ave., 2nd floor Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 868-5050, ext. 280 (617) 868-2560 (fax) http://www.ippnw.org http://www.ippnw.org/MGS <PRE>============================================================ TopOffers: the Smart Shoppers Savings Secret! Cool savings. Hot deals. Free stuff. Right in your inbox. 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