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Surely in all this horror, pain and disbelief the unasked word is 'why' and this is just one eloquent piece of the jigsaw. The horror is that Palestinians only have the suicide bomber option - Israel has cruise missiles labelled made in the USA. The world should build a peace garden in memory of every unimaginably terrified and tragic life which will haunt us all - on the site of those towers and the west end the siege mentality in their memory and put out a hand to the world - rather than bomb another poor far away country, already reduced too, to a preindustrial age. best. f. A Palestinian's perspective: The brotherhood of sorrow By Susan Abulhawa I am a Palestinian and I am an American. But today, the title I cherish most is that of a human being. Tuesday, I was supposed to be in New York for a meeting. Instead, I sat red-eyed in front of my TV screen in disbelieving horror. Treachery was engulfing innocent mothers, fathers, sons and daughters before my eyes. Clouds hovered above screaming souls desperately reaching out of the windows of the World Trade Center. Some jumped. It was too much to bear. I didn't realize that my 4-year-old daughter was behind me, watching a symbol of our privilege collapse upon itself. "Why did that building fall down?" she asked. Then the phone rang. Six hangups in a row. Another one: "Die," said the voice at the other end. Reactions on television from people across the country were similar. Many echoed the sentiment of graffiti written in dust on a New York street: "Kill Arabs." One C-Span caller recommended that we seek out Arabs and Muslims wherever they are and bomb them. The outcry is for vengeance. That is normal. I have seen and heard similar sentiments from Palestinians whose sons and daughters were shelled, shot or caught inside their bulldozed homes. And I have heard it from Israelis whose loved ones were killed. I have read calls to vengeance from Iraqis who have watched half a million of their children die of starvation, diseases of the dark ages and strange cancers (from exposure to radioactive bullet casings). The rage, despair, vulnerability, I think, are the very feelings that helped drive the act we witnessed Tuesday. I was appalled to see Palestinian children celebrating in the streets, but I also know how many times we turned a blind eye and left them to pick through body parts to find their loved ones beneath their bombed buildings. I was pleased to hear that Palestinians donated blood and marched in a candelight vigil for American victims. It seemed cynical that CNN did not show those images. Most of those people are refugees, and all of them have at one point or another been the victims of aggression. But most Palestinians interviewed reached through their pain to condemn the act and expressed sorrow for the victims. "We know how they feel," said one Palestinian. "We bury our dead day by day." Today we are suffering the fear, insecurity and bloodshed that many nations have been experiencing for decades. We can lash out indeed. We can destroy Afghanistan. We can round up all Arabs and Muslims in this country. Or maybe we can step outside of our labels and pull together as human beings, all of us, for the victims, who I'm sure are as diverse as America. Awful, gut-wrenching stories are emerging. The little girl who hasn't heard from either of her parents yet. The man who lost his brother but isn't sure on which plane. The woman sifting through rubble and tears looking for her fiance. The wife who pledged her love to her husband on a cell phone moments before crashing into the Pentagon. The valiant firefighters who gave their lives to save others. We are all touched, indeed shaken. We are all horrified by our collective nightmare that came true. Perhaps we can use our pain to understand the suffering of the world around us, be it in Palestine, Rwanda, Puerto Rico, Iraq or Bosnia. The American people, I think, are the kindest, most generous people on this earth. I pray that we will reach beyond the pain to find the stuff that will make us stronger and wiser, the stuff that will help us ask difficult questions and listen to voices ignored for too long. I pray that our leaders will find the courage to reexamine our foreign policy and the use of our weapons that shed innocent blood all over the world, in corners where there are no cameras to capture the horror. As I look to answer my daughter, I know we can make no sense of this. But I pray that we can breathe reason through rage. "Something bad has happened," I say to her. "But you needn't worry because you're perfectly safe." I pray I'm right, and I pray for the parents and children who lost each other Tuesday. This day of endless grief will live until eternity. May God bring all humanity together with his infinite grace. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.