Chicago Indymedia :
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God bless America

In the aftermath of the deaths of perhaps 10,000, people are calling for the murdering of further innocents. How many will Bush have to kill before he is satisfied that we have "passed this test?"
This Tuesday, we experienced what can only be described as a tragedy. However, it was tragic not only because of the massive loss of life, but also because of the ugly and violent reactions which erupted in the aftermath. I can not get my mind around the fact that within hours of the deaths of perhaps over ten thousand, people throughout the country were calling for further death, further acts of terrorism. Can we be so numb to the suffering of some while so sensitive to the deaths of others?
On Tuesday afternoon, I took a packed train home. Most of the passengers were silent. A few, however, were rather vocal about their belief that the only proper response was immediate retaliation. Retaliation against whom? Obviously, against the Middle East. Obviously, not because of any evidence, but because of a reprehensible stereotype of Muslims as mindless, barbaric terrorists. Didn’t we learn anything from the Oklahoma City bombing, when, immediately afterwards, the government and the media placed the blame for the attack on the Middle East, only to have it turn out to have been the work of a lone, white, madman? No, of course not. No, instead the passenger next to me said that he wished the military would blow those Palestinians “to kingdom come.”
This, of course, is not an unique sentiment, by any means. In fact, the media seems to present a choice between immediate retaliation and retaliation in the next few days. Nowhere is there any idea that, perhaps, the best course of action is no retaliation at all. And this is the true tragedy of Tuesday, that, in the midst of all this death, all that we can think about is who were going to blow up to “get even.”
Murdering innocents in the Middle East, though, will not help us get even. If the planes were indeed hijacked by Islamic terrorists, then it was our murdering of their countrymen that led them to engage in these attacks. It was our government which launched a needless war in Iraq, our government which launched terrorist bombings at Libya under President Reagan, our government which gives military aid to Israel, which then goes on to assassinate Palestinian leaders and attack civilian populations. If these terrorists were from the Middle East, then they were not waging a war on “civilization,” nor a war on “freedom,” but were quite self-consciously waging a war against our country, a county which has quite self-consciously waged war on them for decades. What worries me is that if Ronald Reagan was willing to kill over a hundred Libyans in retaliation for the death one American soldier, how many will George Bush have to kill to make up for the deaths of ten thousand? Hopefully, he wont be able to kill any innocents, and there will be a public outcry to end the killing here and now. I, however, am doubtful. Doubtful, and saddened.



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