Towers of Death, Winds of War
Life in the USA changed rather suddenly after the events of September
11, 2001. What happened in the World Trade Center in New York and
in the Pentagon in Washington DC was a horrible and inexcusable
act of terror. Something like it has never happened in this country.
But for the world at large this was not a first.
vast majority of those who died in the sickening events of 9/11
were wage workers, for whom life was already a day-to-day struggle
to survive and not fall off the treadmill that represents existence
for all except a tiny wealthy minority. But people just like them
living in other countries have already been confronting such dangers.
Over the last 10 years, more than 1 million Iraqis have died due
to water-borne diseases caused by a water system that was deliberately
destroyed by US bombing, with the full knowledge of the consequences,
and also due to contamination from depleted uranium ammunition used
by US forces during the war and on-going US and British military
activities. In Indochina, people still die due to residual Agent
Orange and other toxic chemicals used by US forces during the war
that ended over 25 years ago.
Years of US-sponsored warfare, much of it carried out by paramilitary
death squads, have taken an enormous toll upon the population of
Central America. And one of the coordinators of that atrocity, former
US ambassador to Honduras John Negroponte, was approved to be ambassador
to the UN just three days after 9/11. Peasants, wildlife and crops
in Colombia are being killed daily by chemical spraying that is
part of the US-sponsored War on (some) Drugs, which also involves
the mass use of death squads.
Every day, Palestinians in the occupied territories have to endure military
attacks designed to terrorize them,while occasionaly Israeli working
people get visited by suicide bombers. And beyond these blatant
horrors we have the daily operation of the global capital accumulation
machine, with its sweatshops, toxic dumps, habitat destruction,
soil and water depletion, and the grinding down of human community
and spirit in the din of production, most of it useless if not destructive.
The world's ruling circles do not use tactics such as flying airliners
into skyscrapers. As Edward Peck, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq
pointed out on CNN (indymedia),they
don't need to - they have military power. It took but days after
the events for the US ruling apparatus to push through a now totally
pliant Congress a declaration of war that is even looser than the
Gulf of Tonkin resolution,which led to the open-ended escalation
of the war in Vietnam. President Bush is authorized to make war
on not only terrorist groups, but also any nation and individuals
he determines are aiding them. Also being pushed are measures
to hack away what few civil liberties we do have, (already, bills
authorizing massive wiretapping of phones and computers are being
approved) and to remove constraints upon the US security apparatus
-The CIA, DIA, NSA, FBI- so as to improve their functioning. This
may not be an inside job, a 21st Century Reichstag fire, but the
powers-that-be nevertheless are taking advantage of it as much as
This more than ever is a time to say NO!! The terror in New York and
Washington is but a continuation of the terror that is already daily
existence for most of the world. And more terror will solve nothing.
It is high time to dismantle the entire machinery of global capital
accumulation for which terror is increasingly an anchoring pillar.
(September 16, 2001)
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights