View Full Version : Another point of view

14th Sep 2001, 16:07
Sympathy is too trite a word to describe the emotions the whole world feels for the occupants of the buildings and the passengers and crew of the hijacked airplanes. It is truly a crime against humanity.
The following are excerpts from an article written by an American journalist. It allows another point of view to the tragedy. No doubt I will be flamed by many of our resident bigots. Just try to remember that freedom is speech is enshrined in the U.S. constitution.

null'It's not the US they want to destroy. It's our arrogance' By Reeta Sinha

...When terrorists crashed passenger
planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon building in the US, someone, some group of people, was pushing back. The message seems pretty clear: the wealthy, powerful king had to be knocked off the hill.

What would drive some people to take such extreme measures? Why would anyone go to these lengths to hurt the United States?

I can come up with only one answer. It's not us they hate. It's not the US they want to destroy. It's our arrogance.

But it isn't the US these terrorists want. They don't want our land, our buildings, our wealth, our leaders or our people. I think they are just sick and tired of being pushed around. As I write this, I don't know who
'they' are. It doesn't matter whether these terrorists came from outside the US or from within. As we saw with the Oklahoma bombing a few years ago, there are many inside the US who feel pushed around, who feel they are not included when US leaders tell the world, 'we are the best, we are the smartest, we are the most powerful, we are No.1.

The question is being asked repeatedly by media analysts: how did the US miss such a sophisticated attack? In my opinion, the answer is simple. The US arrogantly underestimated its perceived and known enemies.
Because we're No 1. They are scum, they are evil, they're cowards, and they are stupid. How could 'they' ever get us? White extremists or Arab terrorists, we're better, we're smarter, we're ready. We have stealth
bombers and space-age missile defense systems, we can land on the moon and go to Mars. We're rich, we're invincible. We're America.

The reality is we're so full of it and now, thousands of innocent people have paid the price for the arrogance of some in the US.

It doesn't take much to realize just how well organized and clever these terrorists were. While the US and its allies talk of arsenals filled with expensive high-tech weapons to combat biological warfare and fight star wars, a group of people using nothing more than knives and combined brain
power brought the US to a halt. Consider the following:
Four commercial planes with huge quantities of fuel simultaneously hijacked from four metro US airports Four sets of hijackers who knew how to pilot the jets (unlike many previous hijackings in the world)
Two strategically critical targets selected
Two successful strikes to the World Trade Center towers where the buildings were structurally most vulnerable No US media outlets affected, ensuring maximum visibility to these attacks.
To this point, no evidence available to determine who is responsible, leaving the US powerless to retaliate These terrorists have made a mockery of the CIA who seem to have no clue that an attack of such magnitude was even possible, let alone imminent. They have put the FAA to shame, as its radar screens showed four flights veering off-course and, apparently, with no indication the planes had been hijacked. Airport security has been deemed lax for years, yet there have been no noticeable improvements. The terrorists have left US leaders virtually powerless -- they can only repeat the now almost meaningless
words claiming US greatness, strength and its resolve to hold other countries responsible, never once recognizing its own weaknesses and faults.

As calls for retaliation (against whom?) grow, as news analyses continue into the early hours of the morning after, I doubt it matters -- all this talk of US superiority and freedom. Imagine for a moment you are sitting in those planes, facing certain death, or in an office in the Pentagon or the World Trade Center, unaware just how close death is. Terrorism is about people. Perhaps one day the world's leader will realize this.


Golden Monkey
14th Sep 2001, 23:52
It's good to read "outside" the box, L1011 - whether you agree or disagree. That's why JetBlast, for instance, is such a great forum. Here's another alternate journalistic view of the reasons "why". Not saying I subscribe to this school of thought but the opening paragraph about the Afghanistan legacy is certainly very interesting.

Author bio, before anyone assumes anything about his origin or credentials :

John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney. he has been a war correspondent, film-maker and playwright. Based in London, he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism's highest award, that of 'Journalist of the Year', for his work in Vietnam and Cambodia. Among a number of other awards he has been 'International Reporter of the Year' and winner of the 'United Nations Association Media Prize'. For his broadcasting, he has won an 'American Television Academy Award', an 'Emmy' and the 'Richard Dimbleby Award', given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

John Pilger cuts through the rhetoric and cynical exploitation of the terrible events in New York and Washington, to reveal the underlying causes of Anti-Western sentiment.
Pilgers site is worth a visit to delve beneath the seamless wall of lies covering Western terrorism and covert war.
13 Sep 2001

If the attacks on America have their source in the Islamic world, who can be surprised? Two days earlier, eight people were killed in southern Iraq when British and American planes bombed civilian areas. Not a word appeared in the mainstream media. An estimated 200,000 Iraqis, according to the Health Education Trust, died during and in the immediate aftermath of the slaughter known as the Gulf war. This was never news that touched public consciousness in the west. At least a million civilians, half of them children, have since died in Iraq as a result of a medieval embargo imposed by the United States and Britain. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, the mujahedin, which gave birth to the fanatical Taliban, was largely the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency; the terrorist training camps where Osama Bin Laden, "America's most wanted man", allegedly planned his attacks, were built with American money and backing. In Palestine, the enduring illegal occupation by Israel would have collapsed long ago were it not for American backing.

Far from being the terrorists of the world, the Islamic peoples have been its victims - that is, the victims of American fundamentalism, whose power, in all its forms, military, strategic and economic, is the greatest source of terrorism on earth. This fact is largely censored from the western media. That Tony Blair, whose government sells lethal weapons to Israel and has sprayed Iraq and Yugoslavia with cluster bombs and depleted uranium and was the greatest arms supplier to the genocidists in Indonesia, can be taken seriously when he now speaks about the "shame" of the "new evil of mass terrorism" says much about the censorship of our collective sense of how the world is managed. One of Blair's favourite words - fatuous - comes to mind. Alas, it is no comfort to the families of the thousands of ordinary Americans who have died so terribly that the perpetrators of their suffering may be the product of western policies.

I was writing about Palestine and censorship when the attacks in America took place. A friend, a distinguished American photojournalist, told me how he had stood up at a debate on media censorship in New York the other day and asked why Israel's oppression of an Arab nation, a construct of American power, was not recognised in American political life and the media. He was called an anti-Semite. It is not quite as bad in this country. The censorship is more subtle: the collaborative silence of the Jewish establishment, together with the BBC's promotion of moral equivalence between oppressor and oppressed while adhering essentially to Israel's and CNN's news agenda. The Times, says its former Middle East correspondent Sam Kiley, routinely censored his reports in Israel's favour.

It is left to a courageous few to tell the truth. Among them are two Israeli dissidents: the poet and novelist Yitzhak Laor and the journalist Amira Hass. With the recent death of the indomitable peace campaigner Israel Shahak, they represent an endangered species in their own country. In the current issue of New Left Review, Laor exposes the liberal Zionists "whose voices are heard over and over again". The notion that there is real difference between the Israeli Labour Party and Likud has been their constant refrain and central to coverage of Israel in Europe and America, often presented in the foreign media as "the contrast between peace and war".

There was no choice between Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. Barak's peace proposal, as Laor points out, was "the lying sales-talk of all those who marketed a shopping list for the Palestinians that offered them '90 per cent' of the West Bank: that is, 90 per cent of what would be left of it after Israel kept its expansion around Jerusalem, its military roads and bases, its settlements . . . What is unthinkable is to envisage them as citizens of their own country, capable of travelling from place to place within it without countless roadblocks (which Barak's map granted them for ever)."

Barak's "peace" was given a lot of fanfare in Britain. The Guardian published an effusive article by the Israeli novelist Amos Oz, who is often misrepresented as a dissenter. Oz anointed Barak with "Ben-Gurion's courage": a name that every Palestinian has cause to revile. "Barak didn't release one Palestinian prisoner during the 18 months of his premiership," writes Laor. "He didn't dismantle one settlement. On the contrary, during his short career the greatest expansion of the settlements occurred."

Laor quotes the philosopher Menachem Brinker, another "reasonable" voice of the Zionist left. "Israel cannot under any circumstances," wrote Brinker, "accept the Palestinian demand regarding its legal and moral responsibility for the departure of the Palestinian refugees. What the Palestinians are demanding is a matter for historians, not for politicians. . . a question for Benny Morris [the Israeli historian]." Laor describes this as an example of "the racism of Zionist intellectuals". So the refugee camps, he writes despairingly, "are not a political issue. They are material for [Jewish]scholarship . . . There is no Palestinian voice even in examining the 'historical question'."

Amira Hass writes a column in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. In 1993, she went to live in Gaza. Her subsequent book Drinking the Sea at Gaza (Hamish Hamilton, London) is brilliant, evocative truth-telling that, at last, makes one proud to be a journalist. I urge New Statesman readers to buy this book. Hass describes the everyday suffering of an occupied people with facts she has witnessed and felt: the terrorism and destruction of families, the casual vandalism by the army, the capricious and vicious policies, such as "closure", imprisoning a whole society at a stroke, and the heartache and anger of those who must live within a few smiles of the ruins of their homes, unable even to touch the ground, let alone go home.

How eloquently she describes the big Israeli lie: "Inherited and manipulated fear, the perception of oneself as the perennial victim, and the primordial Jewish dread of the gentile are projected on to the other people who live in the same country. In this light, all Palestinian behaviour is explained in terms of past Jewish experience, and Islamic religious texts and manifestations are interpreted accordingly, as the expression of fanatics only."

As she points out, Hamas, representing the kind of fanaticism that may have caused the carnage in America, did not exist until Israel's outright rejection of a Palestinian state. She devotes a page to a map of Palestinian communities destroyed by the Zionists, given Israeli names and occupants. To study it sends a chill; it could be Poland or Sudetenland 62 years ago. Hass does not spare Yasser Arafat and his acceptance of the fakery of the American-designed Oslo Accords: his failure to stop Jewish settlements, to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners and ease the Palestinians' chronic economic reliance on their colonial oppressor, while ensuring freedom of movement and business opportunities for his own elite. "By creating such divisions and dependency, Israel has ensured Palestinian complicity with separation, an extremely sophisticated method of restraint reminiscent of apartheid."

Amira Hass's mother, Hannah, was marched from a cattle train to Bergen-Belsen on a summer's day in 1944. "She saw these German women looking at the prisoners, just looking." Her daughter regards "looking from the side" as despicable. Those Europeans and Americans who have looked at the suffering of the Palestinians "from the side" and have accepted the equality of oppressor and oppressed while allowing the lessons of the Holocaust to serve only the oppressor, should heed her words, now that the daily horror has come home.

15th Sep 2001, 06:45
Whoever you support - bearing in mind that this is a PILOTS network - you surely can never condone the cowardly actions against innocent civilians that were perpetrated on the 11th of Sept.........

15th Sep 2001, 07:06
L1011, CZBB, and John Pilger are defintely on the other side in this. I won't grace their position by attempting to argue each point they submit.

Pilger of all the three really needs to study some facts about that great slaughter as he calls the Gulf War. My recollection of that event reminds me that the innocent victims he calls the Armed Forces of Iraq had invaded a neighboring country and performed all manner of atrocities. The fact they died by the tens of thousands for that in no way makes the Western coalition guilty of any thing.

Me thinks these three are bitter that each time evil swine attack us, we return that aggression and succeed in thwarting their ambition.

You are afraid to use your own words and know you do not argue from the higher moral ground here. You know you are wrong and thus you use other's words as an excuse to prevent being shown what you are.

To use an American helicopter pilot phrase here guys..."That has got to be your ass talking...because your mouth knows better!" :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

15th Sep 2001, 07:53
John Pilger is a sh!t-stirring [email protected] but in the past hes been proven to be right on the button. You have to dig very deep though and get past the popular media. I think everyone already knew the taliban was an unintended result of the CIA without him having to say it.

Squawk 8888
15th Sep 2001, 09:49
As repellent as these diatribes are, I support their publication for the same reasons that I support the rights of Holocaust deniers and the Klan to disseminate their repugnant opinions, and the same reason that I subject myself to the drivel in our local weekly "alternative" rag (http://www.nowtoronto.com). Before we can defeat our enemy, it is vital that we understand his motives.

Golden Monkey
15th Sep 2001, 14:12
Heloplt, I'm not even going to dignify your post with a response. I had friends in Manhattan for goodness' sake.

Squawk 8888 has it exactly right. Clearly we are all shocked and disgusted at these actions. To mount an effective response, we need to try and understand the problem so it can be eliminated at source; and we will, in future, never again be one step behind. Reinforcing our collective blinkers on the world ain't going to help.

15th Sep 2001, 17:53
I guess using Pilger's logic we can blame Chamberlin for Hitler, Churchhill for Tito, Roosevelt for Ho Chi Minh, Eisenhower for Castro...the list goes on. Pilger has the luxury of standing as as a spectator watching the video replay and coming up with a talk over. Unless the Western democracies stand up to evil regimes then we invariably have to endure tremendous losses when we have that confrontation forced upon us.

For one, I hope we do not resort to bombs and bullets....I would much prefer a good hemp rope and a noose on the grounds of the WTC disaster and put it on television for the entire world to watch. Hang the culprits so that anyone watching can see the price of being a terrorist. I also think we should do it the Arab way...don't drop them...drag'em up off the ground. Just like they did LtCol. Higgins, USMC, in Lebanon.

We have let the terrorists have a pass for too many years...that policy is over. You can argue cause vice justification all you want but in reality, by taking that attitude you become part of the problem. The only position to have on this matter is to present a unified front that condemns terrorist acts no matter who the target is, no matter which group does it, no matter their reasons. That is the only way the civilized world is to be rid of this scourge.

The old saying is so true..."The enemy of my enemy is my friend." The converse holds as well.


16th Sep 2001, 11:52
How about another viewpoint. That the Iraqis the Palastinians, the IRA the Basque Seperatists the Red Army The Black September and the multitude of other 'true representatives' of oppressed minorities that choose extreme violence, generaly aimed at 'soft targets' ie innocent unprotected bystanders. These people and the ones who choose to pull down destroy and maim. They are violent extremists who do not care for anything or anybody who oppose them. Their dialog is hate filled rhetoric and they slither through the darkness hiding from the majority of society or congregate in countries whose regimes are as violent intolerant and opressive as themselves.
Consider them well before siding with them and if you feel them justified in using the methods they employ, join them for they are then your friends.

[ 16 September 2001: Message edited by: Paterbrat ]

Golden Monkey
16th Sep 2001, 19:18
Not wishing to drag this discussion out any further than necessary but I feel the need to clarify a couple of things about the Pilger piece which has predictably been jumped on. This is a man who has spent a large part of his life living and reporting in the region, and hence clearly has a more reasoned perspective on what people there think than those who’s grasp of foreign affairs comes from ABC and CNN. NOWHERE in the article does he justify the atrocities of September the 11th, or attempt to excuse or diminish them.

What he is trying to do is explain the motives of the perpetrators. Which, as has been observed by others on many threads, is absolutely vital in order to produce a viable strategy to prevent such heinous acts from happening again. Bombing hell out of some backward country in the Middle East isn’t going to solve anything, and will only add to the problem.

Hanging those RESPONSIBLE Heloplt, yeah, I’m up for that – the guilty need to be found, swiftly, and the threat eradicated. And then we must address the longer term problems, such as policies toward the middle east and Israel. Imagine, if you will, the difficulties created by plonking an aggressive Arab nation in between the states of Texas and Oklahoma and you begin to realise the problems that region faces. As for the highly selective approach to dealing with terrorist organisations, enough people have commented on the IRA issue without me needing to go into specifics here. No country is entirely innocent, and we should present a common front and common set of rules of engagement to ALL terrorists.

The figures for the dead in Iraq that were picked upon – this does not just refer to the Iraqi armed forces (it was a war, of course armed forces are fair game); it refers largely to civilians. Just because all that was shown on the television were pictures of LGBs accurately flying through windows and cruise missiles following street signs, in no way was - still is - this a “clean” war. Also do not kid yourself that it was about anything other than oil. It was not a great humanitarian effort by the West to end atrocities, far worse have been carried out by other nations during the last quarter-century without any reprisals. But then Iraq wasn’t a valued trading partner, and Kuwait was a large scale supplier of a strategic commodity. These are, of course, valid reasons to go to war – wars have been fought for far less – and yes, clearly I think that the conflict was both necessary and justifiable. However it wasn’t anywhere near the moral crusade it’s made out to be. Saddam is still there. I just hope we’ve learned from the mistakes of 1991 and don’t end up making a similar hash of things this time around.

Justice should be swift and total, yes. It MUST also be - and verifiably seen to be - accurate and effective in both it's aims and execution.

17th Sep 2001, 05:37
There's no inconsistency between hating, condemning and demanding justice (and even revenge) for September 11th while simultaneously condemning the evils and wrongs used as justification by these cowardly thugs. I'm not equating Israel with Osama Bin L, just condemning the actions of both. Why should it have to be one or the other? Both wrong, both contemptible.

17th Sep 2001, 06:49

Sorry I think your heart is in the right place but in my opinion you reasoning is not
I aggree with your principals but not your methods

hang draw and quater these breed of terrorists,a brand of self professed freedom fighter who are willing to die for their cause in an old fashioned attempt to punish and eradicate them.

Please .....Make marthyrs of them and further their calling and conviction that the west is a great capitalist pig

we sell them arms for our own personal gain, interfere with their cultures without understanding on a global scale and really are only concerned where the next barrel of oil is coming from and at what price.

Please dont think that i condone this atrocity in any way shape or form but can you begin to see what fuel we are feeding them.

root out the culprits ok!

but please give some thought to the cause and dont dismiss all who dont quite aggree with the way the west conduct business as crazed fanatics, unfortunately what we witnessed was the pot boiling over and its been on the boil for a long time.

Its time to humble ourselves and not always think that we have all the answers and all of the high moral ground!

dont belive all you see on cnn nbc bbc etc
its spoon fed info for the ignorant masses of which I am a member.I personally would be more convinced by a person who has lived and experianced a culture first hand than from reading a paper or watching a report whose author spent a weeks consignment to get the scoop.

if you dont think so wait till the next report on avation comes out in which most of us are versed,and watch all the inacuracies and one sided bias.

lets get real its a big world and its time we learned to play ball with our neighbours


[ 17 September 2001: Message edited by: bearfacedcheek ]