Another response to Terrorism: "Good" vs. "Evil":
From: Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Friday, October 12, 2001 4:06 PM
Operation Enduring Freedom Means Ensuring the Reign of U.S. Imperialism
Calling it Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S. military is sending bombs and cruise missiles raining down on targets inside Afghanistan. After weeks of pumping up the hysteria calling for justice and the need to defend the American way of life by playing on the feelings of people and their desires for seeing something done about the attacks, we are now supposed to cheer, wave the flag and fall in line over this high-tech version of Wild West justice.
From George W. Bush's reference to the old Wanted Dead or Alive posters to images of bin Laden under a sniper's crosshair on the Internet we are being herded into supporting this new U.S. war.
But we veterans know all too well from our experiences in the U.S. military that it is not about justice but about defending the interests of the U.S. empire at any cost. We know because we did this country's dirty work in the Gulf, in Panama and in Vietnam to name a few. We have seen first hand that the American way of life comes at the expense and lives of the peoples of the world, particularly the so-called Third World. We also know that there is nothing new about this war, the U.S. has been at war with the people of the Middle East for decades. The reality is that the only freedom being defended is the freedom of the U.S. to dictate terms to the rest of the world.
Claiming to have evidence about who carried out these attacks, which in the true spirit of "American" justice they are not releasing, George W. Bush and Company have implicated Osama bin Laden. Besides Afghanistan, they have also put Iraq and other Middle East countries on notice that the claws of imperial justice will reach them as well. While there is no doubt that Osama bin Laden is a monster, let us not forget that he is one of the CIA's making. Not so long ago, he, like Hussein, Noregia, Fujimora, Marcos and countless before them, was this country's friend when he was doing our dirty work.
The U.S. willingly sent money, arms and training to bin Laden and those who became the Taliban to encourage and support them waging war against the Soviet Union. The intent was to turn Afghanistan into a Vietnam for the Soviets. However as is often the case even the best laid plans of imperialism go awry and, like many of the U.S.'s earlier creations, Osama bin Laden turned on his master—something that happens often enough that the CIA has a name for it, "blowback". The difference this time is that the blowback reached into the borders of the U.S. and brought the reality of terror home, shocking this country to its core.
Bush and the rulers of this country would have you believe that the deaths of those in the Sept. 11th attacks are more significant than the lives lost in the 1999 U.S./NATO bombing of a retreating convoy of Albanian refugees or in the 1998 attack by U.S. cruise missiles on the Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, or when 400 people gathered for a religious service perished as the result of the U.S. bombing of the Amariyah bomb shelter during the Gulf War, or the countless others around the world who have died as a result of U.S. invasions and interventions. But we learned during our time as terrorists for U.S. imperialism that the lives of the people of this country are not worth more nor the lives of the rest of the people of the world worth less.
We know from first hand experiences that the people on the receiving end of U.S. bombs have the same dreams and desires as the people of this country—to raise their families and live their lives in peace with the rest of the world. This is why veterans get sick inside when we see great outpourings of sympathy and concern for the victims of the Sept. 11th attacks in contrast to the apathy shown to the victims of U.S. sponsored terror.
This is not to say that we should not mourn the loss of lives because of the attacks, we should and do. However, we need to show as much concern, if not more, for the lives taken in our names. We need to look behind the words and lies of our rulers and put a stop to the invasions and interventions, to the deaths and destruction being carried out by this country. By putting an end to this country's reign as the world's biggest terrorist, we will take a real step to ending terrorism once and for all.
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