[11 Sep 2001|08:56am]
There was once a big bully that thought it was OK to pick on people, and third world countries. One day the bully's enemies got together and decided there were force in numbers.
The people got together and rallied for social and political change. When their cries went unheard they took measures into their own hands, and started fighting back.
Now the bully is crying, and calling them terrorist.
I call them freedom fighters!
You know... it's all well and good to say these things, but you sound like every young wannabe anarchist who likes to talk about 'fighting the power', but has never felt the pain of the loss that comes from that. Until then it's a game, even if it feels real. It's 'fun' and 'cool' to rage against the oppressive government, yeah! But when you rejoice in the pain and loss of life of others, that's a monsterous thing to do.
I am willing to bet that you are not one of those who is waiting anxiously to find out if your friends or relatives will resurface, found alive, or if they lie dead and buried under tons of metal girders, cement blocks and fragments of glass. I don't care what the cause is; that sort of loss is painful, and to laugh in its face and cheer on those who inflict it, whether it's the US inflicting it on some other nation or people inflicting it on the US, is an insult to human life.
I admit when I first read that post of yours, I had two reactions... first, anger and an uncharitable brief wish that the next time something like this were ever to happen, that you would be one of those to lose someone you cared about. Then, I thought, we can see whether she greets the news of the loss of someone she cared about with a song and smile... after all, it's in the name of her beloved nameless freedom fighters, so the blood of her loved ones would have been well-spent in 'punishing the bully'. And the second reaction was dismay that anyone would post a statement like that... yet not be willing to argue or defend their statement by allowing anyone to comment on their post.
Neither reaction does credit to me, and the anger faded... but I still felt a need to send this, even though I doubt it will be read.
I have a friend who works in the Trade Center, for example, and who is still missing. He was a member of the Peace Corps, and travelled around many places trying to help other people. Does this mean he is a bully and deserves the very real danger that he may be dead, or buried under tons of debris and slowly suffocating or being crushed?
To call our country as a whole a bully and imply that therefore all those who lost their lives - the firefighters and police who tried to save people, those who were in the towers, people passing by in the streets below - is as unfair as it would be for someone to say that all Serbians are evil solely because of the excesses of a handful of them. Or that because there might be a handful of gay or lesbian people who you encounter in a lifetime who are unpleasant, that they are all that way. Judge people's merit and worth on an individual basis; don't lump them all in together with labels!
If you honestly believe the United States is an evil bully, I ask you to look at what of the benefits here you use or enjoy. The United States is far more tolerant of religious diversity than many of the countries your statement supports. I doubt anyone who is gay or lesbian would find an easy lifestyle in Afghanistan, who are the current best-guess for the source of these attacks. Think carefully and seriously about how different your life would be if you lived there. And if you find that you're unwilling to give up the advantages and freedoms you have in the US, think twice before decrying our country as a whole.
If you really believe those in other countries, like Iraq or Afghanistan, are so much better people, so much more righteous... then move there. Lend your strength, your hands, to their cause in a productive way. Help them rebuild... don't just vent regurgitated media tripe that's used to justify terrorist acts, about 'freedom fighters'.
The United States has flaws. I'll grant this; it's led by humans and humans are fallible... and in the realm of world politics, we are the 800 pound gorilla so a mistake by the US is a mistake that has far more in the way of repercussions than by many others.
But on the other hand, the US has done a great deal of good, too. I would point you at a transcript of an editorial by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian commentator, which a friend reposted in their LiveJournal at http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?itemid=10544325
In the end, no one can change your beliefs except you; unlike many countries around the world, you are allowed to belief what you want in the US, and as long as you don't hurt anyone else by those beliefs, you are free to practice them. No one will order you to believe or act a certain way... a freedom which many people around the world would love to obtain; that's why we have such a high number of illegally immigrating people.
But while no one can order you to do anything, I will ask you this much... at least respect the pain some of us are going through, not knowing if our friends or relatives are alive, or the grief that those who lost friends are having.
Rachel Blackman / September 12, 2001