The recent events of the World Trade Center bombing have unquestionably changed the world that we live in today. Controversial legislation is being passed, military operations are being carried out, and the feeling of complete security is destroyed. Pride seems to be overflowing and patriotism is everywhere. There are many issues at hand and the events from the WTC bombing seem to have sparked this cataclysm of new dilemmas. It is within this pamphlet that I wish to address the issues that face America in the wake of the WTC bombing.
Events Concerning 9-11...
When any conscious being dies, it is tragedy. On September 11th, who then can say that it was not a tragic day, full of horror and pain that many individuals have considered impossible? Surely, even those who are naturally immune to the emotional effects of such disasters can inherently acknowledge the large amount of suffering occurring from such an event. On the horrific night of September 11th, fireballs from the sky came down delivering an awesome explosion that destroyed and blighted countless lives. Those who were in the blast itself, whose last sight may have been the speeding fireball that came from hell, and those who were friends and relatives of these individuals, my heart goes out to you. In an event of tragedy on such a large proportion, virtue and merit will be found in the hearts of the individuals who are noble in character, warm in nature, and ardent in pursuit. For this, I say, I can only wish the best to those who were in any way harmed by the events of September 11.
When I say that every death is a tragedy, I mean that full heartedly. What has unfortunately gone by the eyes of the American public concerning the death of humans is the amount of humans who die every day due to starvation. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that over one billion people suffer from absolute poverty. Absolute poverty is a state where an individual cannot make enough money to reach the necessities of survival: namely shelter and food. Many will claim that these third world nations are underdeveloped and cannot produce food for themselves - a food shortage of sorts. However, this is entirely false. The United Nations-run World Food Programme and the Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy both admit that there is no shortage of food in the world: the world has reached a digital and technological age that it is capable of feeding the world with all the food currently produced. In fact, the Food First Institute describes the situation in Asia...
What can be said of the United States? Does it do its share to help the poor? Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, and some oil-exporting Arabic countries are the only nations that give 0.7 of their GNP to feed the poor in foreign nations. Germany gives 0.41 percent, Japan gives 0.32 percent, and the United States gives only 0.15 percent. It is odd that the United States lags behind incredibly in helping feeding the poor. We have been taught all our lives that it is the greatest and the biggest, yet it gives so little.
What is the cause of poverty in these starving nations? A little bit of history will tell a simple answer: Imperialism and Colonialism. England and the rest of the Western nations had colonies and spheres of influence in foreign lands. However, liberation came to all these lands eventually. India threw off these chains of colonialism from Britain; Vietnam threw off these chains from France; Cuba threw off these chains from Spain and then later the United States; the United States threw off these chains from Britain; South American nations threw off the chains from Spain and Brazil threw off the chains from Portugal; African nations threw off the chains of greedy and heartless European nations. The pain caused from this colonization is horrendous and there is no arguing of that. Look at the state of affairs in these currently existing nations: they're starving and living a hand to mouth existence while the Western nations are responsible for their current situation. Not only that, but the Western nations are overproducing so much food that it is capable of feeding the entire world. As stating by the Food First Institute, the political situation in Asia that causes so many to starve is that the land is largely owned by a few individuals who are not willing to develop the land.
When any conscious being dies, it is a tragedy, yes, but when comparing world hunger to the WTC bombing, the WTC shrinks down tremendously. It is estimated that one sixth of the world - over a billion people - are suffering from starvation and thousands are starving every day. What is even more atrocious is that the world already overproduces food and enough is available to these starving countries. Furthermore, the US donates the least amount of money to getting the food to these starving nations and the reason why these nations are in a poverty stricken state is due to the Colonialism and Imperialism that exploited the people and their land, leaving them in an economical and political state where they are incapable of sustaining themselves.
There are many volunteer workers in Afghanistan who are distributing food to the poor individuals there who cannot feed themselves. The Bush administration has made a large amount of vain attempts to show that they are helping the Afghani people, however all of their efforts - political, military, and economical - have done nothing but worsen the situation in Afghanistan to the state where the individuals must now worry about dying in the war and a higher probability of starvation. One of the first actions of the United States was to close down the borders of Afghanistan and disallow the movement of people who wished to flee their country. This was just the beginning of the damage to be caused by the US. There is food available in other countries, but starving refugees are disallowed from leaving. Antonio Donini, the deputy of the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan, has said the following...
By the United States cutting off a method of exit for the Afghani people, it may have well set their fate to the graves. These are innocent civilians whom have nothing to do with any of the terrorist activity yet the United States, in all its thick arrogance, has closed the borders and disallowed individuals from leaving Afghanistan.
Two million Afghans need donated food to help them get through the winter. The oncoming of winter will cut off the ability of aid groups to deliver that food to the needy families. Once winter will set in, snow will come and it will be impossible for humanitarian aid to reach those in need. The United States has placed political and economical restrictions upon Afghanistan to the degree where providing humanitarian aid is incredibly difficult, and it will be absolutely impossible to get food to the starving Afghans unless these restrictions are lifted. "All obstacles to those food deliveries must be lifted," was a statement released by humanitarian aid associations and signed by the representatives of Oxfam International, Christian Aid, Action Aid, and Islamic Relief. [*3]
The bombings have had a devastating effect on the economical situation in Afghanistan. U.S. bombs hit a warehouse operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the center of the Afghan capital. Not only was it clearly a civilian facility, but it was a facility used by the humanitarian aid workers to get food to the starving people. Robert Monin, head of the ICRC delegation in Kabul said, "It is definitely a civilian target. In addition to that, it is a clearly marked ICRC warehouse. It is marked on the top with a red cross. People should take all necessary measures to avoid such things." [*4] After the bombing, Monin evacuated Afghanistan to Pakistan. All aid agencies withdrew their international staff since the attacks by the U.S. warplanes had denied their security.
Of the United States' Military Operations in Asia...
The amount of casualties caused by the United States' war in Pakistan is rising steadily. Eyewitnesses at an international aid center said that bombs killed 10 civilians, including an infant and they believe that there are more civilian casualties caused by the US war. [*6] Abdul Salam Zaeef, ambassador to Afghanistan, said that 21 civilians were killed Wednesday and a number of others injured and that a B-52 strike had hit a clinic near Kandahar, wounding patients and staff. Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, replied that it is due to the U.S. bombings in residential areas because of suspected anti-aircraft equipment. [*7] In a statement, Zaeef said, "It is now evident that the strikes are not against the so-called terrorism but against Islam and against the Islamic system of life." [*8] When a news reporter and 26 journalists traveled to a village north of Kandahar, they saw scenes of destruction caused by the U.S. bombing. The news report stated concerning the reporter, "He saw scenes of devastation -- mud houses turned into rubble, fragments of bombs and missiles, strewn belongings, dead livestock and damaged cars." [*9]
Concerning the Detainment of Suspected Individuals...
Reading over the words of Thomas Paine, the author of the American Revolution and a significant Founding Father, you may as well believe that Thomas Paine is talking about the United States in its current condition when says, "Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an in tolerable one." What is currently legislation is horrendous, but what the Bush administration desired was corrupt and fascist Currently, the United States government may detain non-US citizen in prison without any proof, any trial, or any suspicions; the Bush administration, however, desired for the capability of detaining them for an indefinite amount of time, whether it accumulates to years or decades. The power of the police and the military has grown beyond their abilities to use these laws justly and fairly. The Czar of Russian Monarchy wished for, and attained, complete Totalitarian power of the state, capable of detaining, killing, and exiling any individual he desired without the necessity of proof and without the regard for rights. Similarly, our police force has made one step directly in that direction: they may detain whomever they wish, without even the necessity of suspicion or proof.
Perhaps if there was a valid suspicion, verified with at least some form of minimal evidence, then it may be acceptable. But the current state of government is absolutely intolerable. For who can admit that the imprisonment of innocent individuals is permissible? Not only the imprisonment of innocent individuals, but of innocent individuals whom there is no inkling of evidence to link them to any wrongdoing. The Bush Administration's efforts were to turn our society into a police state, where the authorities have unlimited power. Such power is unjustified and only thwarts justice. When a police officer is capable of imprisoning individuals without any proof, who is to say such power will go by unabused? The Bush administration is trying to create an attitude universal in law enforcement that the police and the authorities are not only above the constitution and the law, but that they are far above justice and need not adhere to its principles of rights or ethics.
It is better to have lazy intelligent leaders than active foolish leaders - an old adage which perfectly fits the situation of the United States. Not only is the detainment of non-US citizens now permissible, but a slew of privacy rights and Constitutional rights are now deprived from every United States citizen. Not only is the eight amendment of the United States so directly struck down in Bush's measures, but it is obvious even to the average American that such actions are unconstitutional. According to Bush's measures, any convicted of a terrorist action may be sent to prison without any limits on their time in prison, government officials may search e-mails, and particular wire taps are allowed. During the election of the year 2000, many individuals found the difference between Gore and Bush to be incredibly different (at least the majority voted for the right candidate: Gore). Few would have suspected that Bush would take the opportunity of a national tragedy to turn the United States into a Totalitarian government which strips American citizens of their rights and kills civilians in a foreign war. The actions of president Bush are unconscionable It is not difficult, however, to determine this; the natural faculties of the mind tend to despise injustice and detest iniquity. For this reason, I find it to be conscionable and rational to detest America.
1. Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy, background of the book "12 Myths About Hunger."