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End this hawkish nonsense

Authors note, May 2002: A few people have pointed out factual shortcomings in this article, which are entirely due to the time at which I wrote it (only a few weeks after the attacks on America). I could go through rewriting it now, but I don't see the point. The article represents my views at the time.

Nobody needs me to remind them of the events on September 11th 2001, when terrorists ripped through the consciousness of the West, killing some 6,000 people in their wake. Nor does anybody need reminded of how cruel and inhumane this act was. No end can justify such a means, there can be no good reason to kill 6,000 innocent people. But then millions of people seem to need reminding that these terrorist attacks on America were not quite so surprising or "new" as the media would have us believe. Indeed, these attacks and the reactions to them are all too familiar, and they point to a tale of corruption, death and misery that has shook the foundations of humanity for the best part of half a century

These attacks did not come out of thin air, and they were by no means random. They were planned and executed by Islamic fundamentalists who hated America enough to kill so many people, and so we should be asking why these men hated America so much that they'd lost their humanity. We must be asking why the attacks happened, and how we can stop them from happening. The roots of this violence are extremely obvious, and have been reiterated by countless journalists, observers and historians for decades now. America has mistreated a vast number of people, and in doing so have angered them to the extent that people will kill to avenge this mistreatment.

The global politics of today can be best summed up by an analogy of a corrupt police force. The police force (America) is seen by those it protects (the West) as an altruistic force for freedom and justice. They can always expect widespread support for whatever they do. Those criminals they round up and take to court (terrorists) naturally resent them, and the people the police protect naturally are pleased that the rogues have been dealt with "justly". This is the simplistic view which most people in the West accept - one of goodies and baddies, black and white. But with any corrupt police force there is a dark side.

Those who might be associated accidentally with the criminals (blacks in inner-city America), and those who get caught in the middle (innocent civilians in Iraq), also get persecuted unjustly by the police. They are mistreated, herded about and even killed by the police who take no care over their work. So these innocent people naturally start to hate the police as well, but not for the same reasons as the legitimate criminals. Meanwhile, in the general public's eye, there is no different between legitimate criminals and innocent victims. They like the safety net their police provide, and they don't want to damage it. So this injustice goes on, and those unfairly persecuted by consequence start to hate the general public as well as the corrupt police.

To make matters worse, this hatred for the public and police felt by the mistreated leads to them sympathising with the criminals, and even helping and harbouring them (as peaceful people in the Republic of Ireland harbour IRA terrorists). And so in the general public's eyes, those mistreated innocent civilians become legitimate targets. And so from a simplistic picture, you build a complex network of hatred and misunderstanding, all caused by a police force with hidden ulterior motives.

Well America (and the West) is this corrupt police force, and the motives have been the suppression of communism and the protection of their capitalist industries. While many Westerners cheered through the Gulf War, innocent Iraqi people were bombed and later starved to death. The same has happened all across the world, in too many tales to recount. The result is that the West has become a symbol of hate, even though it's people think their governments are on missions of goodwill and justice.

So now we come to Operation Infinite Justice, more correctly called Operation Slaughter and Injustice. The hawkish Western generals have decreed that we shall seek revenge, not justice, and that we shall wage a "war against terrorism". To what end? Do they seriously think they will bring peace through war, or are they seeking to gain more territory and more political leverage in another war-torn region of the world? The only thing these actions will do is to stir up more extremist hatred and to fuel even more bloody terrorist attacks on the West.

We, the West, must be strong, just and fair. We must seek to undermine the popular support that these terrorists enjoy by treating the innocent peoples of the world properly. We must work to eradicate poverty and inequality, and we must fund and help democratic movements in undemocratic states. Above all, we must be seen to be a global coalition against injustice, working on the behalf of innocent people. In this way we can start to get more and more people on our side, and so undermine the terrorist's support. Without nations full of supporters, these terrorists will find it harder and harder to hide away, to train, and to plot their bloody revenge. In this way we might see a peaceful world, and we won't have to see too many more aeroplanes crashing through our proudest monuments.

This article is copyrighted by Tom Chance, September 2001, under the GNU Free Documentation License. As such, the article may be reproduced free of charge so long as this notice is preserved and the author, Tom Chance, is notified.