A View of the Times

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Concerned Philosophers for Peace : One Thread

To say that extremists hate America because of our diversity, or because they are jealous of our wealth is just burying our head in the sand and taking a stance of superiority! In my view Muslim extremists hate the U.S. because of our constant interference in their regions and because of our arrogance - our continuing view of Manifest Destiny, that God is "Our" God, and on our side, we are the "Best" and therefore can do what we want, including bringing our politics and culture to nations that either don't want it or aren't ready for it. It isn't American's that they hate, it's our government and it's intrusive policy. Extremists are members of every religion, even Christianity; Timothy McVey, those that kill doctors and bomb abortion clinics, people who openly state they approve of locking up all Muslims without due process, who would prefer to deploy our troops in the Near and Middle East, even Jerry Falwell, all are extremists who would use hate as a weapon against those that are different from themselves. The President is now giving school vouchers to fund religious education's with public money. There are messages all over the news and the internet from the religious right regarding our country being founded on Christianity, stating that therefore we should reinstate prayer in school, force children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance etc. If this "War on terrorism" is indeed a war on religious totalitarianism as I believe it is (in part), we should then first remove the speck from our own eye! Terrorism is a tool used by those that haven't an army sufficient to fight an army that does. Palestinians use terrorism, just as other poor nations do.... this is the only weapon in their arsenal. Have we learned nothing from the continuing struggle in Israel, that to fight terror with retaliation will only lead to more bloodshed? This conflict can only be ended with a true understanding and acceptance of one another, an end to the superior stance of our nation and its citizens.

We have a moral assignment as citizens of the richest, most capable and innovative society history has ever seen. With good old American know how we could and should attack things like poverty and Aids, not poor nations for their resources, and then mask our activities under the guise of routing out terrorism! Unfortunately, I fear that this cannot happen with the current political climate, if ever. Our citizens and administration are far too sure that we are the best, that Christianity is the only path to salvation, that we have nothing to learn from other nations failures and successes. Those issues combined give us the right to do as we please abroad, Manifest Destiny. With this attitude, and that of terrorists who have the same beliefs about their own faith and country, we are headed to a place that I'm afraid we have never seen before.

Let us all work together with one voice, loud enough to be heard in our nations capitol and around the world. Let us vote.... hopefully one day more level heads will prevail!

-- dawn marie (cathydsandy@aol.com), December 21, 2002

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