As September 11 approaches once again, here are some thoughts that circulated throughout the Internet shortly after THE September 11:
As the Bush Administration promises to provide Americans with a sense of security, it will depend on our not eradicating terrorists but addressing the root causes of terrorism.
Terror will define our future unless we learn that our profound insecurity in this last century derives precisely from our demands as Americans to maintain our unsustainable medley of privileges. The American Way of Life may be precious but not to the disenfranchised, humiliated, and traumatized people of Africa, Asia, and elsewhere.
If we were problem-solvers rather than ideologues, we would know that the arrogance of our super-affluence can only guarantee a permanent insecurity that will haunt us unless we start the conversation between civilizations and allow the democratization of global politics to truly begin.
How to begin? We can start by demanding from our government a saner, more humane foreign policy towards the non-West. We can start by not walking out of key Third World conferences on global issues. We can start by no longer pretending that we are a neutral partner in the Israeli-Palestinian peace fiasco and allow Israel and the Palestinians to grow up and act according to international law. We can start by paying Africa's horrors some real attention. We can start by refusing to help create political Frankenstein’s that we must later disavow. We can start by not humiliating others simply because we can, by shedding the supremacist discourse that infects our sense of identity and power. We can ask ourselves genuine questions without practicing selective amnesia, the track record of our foreign policy in the world since the Second World War.
Killing Osama and his clan will not stop terrorism. Americans cannot afford to criminalize the world's discontent by calling it Osama. An occupation of the Middle East by proxy or military strikes against nations we demonize as "rogue" will not yield positive results. History and common sense tells us that violence only breeds resistance, crusades, jihads, humiliation, and a trans-generational thirst for justice.