The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 59 - 9/11/2001
911 America: Talking Through The Terror...
Talking Through The Terror... And helping each other cope with the tragedies that struck at the very heart of the United States. The Witches Voice has opened up this forum in order that Pagans may express their thoughts on the terrorist attacks that took place in NYC and DC on September 11th. As the full realization of what happened and the toll numbers begin to come in, Americans have many challenges ahead.
What are your thoughts on these incidents? How are you feeling? Feel free to post any magickal workings or other support gatherings planned in your area.
WebNote 9/16/2001: Since we launched this on 911 this forum as become laced with powerful inspiration and critical information, feel free to use the search functions on your left to better define the info you are looking for. Search for your area, famous Pagans, key words etc. Also check Wren's Nest News for the latest news related to our community.
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| Every Thing Has Changed We Can Never Go Back. My Family Has... ||Sep 16th. at 9:20:46 pm EDT|
|Onyx Rioux (Sweet Home , Oregon US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
Every thing has changed we can never go back. My family has spent the last few days trying desperately to cope with the grief and rage that we all feel. I have spent countless hours trying to find a way to bring reason to this abomination within my self. Being pagan we know that this is a price we pay being human and we are finding a few ways to deal with our feelings. My first choice is prayer. IÕd like to share what I have with my community. My hope that someone else will find comfort in these words. Some of these prayers are my own; some of them are poems that I have tweaked a little. I invite you to change any wording that you like to make these prayers your own.
1 Aset give us hope
2 Aset give us courage
3 Aset help us to recover
4 Aset help us to understand
5 Aset make us strong
6 Aset make us resilient
7 Aset guide the victims
8 Aset guide the nation
9 Aset protect our shores
10 Aset protect our lives
11 Aset watch over the living
12 Aset watch over the dead
13 Aset hold up our hearts
Aset engrave these words upon my soul. Hope, faith, and love. That I shall find strength when life surges madly, that I may find light in the darkness.
Into this troubled world
Where shadowy figures
Stalk the sunshine
As the tiger stalks his pray.
I seek to capture and hold each elusive ray.
Where drifting cobweb visions
Replace the brightest hues
With tints of gray.
And in the quiet darkness of my day
She kisses the shadows all away.
| Brightest Blessings In This Time Of Darkness For America. I Have Just... ||Sep 16th. at 9:37:25 pm EDT|
|DragynSpyryt (Sarasota, Florida US) ||Age: 48 - Email |
Brightest Blessings in this time of darkness for America. I have just spent over an hour reading the postings to 911. Like all of my fellow wiccans, I agree with some, disagree with others. I too have been conflicted in my feelings and beliefs in these past days - between "An ye harm none" and the actions I feel need to be taken against the perpetrators of Tuesdays' atrocious acts of terrorism.
I am wicca. But first, foremost, and always - I am American. I was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in the suburbs until the age of 32. I have been to Arlington National Cemetery numerous times as a 'tourist, ' but unfortunately also twice in my life for the burial of my grandmother and the burial of a family friend killed during the Vietnam war. I have been to "The Wall" twice, and cried with the veterans. I come from a 'military' family - not necessarily a gung-ho military type, but I can tick off at least 10+ members beginning with my father, uncles, cousins, etc. who served during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. How many men and women have given their lives so we can have the FREEDOM and the LIBERTY to practice our religion as we do? ... so people of all faiths, ethnic backgrounds, political beliefs, etc. can enter our country to enjoy that freedom as well?
It is my belief that if our government does not take retaliatory action against those who perpetuated this horrific crime upon our soil, it will be repeated. And it will progressively get more and more devastating if left unchecked. While I wish with all my heart that the United States did not have to take military action to prevent future attacks, I know that will not happen.
If that were the case, if we could sit back and do nothing except say loudly, "Shame on you!" then Tuesday would never have happened to begin with. Words, diplomacy, idle threats - all of those tactics the USA has used so far against terrorism - did not work, did they? Tuesday happened, didn't it? We citizens of the civilized world who reside in this country would never conceive of the atrocity that was conveyed on our soil this past Tuesday. Obviously there are people who do. And it did not take too many of them (if you only count the 18 the press say were on the four airplanes) to take 5500 innocent lives (rough numbers of: last count 5100 for the WTC, 200 at the Pentagon, 260 in the four planes).
I do not want innocent lives to be lost in the USA's military attack against those persons deemed responsible for Tuesday. However, I also remember during Desert Storm seeing Saddam Hussein (example) blatantly shielding himself behind women and children, in hospitals, etc. knowing our military would not fire at him because of those innocents. If you accept some unsubstantiated press reports that it was Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden together who concocted the terrorist attack of Tuesday, it would appear that our past attitude to "play fair" in war contributed to Tuesday's acts being possible. Hindsight is always 20/20. If Saddam Hussein had been captured or killed in Desert Storm, would Tuesday have happened? If Osama bin Laden had been captured or killed after the numerous terrorist attacks he has publically admitted to funding over the years, would Tuesday have happened?
After September 11, 2001, I do not ever want to have to play that hindsight guessing game again. I want them, or WHOEVER is responsible, captured or killed, in addition to any other individual(s) who were involved in any way, or who are capable of carrying these acts on in the future.
I am saddened that it has come to this point, but Tuesday proved to me that diplomacy, threats, and talk by all civilized nations toward terrorists has been wasted time and lip service. Unfortunately, retaliatory violence is the only universal language these people understand, so let's speak it. Loudly.
| This Tragedy Has Made A Dark Home Within My Heart. I Am... ||Sep 16th. at 9:38:39 pm EDT|
|Kat Gowen (Standish, Maine US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
This tragedy has made a dark home within my heart. I am struggling with the Light and Dark Goddess within. I am charred from the heat of my anger, and broken from despair. The night of the attack I opened a magickal circle with what little reserve of strength I had and all I could do was pray to the Goddess and God: Please tell me you took them before they felt it.
I have been punished with empathy. I begged for the Lord and Lady to tell me that the perished felt no pain. That they were freed from their bodies before the intensity of fire or falling extinguished their human shell.
For days now I have asked them, and for days no response. Maybe I am not to know, maybe I must simply have faith. I have faith in the power of the Gods, but I have found a new faith as well. A faith in my countrymen.
May all our questions be answered by our faith in our Gods and Goddesses, and in ourselves, and may we someday find peace.
| Oh Gods. Where Do I Begin? This Past Tuesday, I Was On... ||Sep 16th. at 9:42:09 pm EDT|
|Aminata-Ken (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 21 - Email |
Oh Gods. Where do I begin? This past tuesday, I was on my way to a job interview when my father called me from Halifax, saying I should watch the news. He told me that several planes had been hijacked, and one had hit the world trade center, and another had hit the pentagon. I thankrd him for letting me know, and soon after, caught the bus which took me to downtown Toronto. The whole way there, radios blared the news. I was glad I had first heard from my dad, and not some bus radio.
Downtown Toronto was a very strange place, as all the tenants of the major office buildings were clearing out and going home. I finally saw some news footage on a big screen tv in the lower level of the Scotia Plaza office building, and when those towers fell, I thought I was going to throw up.
Here's where my story gets a little different from just another person who saw it on the television.
You see, ever since I was a grade schooler, I have been fascinated by tall buildings. I am also a sort of city witch, who connects with skyscrapers on many levels. More on this in a moment.The Twin towers and the Empire state building were the first skyscrapers I ever got attached to. Ever since I was in grade 4, I have wanted to visit New York just to see them. I have also read legends from various cultures stating that when humans build something so large and complex as a ship or building, It takes on a life force of its very own. Some people are able to sense this the same way others may sense the life force in a plant or tree. I agree wholeheartedly. Perhaps this explains my fascination with skyscrapers- there is more to them than just so much glass and metal. In a way I felt a certain empathy with the twin towers of the world trade centre. Something that went beyond just liking the way they looked. So when I saw those towers fall, I felt like I had just lost two of my best friends.
Now this in no way diminishes the way I feel when contemplating the human toll. That too sickens and horrifies me. Although I never got the opportunity to visit the Twin Towers personally, I talked to some of the engineering staff from the port authourity of new york and new jersey a few years ago. They were some of the nicest, most helpful people (I was doing a school project) I could have asked for. The thought that they could be dead, and that so many other innocent people are is heartbreaking. Goddess rest their souls.
Even on the way downtown, I prayed silently to the goddess maat to bring justice both temporal and karmic to those responsible. I also prayed for the goddess to take care of all those poor souls who died in the name of someone else's holy war.
Even while in downtown toronto, I feared for my safety, and that of the toronto skyscrapers I have grown to love, to say nothing of all the tenants who chose to stay. I was so worried that something might happen that I silently invoked the goddess and her angels to watch over the city of toronto. In my mind's eye, I saw an aura of whitish yellow light flare up around the roof of the Exchange Tower, as if its own angel had arrived. I also got similar images of Kali-ma striding around the roof of the First Bank Tower, and Durga atop the roof of Scotia Plaza. Not just to protect those buildings, but the whole city and its people.
I pray they keep watch over us all in this our collective dark night of the soul.
| I Am Proud To Live In This Great Nation, Thankful That I... ||Sep 16th. at 10:25:33 pm EDT|
|Ann Marie (pinellas Park , Florida US) ||Age: 50 - Email |
I am proud to live in this great nation, thankful that I am free, that our constitution guarantees my freedom of speech, and religion. I am proud to be Pagan and Wiccan. I fear those who use tragedy as a soapbox for hatred. I fear the kind of person who would blame those who do not believe as they do for bringing disaster our way. I fear those who would advocate acting without knowing who the enemy is. I fear those who judge an entire nation, or religion by the actions of a few. I fear these people because they are expressing the same sentiments of the zealots who committed this atrocity. I believe that Americas view on our national and our personal safety is forever changed. Hijackers have now created a new fear in Americans but it is not a paralyzing fear, it is a fear that will create heroes. We will no longer sit quietly hoping that all will be well. We will have personal plans to overtake these insane zealots. We will never again sit by and believe you will have us land safely somewhere. Yes, some of us may die but you will not accomplish you goal. You made a grave mistake for your kind of terrorism by making martyrs and heroes of the many injured and murdered victims of the airliners, World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The American people have done as we always have and always will, stood tall and shoulder to shoulder to help one another against a foe of freedom. In the Pentagon people who had run free from a burning building ran back in when volunteers were needed to assist those still trapped, In New York people took charge of one another and assisted one another out of the building, some carried the handicapped, some calmed the hysterical and lead them to safety, some stayed by friends unable to be moved waiting for assistance, unwilling to leave their side. Supervisors rushed in to the burning building to assist their people, firefighters and policeman ran to the most damaged and fiery parts of the building in a hope to save more lives and extinguish the flames. Many heroes gave their lives for others on that day of atrocity. Now many heroes continue to dig for survivors and provide food and comfort for the families and friends of the missing. People wait in long lines to give blood, others make sandwiches and muffins to feed those who are working. Other nations offer their prayers, workers and military assistance, this fanatical enemy has polarized all of the thinking, humane nations into a task force to eliminate terrorism. People in general fear what they do not know, America and the world now know that there are no boundaries for zealots, these people who's minds are clouded by insanity and hatred. Take notice that we no longer fear you. We also do not hate you. We do not confuse your nationality with who you really are, We will not and do not blame all Mid Eastern people or all Islamic people. We know you are in the minority, that you are a fanatical subgroup. We understand that you have no boundaries and no humanity. It has become the worlds mission to eradicate your kind of plague. Terrorist you do not know the length we will go to, fear us.
| Aloo All,i Suppose I Should Say "merry Met", But I Don't... ||Sep 16th. at 10:40:42 pm EDT|
|Figgymint (jacksonville) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I suppose I should say "Merry Met", but I don't feel merry at all. The totality did not hit me until yesterday. I have few friends, as though I have a 'don't get near' shield upon myself at all times.
Yesterday I was shopping for gifts for my youngest's 3rd birthday. I saw the people, so many people. I looked at them all as if for the first time. I cannot bear to lose a one. It hurts to think about it.
I have seen and heard many "peace" "war will bring only more death", do you not realise there will be more death without a war? "bombings will only kill innocent people"; Many of those 'innocent' people believe we are ALL evil. just because we are American. Their religion offers them a gaurantee to their 'heaven' if they work to destroy us. All of us. You, me, my 3 year old son, my 6 year old son. Regardless of America's, and other countries, retaliation, there will be more death.
Yes. Pray for peace...we need it. but for acceptance of this? Not I. never. If we were to simply route out the few people behind this...we will have to go for bin ladin; his name is the focus of too much anger to not, they will strike harder next time. He is their hero, the hijackers and all involved have done a great deed to further their cause. If we do such a small effort to right this wrong, they will rise up and destroy us. our children, friends and family. WE are evil. simply for living, for drawing breath. I do not think they are confused; they are more focus than so very many others in any path.
I had hoped I would not see it, that none of mine would, but war is here. Whether it is reciprocated by the US, a war is here. I love all of you, I cannot stand the thought of losing any one of you. If there was indeed a way to have not a bit of this have happened, I would do anything.
I do not believe that by focus, prayer and energy can we calm the hearts of those who despise us, I wish I could. Their hatred is so very strong.
Perhaps this is even beyond us? gods/godesses have had battles in the past. Their people have paid in blood. It has been a long while...perhaps...now is the time...
Walk in love,
| Another Dawn, Will I Cry Today? I Cry When I See Families... ||Sep 16th. at 10:50:48 pm EDT|
|Linda Frisina (Denver, Colorado US) ||Age: 52 - Email |
Another dawn, will I cry today?
I cry when I see families ripped at the seams?
I cry when I see the exhausted volunteers walk out of the rubble that was once the World Trade Center.
I cry when I see children's pictures of the devastation.
I cry at the pictures, the home videos, the absolute horror of it all.
I cry when I see people waving American flags along the street.
I cry when I see red, white and blue ribbons on peoples shirts.
It's a horror that I will cry about for years.
But I am an American....we WILL survive this monsterous attack.....and we will smile again.
| An Eye For An Eye Will Make The Whole World Blind." -m... ||Sep 16th. at 11:04:25 pm EDT|
|Tiffany D. Moon (La Mesa, California US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
"An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind."
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought,
but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
| When It Happened, I Was Just Settling Down In Front Of My... ||Sep 16th. at 11:08:34 pm EDT|
|Sylvanmoon (Montreal, Quebec CA) ||Age: 45 - Email |
When it happened, I was just settling down in front of my desk, booting up my computer and thinking about the day's work. About an hour later, my husband called me from his office and told me that a plane had crashed into the WTC. At that point I thought it was a catastrophic airline accident and thoughts of terrorism hadn't entered my mind yet. It wasn't until the afternoon that I began to learn the rest of the story, and I didn't see the images on CNN & Newsworld (the Canadian all-news network)until I returned home that evening.
My mom had just been to New York City a couple of months ago, on a tour group with other seniors. She saw the WTC buildings and was amazed at their immensity, blown away by the fact that, as she learned from her tour guide, that close to 50, 000 people worked in those buildings every day, and that each building had its own Zip code. When she heard the news, all she could say was "I was just there!"
Someone has asked in these postings that if Osama bin Laden and/or Saddam Hussein had been effectively dealt with previously, would any of this have happened? This person commented that hindsight is always 20/20. I'm sorry but I don't think so. Terrorism is a hydra-headed monster (that grows two new heads for each one it loses, as near as I can recollect from Greek mythology.) Taking out Bin Laden or Hussein, or both, would not necessarily have prevented this disaster or one of similar scope from happening. There are too many ramifications.
I know our world has changed, but it alarms me when I hear that people would be willing to give up some of their civil rights for tighter security. Let's not go too far in the other direction and stumble blindly into a police state. Let us also address our personal attitudes towards, say, the sight of a Muslim woman in a veil waiting at a bus stop (I have to admit irritation at the sight myself, as I understand the veil is not really required by the Muslim religion.) We have to be vigilant, yes, but awareness and respect of other cultures and conditions abroad would go a long way towards counteracting terrorism, and that is something all our governments will also have to realize.
I am an eclectic Wiccan, have been since approximately 1982, when I picked up my first copy of Starhawk's The Spiral Dance. I was born in 1956, under a new moon, and it seems that Hekate is my birth goddess. Whenever I look at lists carved into memorials for people who have died in a war or some disastrous event, I can't help but think of who they might have been or of their loved ones who miss them still. When I saw the list of the names of those who died at the WTC or the Pentagon, I think of them as ordinary people like me who never got to return home to their suppers that night.
I will be attending a ritual here in Montreal tomorrow night to send healing and peace to those affected.
| Bright Blessings To All.to All Pagans Who Still Oppose The War... ||Sep 16th. at 11:23:28 pm EDT|
|Amaranth (Cape Canaveral, Florida US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Bright Blessings to all.
To all Pagans who still oppose the War Against Terrorism:
You're absolutely right. This is not what the Lord and Lady want for Gaea and her creatures. It's a travesty of immense proportions. To wreak vengeance upon the perpetrators of this base crime is to perpetuate the cycle of violence and to bring upon ourselves ineffable karmic repercussions. Every Wiccan is by his or her very nature a pacifist, to one degree or another.
U N L E S S
Unless we already tried turning the other cheek. Unless we already tried targeted military strikes, diplomacy, economic sanctions. . .precisely what other measures are we to take to protect our neighbors and ourselves? The Wiccan Rede and Threefold Law state that we should do as we will, 'an it harm none, or suffer the consequences. Think on this carefully, my friends -- it states " 'An it harm NONE, " not " 'An it harm another" or " 'An it harm your friends", or " 'An it harm your god or country." That is, it includes OURSELVES. A wise man of my acquaintance has suggested a revision of the Rede to direct us to do the least harm possible, for by our very existence, we inadvertently harm others of Gaea's children - our bodies routinely kill viruses, we step on bugs (some of us do), and we ALL kill either animals or plants to eat to live. It's built in to the cycle of our existence. Whether or not you subscribe to this particular view, our actions concerning the destruction of our symbols of national pride and the staggering mass of humanity within them are clearly not bound by pacifism. If we do nothing, or impose sanctions, or pass resolutions of condemnation without action, or direct targeted strikes at Afghanistan, make no mistake: this WILL continue and intensify. Doesn't allowing that to happen "harm" someone? The rest of the world has already suffered the slings and arrows of the outrage of terrorism. This is just the first time it reached the shores of our Great Land. Do we EVER want any member of any community anywhere to fell again what we have felt in the last four days? Do we ever want to feel it again ourselves? What will be next? Think about the things and people we love; make an inventory, and ask yourself if their value warrants our protection.
U N L E S S
Unless we purge ourselves of the desire for revenge, and instead hold high before us the beacon of our values. I have yet to meet an American who has not on one level or another desired retribution. From daydreams about becoming covert operatives to open declarations about bin Laden's personal health, we feel it. It doesn't make us evil, it makes us human. Now, acting on those desires would make us evil, or at least begin to. However, reacting in a measured, efficient, thorough manner in our own good time and on our own terms; reacting with war because no other chance we have given the enemy stopped the violence; reaction is not vengeance, it is required. Our job between now and then is to take our rage and our grief and to distill them into white-hot resolve, to temper them into unwavering courage, and to focus and refine the ideals which we defend. We are individually responsible in the coming days for defining America and deciding what it means to us -- what we're willing to be, to do, and to give for it. Our world community not only has shown support for our reaction to terrorism, but has placed upon our shoulders the mantle of leadership as they follow and precede us into hell. It is more than confidence in our abilities and sympathy for our pain they have shown. Just as in the World Trade Center, their lives will be shed with ours, and every ally's proximity to Afghanistan makes their support that much riskier and that much more precious and humbling to me. It is a terrible responsibility our nation has undertaken; we are leading the world to its own deliverance, and it is in that spirit, with full belief in freedom, complete dedication to the cause of freedom, and overflowing gratitude to those who stand with us, that we must take on this action. We will fight FOR the right, and not AGAINST our wrongs. In that way, we can defuse the negative karma of vengeance and act in accordance with the true spirit of our Rede, and the spirit of all the positive world religions, including Islam and Christianity.
PAGAN AMERICANS, STILL NOT CONVINCED?
You sure are lucky to live in America. In many other countries, when you express opinions contrary to those of the government, you're promptly arrested for sedition. In others, there is no arrest; you simply disappear before the sun rises again. Historically, witches have been drowned, crushed, and burnt; but here, our right to worship is protected and affirmed. My friends, WE OWE THIS COUNTRY! We are Witches, but we are also AMERICANS, and America has given us freedoms that weÕre still taking for granted. Because we are Americans, we have the right to our opinions, whatever they may be. Because we are Americans, we must carefully choose and thoughtfully deliver our words. How does a statement against this war affect your friend in the reserves, who is being asked to risk his life to protect the freedom you enjoy, the freedom won for you by the blood of thousands of Americans before him? IÕm not asking you to change your opinion or to suppress your opinion, only to be sensitive about how and when you express it. Whether or not you want a war, if there is to be one, you want it to be just, and for all those fighting for our ideals to come home. Remember the effect of will upon outcome, and bolster the will of our Armed Forces. Whether or not you want them to, theyÕre fighting for you.
TO PAGANS OF OTHER NATIONALITIES, STILL NOT CONVINCED:
I donÕt blame you. If Americans, the targets of this attack, still question the validity of war, why wouldnÕt you, who have already learned to live with terrorists on your doorstep? However, just because you have lived with it to this point, please donÕt assume that the terrorist threat is acceptable. That is the reason we appear na•ve to you at this point, I believe Š because we feel we can rout an insidious, invisible enemy. I ask you: what has the US ever attempted on this scale that it has not accomplished? When the US wholeheartedly devotes itself to one goal, that goal is reached. We will fight this war, and we will win it. With your help, it wonÕt take as long. With your help, the foundation for a true global community will be laid. With your help, our children could conceivably witness world peace. But with or without your help, this threat will be eliminated. To my mind, this is the time to band together.
WHY THE U.S. MUST TAKE DECISIVE ACTION
I present the following as a means of expanding our perspective through time and across the globe. This account is meant to demonstrate a karmic connection between the United States and Middle Eastern terrorism, a connection which must be ended through our action. While it was originally meant to be a comprehensive history of Middle Eastern terrorism, I have not had the chance to double check dates and locations, and I am very sure that I have missed events which should be included. For any omissions or errors I apologize in advance, and welcome postings and direct emails of correction. I am not laying blame on any culture or group of people for the actions which are listed here. They are listed solely for informational purposes, for through facts, we gain understanding, wisdom, and confidence. I have seen enough confusion in these postings and other places that I feel the thread of thought shown here will be helpful to others in coming to terms with our course of action. I also cannot take credit for the fluidity of the account listed here; my husband is a gifted historian, and relayed this information to me. I canÕt pretend to tell it half as well as he does, but IÕll try.
Until the twentieth century, the area now known as the Middle East was very stable. The Persian Empire lasted a very, very long time.
However, in 1941, Japan in an expansionist moment decided to bomb the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor. The strike killed 2400 men and women, and disabled our maritime capability. Reluctant before this, the U.S. entered World War II. In six months, through donations by U.S. corporations, donated steel from the SteelworkersÕ union, money donated by the American public through the purchase of war bonds, and plenty of sweat, we reached strike capacity, and we struck. Our engagement in World War II held several chapters which we would just as soon forget. The most notable of these are the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps (publicly, for their own safety; also in reality to neutralize any potential security risk), an act so shameful we have literally tried to write it out of the history books; and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasake.
In the aftermath of World War II (1953), the United States felt the pain of the so-recently-slaughtered Jews, and heard them cry for their homeland. We carved a territory out of the sovereign state of Palestine, named it Israel, and gave it to them as their own, on the basis that they had occupied that land 2, 000 years before. Think for a minute how most Americans would feel if another country (pick a country Š any country) took pity on the Native Americans who occupied this land 2, 000 years ago, carved out, say Utah or Oklahoma or Oregon, and gave it to them as their homeland. The Arab World perceived Israel as a threat, and Israel was involved in two wars not too long after its birth Š one against Egypt (maybe actually two separate conflicts Š IÕm not sure) for some period in 1967 Š 72, and another against Syria in the 1970Õs. Because of its status as a "manufactured" modern nation, Israel fought vehemently. At about the same time period, the US was involved in Eastern Europe, and the rebellions of small states against Russia. We formed an alliance with Turkey, where we established a nuclear base in about 1962. This baseÕs purpose was to prevent the Soviet advance to the Mediterranean Sea, and was in part a retaliation against Russia for the placement of missiles in Cuba. The Middle East considered the base a second threat to their security (after the creation of Israel) by the US.
In 1973, an Israeli plane was taken hostage in Algeria. Without the permission of the Algerian government, Israel sent in troops who killed all the hijackers and rescued the hostages.
In the late 1970Õs, it was discovered that Israel had nuclear capability. Shortly after that, Iraq (maybe Iran, but I donÕt think so) also developed nuclear weapons. Israel bombed IraqÕs nuclear laboratory.
Around 1977 Š 1979, Jimmy Carter negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt. The rest of the Middle East was offended, first by the very existence of Israel as a sovereign nation, and also by the threat of IsraelÕs nuclear technology in their world.
Somewhere in this time period, the Shah of Iran was exiled, and the US granted him sanctuary. At this time, the Ayotollah came to power. To retaliate for CarterÕs peace and our acceptance of the Shah, the American Embassy in Iran was overrun and its occupants taken hostage for about a year and a half. In order to insult Carter, the Iranians released the hostages on the day of ReaganÕs inauguration as president.
From 1980 Š 1988, Iran and Iraq were at war. The US supplied arms to Iraq as revenge for the hostage crisis. Also during this period, there were numerous plane and boat hijackings in Europe, as well as some bombings. (Sorry I canÕt be more specific here.)
In 1983, the US decided to intervene in the conflict between Israel and Syria. There were displaced Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Israel had invaded and occupied South Lebanon for a long time. We sent Marines to Beirut to secure the area and keep the peace. An Arab terrorist drove a car bomb into the Marine barracks, killing 200. The US response was one of posturing. We sent the USS Saratoga, and flew fighter jets over as a threat. During the same time period, terrorists bombed a discotheque in Berlin. Much of the terroristsÕ backing came from Khadaffy in Libya. As a response, the US bombed Libya (basically a hit-and-run) in 1985 or 1986.
In 1988 or so, PanAm Flight 103 was bombed over Scotland. In 1990 Š 1991, Iraq discovered that Kuwait was cross-drilling into their oil reserve. They invaded and captured Kuwait. President Bush (father of our current President Bush) liberated Kuwait with a 500, 000-man mission, accomplished primarily by air strikes. Saddam Hussein used the tactic of protecting military targets by placing them in residential areas. Bush did not attack these targets, and Hussein therefore had the ability to launch scud missiles with some degree of effectiveness. During this time period, Israel again bombed Iraq over the development of nuclear weapons.
In 1979, the Soviet Union captured Afghanistan, thereby obtaining their long-desired Mediterranean port. They occupied the country for ten years. The US aids the Afghani rebels by giving them handheld missiles (Stingers? Stingrays?) to take out Soviet helicopters. These rebels were financed by Osama bin Laden and led by the Taliban. I believe it was during this period that bin Laden began his charity work as well, offering aid to war widows and orphans. (How many of the WTC hijackers do you suppose might have been orphans. . .) Russia was expelled in 1989.
In 1982, Anwar Sadat, a symbol of the potential for peace was assassinated by his own people, partially over his ties to the US.
In the 1990Õs, the US launched several "punishment bombings" of Iraq. There were many extremely bloody conflicts between Israel and Palestine, each harming more and more heartwrenchingly civilian targets. The carnage was on the tip of the American tongues every day. In 1993, the terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center demonstrated that Osama bin LadenÕs organization and resources has spread all over the world. In 1998, American Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya (or was it Sudan?) were destroyed. In retaliation, Clinton fired Cruise missiles into Afghanistan.
During his administration, President Clinton bombed a target in (I think) Sudan. He claimed it was a dangerous chemical weapons lab. It seems it was actually a baby formula factory. When Former President Carter offered to investigate, he was flatly refused by the Clinton administration. All this happened, IÕm ashamed to say, right after the emergence of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. After the attack, ClintonÕs popularity rating increased.
Recent (within the last month) incidents in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict include the ambush of a civilian van, the suicide-bombing of a school, and firing a tank at will in a residential area.
Countries who have been bombed by terrorists not listed here (because I couldnÕt remember enough details to include them Š sorry) include West Germany, France, and Italy, including attacks on Rome. I also cannot remember the date of the hijacking of the Achille Lauro (a boat), where hostages were killed and thrown overboard.
During the destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon, the media showed images of Middle Eastern citizens laughing and dancing in the street. The only places mentioned where this happened were Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and some locations on the West Bank.
The common thread I feel this whole chronology shows is that of world giants, the US and Russia, manipulating this region for their own purposes, without any concern for the consequences upon the peoples and lands being ravaged. (The Pink Floyd line, "The generals sat, while the lines on the map moved from side to side" comes to mind.) We made powerplays for our own purposes (Russia, to gain a seaport; the US, to stop Russia during the Cold War, and to comfort the Jews after WWII), and did not consider the consequences. We redrew their map, over and over.
I say this not in support of the terrorists, but to explain why itÕs our responsibility to clean up this mess. We have unfinished business here. While IÕd love to be able to do it by some other means, we will go to war to finish this. I believe we will be in this area for a very, very long time, because if we are not, the instability will resurface. It is time to give this region back its stability, and the world back its safety. This is why karmically, if war is the only way to undo what we have done, we must go to war, despite our desire not to.
Terrorists usually have a goal. If I offend any group or country here by referring to a conflict as an occurrence of terrorism, I apologize. I just want to show the difference between what we face now, and what has occurred in the past. There have been terrorists action in Ireland, as part of a religious war. There is a definable, positive, finite goal there: religious freedom. There have been terrorist acts by the Basque, in order to defend their homeland and way of life: again, the goal is finite, positive, and definable Š leave us alone to live as we have always lived. There have been terrorist strikes in the conflict between India and Pakistan over the possession of Kashmir Š a finite, positive, definable goal. If you want to include the bombing of Pearl Harbor, again the Japanese goal was finite, positive, and definable Š to dominate the Pacific. I wonÕt keep going here Š IÕm sure you see my point.
The goal of the Islamic militants financed by Osama bin Laden is "to destroy Satan, that evil which is America." When asked about the statement made by their attacks, they have called it "an objection to American capitalism and foreign policy in the Middle East." These are simple acts of hatred with no specific goal, positive or negative, and no specified end. They do have something to object to, but this is not how one voices an objection. Other terrorist acts could be ignored, because one could see that they would eventually end Š the goal would either be attained or lost, and that would be that. These cannot be ignored, because they will not end. The terrorists will strike at Americans no matter where they are on the globe, which means we have a responsibility to our neighbors (namely everyone) to eliminate this threat.
Again, I apologize in advance if I have offended anyone through this chronology. This is not a justification or recrimination for any partyÕs action up to this point. Please take this information and draw whatever conclusions your heart directs you to.
| Right Before The First Plane Struck The Tower I Awoke To The... ||Sep 16th. at 11:24:46 pm EDT|
|Amy Page (Indianapolis, Indiana US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Right before the first plane struck the tower I awoke to the sounds of screaming. I thought that it was my son having a bad dream until I remembered that he was over at his Grandparent's house.
It is tragic that this has happened to our nation. I know I am not the only one who woke up that day feeling the terror and the pain of knowing hundreds and thousands of people were about to die.
We have to pray to the gods and help the souls find peace. We as a people need to help each other through this tragic time.
We also need to remember We will get through this. We are strong and We can get through this horrible tragity.
| I Have Found Most Of My Friends Who Live In New York... ||Sep 16th. at 11:28:42 pm EDT|
|Michelley QueenofQueens (Kingston, New York US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I have found most of my friends who live in New York City and emailed them saying, "glad you're ok". I should be writing "glad you're alive". Noone is ok. Nothing is ok. I am listening to Gershwin's Rhapsody in blue. Thinking of NYC as a spiritual entity. For me this music embodies the indefatigable, indestructible energy of NYC. New York is a city, contrary to popular belief, ruled by empathy and understanding. Only a place so diverse could create such common ground between people. Non New Yorkers are always shocked by the comradery and cooperation that occurs when a tragedy befalls the inhabitants of this city. The bond is one that is mostly unspoken and exists regardless of circumstance.
It is a place that, despite the daily conflicts that occur between individual inhabitants or citizens and government, is ruled by a harmonious flow of energy that neither humans nor legislature can impede. People will never stop jaywalking in Manhattan it would be contrary to that city's natural rhythm. Your neighbor has real empathy for your complaints about your every day struggles and really shares the joy of your successes. As you do theirs. It is symbiotic.
My sadness and anger at the mass destruction that occurred on tuesday Sept. 11th are overwhelming and inexplicable. As I write this I want to destroy my own words to prevent the inadequacy of their ability to describe my emotions. When a tragedy this horrifying occurs it rips open a void which may draw others into the realm from whence it was crafted, not unlike the death of a star creating a black hole in space. Hatred, Fear, anger, blame, disgust, pain, anguish, drawing us toward the event horizon of our complete annihalation. I am feeling all these things so deeply. So deeply that I want to hurt myself. So deeply that I want to lash out at other people including the ones I love. If I choose to create more pain in the world by acting on these impulses what have I resolved? As a species can we learn anything from what has happened ? We should. WE should learn that sending hate and pain into the world perpetuates malice and destroys life. That is all that it accompishes.
Our government will use the destruction of the World Trade center and the people inside it, the destruction of the Pentagon and its inhabitants, and the deaths of the human beings that were on hijacked planes being used as weapons, as an opportunity to fuel our anger and desire for revenge. They want our bloodlust so that we will fight their war for them. We will blame the "other" and go and "get them". People will then think that security have been regained and safety is ours. The fact is that security and safety are an illusion. Our destruction of a supposed "enemy" will result simply in the massacre of another group of innocents not unlike the ones who perished on Tuesday. It will not prevent another war mongering sociopath from playing his tricks upon people. If you truly believe that our army will only fight and kill another army and their leaders please consider what we "the good guys" inflicted upon the CITIZEN POPULATION of Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the end of World War Two. Also consider that during the war in Vietnam our big tough army was made up of boys whose average age was 17.
Our government will also use this tragedy as justification for rewriting laws regarding our constitutional rights as citizens. They will explain to us that privacy laws and inalienable rights such as freedom of speech are being changed for our safety. Many of you will agree with this rationale the way in which German citizens did during the start of the Nazi regime in the 1930's. You will agree until it is too late for you to stop the police state from breaking down your door .
I am an American. I am incredibly grateful for the quality of life I have experienced in this nation. I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am aligned philosophically with the beliefs of other Americans such as Tom Paine, Malcolm X , Sojourner Truth, Mother Jones, The Stonewall rioters, Starhawk. I also believe in kindness and compassion. I can not tolerate cruelty in any form. Nor, do I support fighting wars for the wealthy. I believe in national or global self defense aimed at specific military targets and individuals who need to be stopped from destroying others. I do not believe that there are any acceptable numbers of citizen casualties when such self defense becomes the only option. I believe that thinking, feeling people EVERYWHERE need to stand together and speak out about our fraudulent presidential election and the consequences we are about to face as a result of this coup d'etat. I don't believe in borders where humanity is concerned. I believe that if we are a united force against the staus quo we will be one to be reckoned with.
At the end of the month protests against the world bank and the WTO were scheduled to take place in Washington DC. Two weeks before Tuesdays mind-numbing scene of carnage ensued, legislation had already been put in place to stop protestors from gathering at the Mall or in front of the Capitol building. The right to Peaceful protest is constitutional. The Constitution is the document that defines us as a nation. I wonder now if the protests will be allowed at all. I wonder what additional restrictions will be placed on protests in the future.
I feel that these concerns at this time are absolutely some of the most valid that a truly patriotic American can have. When anti flag burning legislation was being discussed in the supreme court several years ago I heard many veterans of foreign wars state that although they did not agree with the action itself they had gone to war to ensure Americans the right to do so.
I am not a self loathing Liberal. I accept my share of the responsibility for the atrocities that my elected government has engaged in in other lands and in this one. I validate and empathize with the pain that ANY mother, father or child has had to go thru for the sake of economics and power. I would not try to win a popularity contest with non-americans by agreeing with a notion as absurd as the one that America is the "devil" and we got what we deserved. I would simply like to point out that America is a country of IMMIGRANTS. It is a country that can teach us full well how meaningless borders are if we simply look at it's inhabitants. The people who died on Tuesday in no way deserved what happened to them. If you are from Italy and hate Americans you are hating yourself because thousands of Italians live here. If you are from Africa and hate Americans then you hate yourself because thousands of Africans live here. If you are from Ireland and hate Americans then you hate yourself.... As I said before, we need as thinking feeling people of all nations to put our minds and hearts together. To find a solution to ending governmental corruption, corporate greed and the needless suffering inflicted upon the innocent as a result. Laying blame may be a normal human reaction to pain but it makes as much sense as the acts of terrorism in NY and Washington on Tues.
I have no idea if even one person will read this let alone think about what it says or care. I do know that on Tuesday last my apathy and socio-political inactivity died with the thousands of victims in NY and DC. I urge those of you who feel the way that I do to speak out about the issues which matter to you. Use you art, your writing, whatever resources are available to you. I urge you to dismantle aggression whenever you can and however you can. Direct loveing positive energy toward both victims and agressors if you are able. We can not destroy hatred and malice but we can transform them. You simply have to WANT to do it. May peace and love prevail on earth.
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