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News ::
Simple Question
13 Sep 2001
Did anyone call for bombing of the US in response to the Oklohoma City Bombing?
Or profiling of white men, for that matter?
In the wake of this week's great calamity in NY and DC that is shocking, unsettling (I work in a university that is 25%-40% military funded, so don't think I wasn't listening for planes and watching the sky last Tues) and tragic, I am becoming less frightened of low flying planes and more frightened of nationalist zealots and my own President. Some of us have already been threatened and assaulted for attempting to voice words of caution, at least one student has been profiled by campus police and a genocidal rant calling for the irradication of the Arab world has surfaced on the public email list of the MIT objectivist club. Our banner poster cautioning about the cycle of violence has been ripped down once, defaced by the opinion editor of the mainstream school newspaper, and sparked a call to the police with a request that it be torn down. While the police officer assured the complainant that she would like to tear it down, she stated that, unfortunately, she was not allowed to since the student group had reserved the space. Somehow, I am not feeling very free in this great "Beacon of Freedom" that my President speaks of, and people are advocating much less freedom.

Some students parrot back the corporate media rhetoric: "Wouldn't you be willing to give up some civil liberties to save lives?" "Shouldn't members of ethnic groups 'likely' to be involved in terrorist acts be more heavily examined and perhaps even restricted from entering the country?" "Shouldn't we bomb the 'harboring country' to show we are tough on those who 'harbor' terrorists as well as the terrorists themselves, not withstanding the inevitable 'collateral' damage?" I choose to answer these questions with more questions. If you really are going to fall for that "Beacon of Freedom" rhetoric after all of the dictators we have installed, armed and supported, if you really think the unique thing about our country is the freedom it guarantees in the bill of rights, then suspending those freedoms doesn't leave much to fight for, does it? If we are going to profile people based on race or ethnic factors, then why do we fail to do so in response to the Oklahoma City bombing or the Unabomber? Or is it that white men are individuals, and only those "other" people are monolithic groups that can be painted with one large racist brush? And if the only response to an act of terror on American soil is to bomb the country that harbored the criminal and target the group that sowed the seeds of hate into this assailants heart, then why didn't anyone call for the bombing of the US in the wake of the Oklahoma city bombing? And why don't we stereotype all military personnel as being trained to hate and kill from a very early age? -- and don't forget, our military teaches them that if they die in their efforts to strike out evil, they will be deemed a hero and their name will be immortalized.

And one last simple question for those who find a distinction between murdering civilians in the context of a declared war and murdering civilians in an undeclared act of terrorism. If the perpetrators of the aggression against the US were acting on behalf of Iraq, a country with who we are in a state of war and are already bombing and terrorizing, then does that make it fair play?

Most IMC readers aren't hearing anything new here, I know. Please keep up the work of reminding people everywhere how hypocritical, racist and corrupt it is for the US govt to continue its use of terrorism to attend to its corporate bosses' interests throughout the world.
See also:
http://web.mit.edu/justice
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