[vorbis] extremly off topic I know but since it leaked into the list anyway....

Randolph Carter mythos at zxmail.com
Fri Sep 14 23:07:09 PDT 2001

On the Bombings
                                                    Noam Chomsky
       The terrorist attacks were major atrocities. In scale they may
not reach the level of many others, for example,
       Clinton's bombing of the Sudan with no credible pretext,
destroying half its pharmaceutical supplies and killing
       unknown numbers of people (no one knows, because the US blocked
an inquiry at the UN and no one cares to pursue
       it). Not to speak of much worse cases, which easily come to mind.
But that this was a horrendous crime is not in
       doubt. The primary victims, as usual, were working people:
janitors, secretaries, firemen, etc. It is likely to
       prove to be a crushing blow to Palestinians and other poor and
oppressed people. It is also likely to lead to
       harsh security controls, with many possible ramifications for
undermining civil liberties and internal freedom.
       The events reveal, dramatically, the foolishness of the project
of "missile defense." As has been obvious all
       along, and pointed out repeatedly by strategic analysts, if
anyone wants to cause immense damage in the US,
       including weapons of mass destruction, they are highly unlikely
to launch a missile attack, thus guaranteeing
       their immediate destruction. There are innumerable easier ways
that are basically unstoppable. But today's
       events will, very likely, be exploited to increase the pressure
to develop these systems and put them into
       place. "Defense" is a thin cover for plans for militarization of
space, and with good PR, even the flimsiest
       arguments will carry some weight among a frightened public.
       In short, the crime is a gift to the hard jingoist right, those
who hope to use force to control their domains.
       That is even putting aside the likely US actions, and what they
will trigger -- possibly more attacks like this
       one, or worse. The prospects ahead are even more ominous than
they appeared to be before the latest atrocities.
       As to how to react, we have a choice. We can express justified
horror; we can seek to understand what may have
       led to the crimes, which means making an effort to enter the
minds of the likely perpetrators. If we choose the
       latter course, we can do no better, I think, than to listen to
the words of Robert Fisk, whose direct knowledge
       and insight into affairs of the region is unmatched after many
years of distinguished reporting. Describing "The
       wickedness and awesome cruelty of a crushed and humiliated
people," he writes that "this is not the war of
       democracy versus terror that the world will be asked to believe
in the coming days. It is also about American
       missiles smashing into Palestinian homes and US helicopters
firing missiles into a Lebanese ambulance in 1996
       and American shells crashing into a village called Qana and about
a Lebanese militia ­ paid and uniformed by
       America's Israeli ally ­ hacking and raping and murdering their
way through refugee camps." And much more.
       Again, we have a choice: we may try to understand, or refuse to
do so, contributing to the likelihood that much
       worse lies ahead.
       Noam Chomsky

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