many people, Tuesday morning was like waking to find you were
on the set of a disaster movie. The images of planes crashing
into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, of the twin towers
collapsing, of panic in the streets of Manhattan, all had a
dream-like unreality to them. It was only on finding that someone
you knew might be involved killed, injured, trapped in the
melee that the reality of what was occurring would hit like
a punch in the stomach.
this movie set is an all-too-familiar scene to people around
the world, outside the borders of our country. We have seen
their faces as they searched the rubble for the bodies of their
family members, or as they huddled in squalid refugee camps.
We have flipped on CNN and watched our government bombing their
cities as though we were watching the latest Stallone flick.
This was the kind of thing that happened to people far away,
with too many consonants in their names or, for God's sake,
towels on their heads.
those feelings of terror were felt by real people, not extras
hired for the filming of American Hegemony II. Those things
can happen to you, too. You may find yourself, dizzy with despair
and grief, watching rescue workers dig through a pile of stone,
looking for someone you love. You may wonder if you will see
your children again, or find yourself explaining to them how
death may suddenly rain from the sky.
events should bring home a simple, clear message: It is time
to stop the madness. It is time to refuse to lend any support
to the ravaging of innocent lives in the world-domination games
of the power-mad. It is time for the citizens of every nation
to tell their governments that their military power exists only
to defend them, and not to make the citizens of other nations
behave the way some "leaders" feel they ought. And since most
of the readers of LewRockwell.com are Americans, it is our own
nation's crimes against innocent lives that we must focus on
people the very people who have urged the U.S. to poke into
every hornet's nest in the world will, no doubt, accuse me
of cowardice. They miss (or, more likely, quite deliberately
ignore) my point. It is not that, because we have been hit,
we must now cower in fear. We should attempt to find those responsible
and punish them. But today's horrors, if we are to bring any
good forth from evil, must act as a wake up call. This feeling,
the one you have today, that gnawing fear at the pit of your
stomach: our government has, with far too much regularity, inflicted
that feeling on far-flung people who have done as little to
offend you as you have to offend the crazed monsters who initiated
sudden death of thousands of neighbors, the destruction of landmarks
so familiar as to be part of our being, the horrific feeling
that neither you nor your family are safe: we now can share
these experiences with the people of Dresden, of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, of Vietnam, of Iraq, of Sudan, of Serbia.
government officials told us that it was a matter of "national
interest" that we oppose Hussein, or stop Milosevic, or engage
in any of the multitude of other "adventures" we have had overseas,
they were endorsing courses of action that would inevitably
bring the experience of terror to thousands of innocent victims,
who had nothing to do with the policies Hussein, Milosevic,
or any other tin-pot dictator were enacting. American aggression
does not justify the terrorist actions that took place today;
such actions only perpetuate the cycle of violence, and are
the foolish deeds of evil men. However, just because rattlesnakes
are inherently poisonous, that doesn't excuse someone who has
wandered around the desert sticking his hand under rocks from
shouldering part of the blame for the bites he has received.
terror unleashed today is the result of a horrific, criminal
enterprise. Some of those who took part in it are dead already.
To make myself perfectly clear, I will reiterate that those
still alive should be caught and punished. (Even here, we must
exercise vigilance, as it will be very tempting for our government
simply to bomb someone, somewhere, to slake the public thirst
for vengeance. The call has already gone out, by at least one
bloodlust-mad commentator, for us to "strike back one hundred
times harder." If the terrorists have killed 50,000 innocent
Americans, then somehow we will set this right by killing 5,000,000
innocent people in some other country!) But you should not doubt
this: it is the activities of our own government that have focused
the ire of those criminals upon us.
can only indirectly attempt to control the many violent individuals
scattered around the globe, by punishing them after the fact.
But, as we live in a democracy, we can try to directly stop
the violent activities of our own government. If we can resurrect
something positive from the rubble of the World Trade Center,
it will be that September 11, 2001 marked a turning point in
our nation's history: it was the day we renewed our resolve,
present at our nation's founding but since tragically lost,
to live in peace with all of the other inhabitants of our world.