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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Len Wallace Fly the FLAG!!! (175* d) RE: Fly the FLAG!!! 18 Sep 01

Hello Friends,

Yesterday I returned from two concerts I did with Charlie King and Karen Brandow near Boston and at Wesleyan College in Middletown, Conneticutt to audiences mostly composed of community, political, peace activists. I listened to them talk about what most seemed to say was a confusing situation compounded by what I fear is an unthinking backlash from the U.S. government and the media.

During an eighteen hour car trip to the gigs (passing by the changed skyline of New York city itself) and a 14 hour trip home I consumed a lot of information from the public, talk show hosts, National Public Radio, speeches by various U.S. officials. It is frightening.

The terror attacks must be condemned without reservation and done so just as we should condemn all acts of terror.

We are told that we live in a "global village" and that "globalisation" is the order of the day. And if we follow through with that logic then we cannot separate the tragedy in the U.S. from what happens in the rest of the world. The Taliban government which will not turn over Ben Laden is also the Afghan government that was funded and supported by the U.S. government and CIA. The death squads in Guatemala, Nicaragua and other countries were often trained by the "School of Assassins" in the U.S. There is the tragedy taking place in Palestine and Israel, the years of terror in Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia. By coincidence the attacks on the U.S. came on or near the anniversary date of the last broadcast of Salvador Allende, former President of Chile just before his murder at the hands of the military with CIA complicity. None of these things can be separated from the other and all such acts of terror from "their" side or "our" side must be condemned.

The response of the U.S. has taken a turn in the minds of many to a reversion to a nationalist jingoism. The pop music of the sixties and seventies (songs such as "Hey children what's that sound, everybody look what's going down") is coupled with continous performances of "God Bless America". Even Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" (a song written as a response to "God Bless America" by a man condemned as a "communist) has been used for an underlying militaristic message that "they will pay" even though we are not sure who "they" are.

I heard comments from ordinary people and talk show hosts that "if only we had eliminated Sadam Hussein even if we killed a few thousand innocent people in the first place then this would never have happened". Television commentators made remarks that "ultimately it is the Moslem people who know who is responsible". People such as Jerry Falwell comment that the destruction of the World Trade Centre was God's wrath against liberalism, homsexuality, abortion. Others now condemn people with "dangerous ideas". President George Bush, Jr., and other government officials put it in terms of a theocratic response as "Good" versus "Evil". And the military response in "getting those responsible" will take place as the governments of Iran and Pakistan seal off their borders to Afghan people trying to flee their own country to protect themselves thus leaving them trapped for the next horror to be visited upon them.

The world will indeed change. Voices of democratic dissent and alternative voices for political change will be hushed by government, condemned by a frightened public who's despair will be used in a jingoistic hysteria reminiscient of the jailing, spying and murder of those with different political ideas during and following World War I. So, it is incumbent upon all of us not to be so easily hooked into this hysteria, for us to demand of ourselves and of others to think and to reason what the events mean rather than blindly lash out (it has been acjnowledged that there have already been acts of violence against the members of the Arabic community in the U.S. and a fire bombing of a Moslem mosque in Montreal, Quebec, Canada).

The world has indeed changed. Let's make sure it does not change for the worse.

Len Wallace

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