I have been hearing a lot of people condemning the actions of the terrorists who crashed the planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Tuesday. Now, I can understand the sadness and the anger and the fear that many Americans are feeling, but I find the moralizing a bit hollow. I have also heard a lot of people saying we should get vengeance against whoever was responsible for this attack. There seems to be this feeling that these events are inexplicable and motivated by pure evil.
I do not know who is responsible for these acts of terrorism (I have yet to hear any good evidence that Osama Bin Laden is involved), but I do know that the United States of America do not have an unstained record when it comes to acts of terrorism. Who trained and supplied Osama Bin Laden during the Soviet-Afghani war? The United States. This reminds me of the Gulf War. Who was it that supplied Saddam Hussein in the war against Iran? It was the United States again. The list of underhanded and cruel actions by the citizens and the leaders of the United States goes right back to the founding of our country. I do not mean to turn this into a diatribe against the US, but we should bear in mind that we do not stand alone as blameless in world history.
Furthermore, it is naive to say that the terrorists had no motive beyond simply being evil. The US tends to be a bully boy around the world, especially in the middle east. If the terrorists were connected with Osama Bin Laden or another Arab terrorist group, then they could have justifiable anger at the US for its support of Israel and its human rights violations against the Palestinians. Or they might also be angry that the US is causing many many innocent Iraqis to suffer from lack of food and medicine. Then of course there is always our history of general meddling and double dealing. Back in the 50s, for example, the CIA helped oust the Iran’s democratically elected government and replaced it with the dictatorship of the Shah.
Another thing, the Pentagon was a military target. Yes, I agree it was still wrong to attck it, but we never seem to have a problem when we bomb military targets in other countries, even if we are likely to hit civilians.
Well, I hope this thread doesn’t offend anyone, but these issues need to be talked about. I absolutely agree that terrorism is bad and we have a right to be angry at those who have perpetrated it, but we should also face up to our own history of dubious actions. Look at it this way, do you think our policies in X country were justified? Even though we killed civilians? If you say yes and offer justifications, then whatever justifications you offered could very well have applied to those responsible for the World Trade Center and Pentagon Crashes.