FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Terror Comes Home

The images of trauma have taken me back to similar destruction and death that I witnessed first-hand in Central America in the eighties.

I am also reminded of the crash of Swissair Flight 111 three years ago that killed my parents. I know what it feels like to intellectually know that someone you love is dead, but experience the emotional torture of waiting for weeks for the first pieces of their pulverized bodies to be identified, then plunge into wrenching delayed grief. My heart goes out to all those poor souls who are waiting in horror for word of their missing loved ones.

Although I am saddened deeply by the events of September 11, I am not surprised.

The US government, and it’s corporate backers, have been the biggest perpetrators of terrorism causing death and suffering to hundreds of thousands of people all over the planet for several decades. These atrocities were funded with our tax dollars.

The media is also complicit. Why have we not seen images of bombed hospitals in Bagdad? Peasants tortured and killed in front of their families in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Haiti, El Salvador, Sudan? Mothers watching helplessly while their children die from lack of medicine in Cuba and Iraq due to US-backed embargoes? Why don’t we see interviews with those mothers so we can feel their anguish?

Let us vow not to allow our compassion for any of our brothers or sisters to be extinguished or reawakened at the whim of media manipulation.

We have to dig deeper, and ask ourselves harder questions.

Why would people feel such hatred toward our government and our economic institutions to carry out these suicidal acts of mass destruction?

How are the deaths of thousands of office workers any different from “collateral damage” in bombings of Iraq or Viet Nam?

How have we allowed ourselves to accept the sanitized versions of US-sponsored terrorism, both military and economic, portrayed in the media?

Why is it acceptable for the media to report how many Americans die in accidents abroad? Or for us to sigh in relief when no Americans are on the victim list in such accidents?

So much human suffering has been hidden from our consciousness for so long.

We have allowed our humanity to be blunted and selective.

Tragically, we are now getting a little taste of how our government has been treating certain peoples of the world for decades.

We are reaping what we have sown, knowingly or not. With or without our consent.

So what, aside from horror, will our response be?

Will we allow our neighbors and government to lash out blindly at ethnic groups who happen to share the same genetic pool or religious beliefs as the hijackers?

Will we feel justified declaring war and unleashing the full military power we possess on all suspected collaborators?

Will we feel indifference to the mangled bodies of the “collateral damage to non-military targets” when we move in that direction?

In other words: Will we participate in the perpetuation and amplification of the inhumanity, national supremacy, and racism which are at the source of these terrible acts?

Make no mistake about it: These were horrible acts which I deplore. I pray for the souls of those who have passed over, and I pray for their loved ones in mourning. But this is not the first time in modern history that massive terrorism has killed thousands of people. The majority of times, and the vast majority of casualties, have been caused by, or paid for by the US government.

The challenge before us is to rise above misguided jingoistic patriotism.

Instead, we must pray for and work for a major shift in American consciousness.

Please join me in praying that hatred, revenge, and war-mongering are replaced with compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and Peace. CP

Claire Mortimer lives in Kilauea, Hawaii

More articles by:

February 18, 2019
Elliot Sperber
Greater Than Food
Weekend Edition
February 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies
Chris Floyd
Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism
Rob Urie
The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State
Jim Kavanagh
The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire
Paul Street
Someone Needs to Teach These As$#oles a Lesson
Andrew Levine
World Historical Donald: Unwitting and Unwilling Author of The Green New Deal
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded
Eric Draitser
Impacts of Exploding US Oil Production on Climate and Foreign Policy
Ron Jacobs
Maduro, Guaidó and American Exceptionalism
John Laforge
Nuclear Power Can’t Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption
Joyce Nelson
Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer
Jonathan Cook
In Hebron, Israel Removes the Last Restraint on Its Settlers’ Reign of Terror
Ramzy Baroud
Enough Western Meddling and Interventions: Let the Venezuelan People Decide
Robert Fantina
Congress, Israel and the Politics of “Righteous Indignation”
Dave Lindorff
Using Students, Teachers, Journalists and other Professionals as Spies Puts Everyone in Jeopardy
Kathy Kelly
What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan
Brian Cloughley
In Libya, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Now, Maduro?
Nicky Reid
The Councils Before Maduro!
Gary Leupp
“It’s All About the Benjamins, Baby”
Jon Rynn
What a Green New Deal Should Look Like: Filling in the Details
David Swanson
Will the U.S. Senate Let the People of Yemen Live?
Dana E. Abizaid
On Candace Owens’s Praise of Hitler
Raouf Halaby
‘Tiz Kosher for Elected Jewish U.S. Officials to Malign
Rev. William Alberts
Trump’s Deceitful God-Talk at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast
W. T. Whitney
Caribbean Crosswinds: Revolutionary Turmoil and Social Change 
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Avoiding Authoritarian Socialism
Howard Lisnoff
Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Anti-immigrant Hate
Ralph Nader
The Realized Temptations of NPR and PBS
Cindy Garcia
Trump Pledged to Protect Families, Then He Deported My Husband
Thomas Knapp
Judicial Secrecy: Where Justice Goes to Die
Louis Proyect
The Revolutionary Films of Raymundo Gleyzer
Sarah Anderson
If You Hate Campaign Season, Blame Money in Politics
Victor Grossman
Contrary Creatures
Tamara Pearson
Children Battling Unhealthy Body Images Need a Different Narrative About Beauty
Peter Knutson
The Salmon Wars in the Pacific Northwest: Banning the Rough Customer
Binoy Kampmark
Means of Control: Russia’s Attempt to Hive Off the Internet
Robert Koehler
The Music That’s in All of Us
Norah Vawter
The Kids Might Save Us
Tracey L. Rogers
Freedom for All Begins With Freedom for the Most Marginalized
Paul Armentano
Marijuana Can Help Fight Opioid Abuse
Tom Clifford
Britain’s Return to the South China Sea
Graham Peebles
Young People Lead the Charge to Change the World
Matthew Stevenson
A Pacific Odyssey: Around General MacArthur’s Manila Stage Set
B. R. Gowani
Starbucks Guy Comes Out to Preserve Billionaire Species
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail