REAP WHAT YOU SOW
Professor Roland G. Simbulan
Professor, University of the Philippines
& Co-Convenor, Gathering for Peace
This biblical phrase comes to our mind as we, together with the muffled voices of the victims of all wars and terrorism, remember and commemorate the events of September 11,2001. But, unlike President George Bush, Jr. and his Washington warmongers from the oil and gas industry in his cabinet, we do not want to remember and commemorate those dastardly events to make more war. More blood. More hate.
The United States of America, lest we forget, was a country founded on the genocide of American Indian nations. The European chronicler Las Casas in his book, History of the Indies, estimates that over three million American Indians perished from war, slavery and the mines between 1494 to 1508 alone. Other American historians calculate that over 8 million Indians on the North American continent died by conquest, slavery and death, as their fertile lands and hunting grounds were land-grabbed wholesale by white settlers.
On the other hand, American historian Howard Zinn estimates that 10 to 15 million blacks were transported as slaves to the American colonies, representing one-third of those originally seized in Africa. It is estimated that Africa lost 50 million human beings to death and slavery at the hands of slave traders and plantation owners of the United States in the era we like to call the beginnings of modern Western civilization.
But STATE TERRORISM did not end there. In the tradition of the Reign of Terror in France where heads were decapitated by the now infamous 'Mr. Guillotine'; the mass purges by Stalin in Russia; the holocaust by Hitler; the killing fields of Pol Pot in Cambodia; and the ethnic cleansings of Bosnia, the United States showed the finest example of "efficient" state terrorism by the atom bombing of the two Japanese cities in 1945 instantly killing 210,000 civilians with two bombs. These mass killings of civilians were perpetuated by STATE TERRORISM.
But the corporate owners and militarists of Washington have not learned from that past at all. Their domestic and foreign policies of intervention to project its military power to every corner on earth and expansion of US capital and markets at the expense of the peoples of the world, have reaped itself with more and more enemies and hatred. Its misguided policies in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America have created what author Chalmer Johnson calls "BLOWBACK", the unintended costs and consequences of American policies, and which are in fact the seeds of future disaster.
US support for socio-economic oppression and exploitation in many countries by propping up dictatorial elites has resulted in social and political conflict and strife. The solution to these is not more military pacification with America's now borderless armed forces and their local militarist friends who rely on their US-trained and US-armed armed forces to solve social injustice and socio-economic oppression.
Sept. 11 was the greatest blowback ever suffered by an arrogant superpower and interventionist which has dominated the world during much of the 20th century. In both symbolic and real terms, it publicly humiliated the bankers and capitalists of Wall Street, and the militarists of the Pentagon who have always planned to nuke every freedom fighter in the Third World out of existence since 1945.
Now, on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, George Bush Jr. wants to use the occasion to wage war on Iraq. The Western media these days are drum-beating, magnifying and echoing the war cries of the oil and gas executives, and the tycoons of the U.S. war industries. Fortunately, not everyone is in the mood for war, as more and more American people are becoming aware that their name is being used for Washington's war plans. 'NOT IN OUR NAME',they now cry.
In Asia, long the battlefield of many of U.S. wars of aggression and intervention in the 20th century, a significant step has recently taken place. The Asian Peace Alliance has been formed by most of Asia's peace movements and anti-globalization forces to counter the US' increased and heightened hegemony in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia. This is a significant movement, a truly significant coalition for PEACE in the form of a compelling mass movement.
September 11, 2002
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.
Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
And we could never fly…
* Article by Roland G Simbulan – For a full professional background of Professor Roland G. Simbulan (Click Here)