Driven to desperation?

Letter from Dick Conway

The War on Terrorism – March 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Martha,

I’ve been upset ever since I read your essay, “We’ve got to learn how to talk about this war” in the February issue. I just didn’t think that someone with your perspective — you always seem to see things so clearly from Salida — would call the heinous acts of September 11 “an unprovoked attack on the United States.”

Then yesterday in a Super Bowl message I saw former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, that opportunistic politician, declare that America was attacked “because of our beliefs.” That is almost as bad as the words of a journalist I heard on CNN who said we were attacked because “we are free and Christian and good.” If you can believe a journalist would say such utter tripe.

The real truth — which most of the world sees but which is never hinted at on CNN — is that the attacks were desperate acts committed by desperate men. And who drove them to such desperation?

Alas, we did. Our murderous foreign and military policies did. The bombs we rained on Iraqi children; the oil dictatorships we have supported in Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and, yes, once in Iraq; the devastation we have visited on Vietnam and Cambodia, where children still suffer from the land mines and Agent Orange we so liberally sowed the earth with; the leaders we have assassinated and the military regimes we have supported in Southeast Asia and South America.

I will not dwell upon the corporate rape of Third World countries, but it’s an open secret that Bush was planning even last summer to get rid of the Taliban in order to have an oil pipeline to a nearby oilfield.

Who is responsible for September 11?

Every president since World War II has connived with the military-industrial complex to intensify the Cold War, to build arsenals of weapons of mass destruction, and to allow the CIA to subvert governments and murder political enemies.

On their hands is the blood of the victims in the Twin Towers and the blood of the people of Afghanistan, where even now a child may be picking up an unexploded portion of a cluster bomb (7% of the clusters of sharp steel do not explode at first, I have read) that will shortly rend him lifeless.

“Establish a lasting peace,” you say.

For a nation that, just in the last 20 years, has invaded or bombed Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, and now Afghanistan, that would seem to be the last thing we would ever want.

Dick Conway

Port Townsend, WA