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september 18, 2001 // 7 days after... //

A week has passed since the Tuesday incident in new york and Washington, and today mayor giuliani stated that it is unlikely that we'll find more survivors (under the million ton of rubble that used to be the world trade center).

last seven days have been about: heated debates, numerous email threads, outbreaks of violence against afgan Americans or others with brown skin, discussing U.S. foreign policy, documentaries about osama bin laden, media circus, and helping each other, encouraging community dialogue, and mourning the dead that we loved and still love so fiercely.

Too many questions. Too much anger. Too much sorrow. Too many dead. How can we make sense of such a senseless act of violence?

//

In an email thread that niem has started, a close friend of ours wrote, "Criticism of the US in this context is entirely inappropriate. There's a time and place for everything. Now is not the time to attack the US... But let's keep the terrorist attacks and terrorism in general separate from a discourse on how fucked up our policy has been, particularly if that discussion is to be fruitful."

I don't understand how leaving out essential factors and events that have led to where we are today in our discussion can be "fruitful," or complete, for that matter.

Analyzing or criticizing U.S foreign policy does not (should not) automatically mean that you're supporting "the enemy" or that you harbor a hatred for the U.S. discussing U.S. foreign policy isn't to downplay the horrendous act that took place on Tuesday. Nor would anyone imply that it justifies Tuesday's tragedy. however, if we're to try to understand what led us to this moment, it's important to get to the root of the problem, understand the cause and discuss solutions to the problem. it's too easy to dismiss the terrorists as "crazy" or that they just hate America, because their hatred for and grievances towards the U.S didn't materialize overnight. Discussion of U.S foreign policy is an attempt to understand the forces and factors which led to this moment.

I understand that people are angry. There is a lot of anger right now: people angry at arab Americans or people that merely "looks" muslim; people angry at people for not being sad enough, people angry at people for not being angry enough; people angry at people for not being "American enough"

I find it difficult to accept that the same people that are urging others to show "compassion" for the innocent victims in new york and Washington turn right around and in the next breath, demand that we "bomb the hell out of Afghanistan." Many of us feel compassion for the victims of the attack but what about compassion for the innocent in afghanistan? Bombing Afghanistan is not the solution. As howard zinn says, "War is terrorism, magnified a hundred times." If bin laden is truly the guilty one, then punish him and the others involved. The oppressed people of Afghanistan (and Americans of arab descent) are not at fault. I hope we can resolve this peacefully without more bloodshed.

//

I am wearing white, to express my grief for the thousands of innocent lives dead. Because it feels more honest to me than flashing an American flag. Because it feels right--a peaceful way of expressing grief without retaliation-driven fervent patriotism.

 

reading:
- a letter from an afghani american

more violence:
- A sikh man has been murdered in Phoenix, Arizona but the local law enforcement are not treating it as a hate crime.

- Anti-Islamic violence breaks out around world

simple delights of the day:
- Extra-crispy fried chicken from KFC with mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, and a biscuit with (fake) butter spread margarine.

- Banana flavored soy milk

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