IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #9.9
Part 3 - more additions

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

 

Okay, more stuff everyday. I couldn't sleep last night. Probably the same for a lot of you. We're on the verge of war and a hell of a lot of innocent people are gonna be killed. It makes me sick and angry enough that I can't sleep. I hope I'm stating the obvious here.

Here's the Whitehouse propaganda machine's fucked up logic: if you live in the country where these terrorists live, you're death is secondary to our need to seek our so-called justice. By that "postulate" doesn't that justify Bin Laden's attacks on America? Doesn't he believe that the deaths of innocent people in this country are secondary to his need to seek so-called justice? For that matter, do we want these murders to be carried out in our name as Americans (whether we wanna be or not)? What are we prepared to do to prevent our tax dollars from paying for the death of innocent people in Afghanistan and elsewhere?

I'd like to mention that Maximum Rock N Roll is going to be running a section covering all racial attacks against people around the world as a result of Tuesday. Please send any information to maximumrnr@mindspring.com. Even if it's from your local mainstream media (TV, radio, whatever) send it in as there is apparently no National coverage and this will help everyone get a better idea of what is happening everywhere.

The New York Times is nothing but bad news these days and the most sickening story was tucked away on page 1 of the World/Nation section. As many of you by now already know, Ariel Sharon of the occupational government of Israel has called off the peace talks with the Palestinians. Knowing that they are currently in a very vulnerable position, he's taking advantage of the world situation to further his not so secret goals of reinforcing the state of Apartheid in Palestine. Now Israeli troops are back to the business as usual of killing Palestinians.

Also tucked away in the World/Nation section is a report on the death of Ahmed Shah Massoud. Praised around the World as a hero in the Afghani fight against the Soviet Union, he was also the leader of the movement against the illegal Taliban government. It's a horrible blow to the movement there that fought against the people that are for the most part represented by Bin Laden and who are harboring him. Of course, the story was sunk in the middle of the paper. America doesn't want to know about freedom fighters in Afghanistan. Nobody wants to know that most Afghanis are opposed to the Taliban. America wants a nameless, faceless enemy without the complexities that exist in most countries. America is trying to have a clear conscience about killing innocent people.

What's ironic is that as I write this, ABC are replaying Peter Jennings' documentary on The Century. Watching the episode on ultimate power and Hitler is ironic for so many reasons.

Incidentally, I know a few people that are part of the relief effort in Manhatten. Greg from Go-Kart Records who is doing a lot down there mentioned to me that there were loads of Scientologists around. Hundreds. Could someone explain that to me?

I've gotten a couple other articles sent to me that I thought might be of some interest. One is from an Afghani-American writer and the other from Michael Moore. Thanks to everyone for sending this stuff and my apologies if you've already received them.

Lance

 

Dear Friends,
The following was sent by Tamim Ansary. Tamim is an Afghani-American writer.

Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread:

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.

But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time.

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does.
Anyone else?

Tamim Ansary

 

FROM MICHAEL MOORE
9/11/01
Dear friends,

I was supposed to fly today on the 4:30 PM American Airlines flight from LAX to JFK. But tonight I find myself stuck in L.A. with an incredible range of emotions over what has happened on the island where I work and live in New York City.

My wife and I spent the first hours of the day -- after being awakened by phone calls from our parents at 6:40am -- trying to contact our daughter at school in New York and our friend JoAnn who works near the World Trade Center.

I called JoAnn at her office. As someone picked up, the first tower imploded, and the person answering the phone screamed and ran out, leaving me no clue as to whether or not she or JoAnn would live. It was a sick, horrible, frightening day.

On December 27 1985, I found myself caught in the middle of a terrorist incident at the Vienna airport -- which left 30 people dead, both there and at the Rome airport. (The machine-gunning of passengers in each city was timed to occur at the same moment.)

I do not feel like discussing that event tonight because it still brings up too much despair and confusion as to how and why I got to live ­ a fluke, a mistake, a few feet on the tarmac, and I am still here, there but for the grace of...

Safe. Secure. I'm an American, living in America. I like my illusions.

I walk through a metal detector, I put my carry-ons through an x-ray machine, and I know all will be well. Here's a short list of my experiences lately with airport security:

* At the Newark Airport, the plane is late at boarding everyone. The counter can't find my seat. So I am told to just 'go ahead and get on' -- without a ticket!

* At Detroit Metro Airport, I don't want to put the lunch I just bought at the deli through the x-ray machine so, as I pass through the metal detector, I hand the sack to the guard through the space between the detector and the x-ray machine. I tell him, 'It's just a sandwich'. He believes me and doesn't bother to check. The sack has gone through neither security device.

* At LaGuardia in New York, I check a piece of luggage, but decide to catch a later plane. The first plane leaves without me, but with my bag -- no one knowing what is in it.

* Back in Detroit, I take my time getting off the commuter plane. By the time I have come down its stairs, the bus that takes the passengers to the terminal has left -- without me. I am alone on the tarmac; free to wander wherever I want. So I do. Eventually, I flag down a pick-up truck and an airplane mechanic gives me a ride the rest of the way to the terminal.

* I have brought knives, razors; and once, my traveling companion brought a hammer and chisel. No one stopped us.

Of course, I have gotten away with all of this because the airlines consider my safety SO important, they pay rent-a-cops $5.75 an hour to make sure the bad guys don't get on my plane.

That is what my life is worth -- less than the cost of an oil change.

Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on American Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives around $15,000 a year in annual pay. That's right -- $15,000 for the person who has your life in his hands.

Until recently, Continental Express paid a little over $13,000 a year.

There was one guy, an American Eagle pilot, who had four kids so he went down to the welfare office and applied for food stamps -- and he was eligible! Someone on welfare is flying my plane? Is this for real?

Yes, it is. So spare me the talk about all the precautions the airlines and the FAA (Federal Airports Authority) is taking. They, like all businesses, are concerned about one thing -- the bottom line and the profit margin.

Four teams of 3-5 people were all able to penetrate airport security on the same morning at three different airports and pull off this heinous act? My only response is -- that's all?

Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the 'terrorist threat' and today's scariest dude on planet earth ­ Osama bin Laden.

Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something just doesn't add up. Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a desert has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated jumbo jets with such pinpoint accuracy that they are able to hit these three targets without anyone wondering why these planes were so far off path?

Or am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED to want to kill themselves today? Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause -- but FOUR? Ok, maybe you can -- I don't know.

What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this bin Laden guy except this one fact -- WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA! Don't take my word for it -- I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that laid it all out.

When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use those same techniques against us.

We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing. We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.

Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers!

We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt our day one single bit. We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised when those orphans grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have helped cause.

Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted by a guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of ex-military guys who hated the federal government.

From the first minutes of today's events, I never heard that possibility suggested. Why is that? Maybe it's because the Arabs are much better foils. A key ingredient in getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new enemy is the all-important race card. It's much easier to get us to hate when the object of our hatred doesn't look like us.

Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for the military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn't want to hear any more talk about more money for education or health care -- we should have only one priority: our self-defense.

Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes? In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again.

He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you name it, and Baby Bush has blown it all.

The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous version of 'God Bless America.' They're not a bad group of singers! Yes, God, please do bless us. Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM!

Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush! Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity.

Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate let's examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in. It doesn't have to be like this.

Yours, Michael Moore

 

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