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What is an appropropriate response?
Political and philosophical considerations after the attack on the Word Trade Center

As We Grieve, Remember Chile & Our Civil Liberties

By Shepherd Bliss

On Sept. 11 a plane headed for the president's home and office.  This
plane reached its destiny, in l973, and rocketed La Moneda, within
which Chile's democratically-elected Pres. Salvador Allende was
assassinated.  When these U.S.-financed terrorists ended Chilean
democracy, they cocked a trigger that 28 years later would rain death
from the skies in New York and Washington, D.C.

As I saw the planes hit the World Trade Center towers and those
invincible momuments to U.S. power come crashing down so quickly, I
once again saw the rockets destroy Chile's Presidential Palace and
initiate the slaughter of thousands.  The chickens have come home to
roost.  The unsinkable Titanic super-power may be sinking.

Please add my friend Frank Teruggi--tortured to death by the Chilean
Gen. Pinochet--to the list of the innocent ones for whom you mourn.
Now is a time for grief, not revenge and more violence.  Frank, I
have not forgotten you and the life you gave for freedom.  Frank
Teruggi presente!

We should remember the thousands who lost their lives and the
millions who lost democracy in Chile and elsewhere to U.S. terrorism.
May we mourn the many innocent dead and wounded and see beyond our
borders to develop a species-wide identity that transcends narrow
nationalism.  May the few perpetrators of this crime against humanity
be caught and brought to justice; and may the many innocent people
who happen to live in Afghanistan and the Middle East not be punished
for the crimes of others.

May we work to stop the violence, rather than escalate to a surely
unwinnable war.  May this tragedy open our eyes to our larger
international context and our responsibilities as U.S. citizens to
work for peace.  May we condemn without reservation all terrorism,
including that used by governments.

"A broken heart is an open heart," someone said at one of the healing
circles after this Sept. 11 attack from the air.  May this tragedy
open us, rather than blind us to our own responsibilities and shut us
down, which terrorism too often does.

As the Pentagon considers retaliation for this "Pearl Harbor," lets
keep a close eye on our civil liberties.  As I listen to the
TV--which I do not advise--I feel the media "manufacturing consent"
(MIT linguist Chomsky's term) for martial law.   I do not personally
fear as much the "Attack on America" as I do the "Attack by America"
on our civil liberties domestically and on the innocent, especially
Arabs and other people of color, around the globe.