IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #9.9
Part 3 - more additions
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 email@example.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.
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
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.
FROM MICHAEL MOORE
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
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
* 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
* 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
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
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
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
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
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
Yours, Michael Moore
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