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Thoughtful Analysis, Calm Reflection

by invisible ink Friday, Sep. 14, 2001 at 11:07 AM

"As the situation lurches toward more devastation, violence and deaths of innocents around the world, alternatives to the hype machine must be effective in offering a forum for calm reflection, for thoughtful analysis, for understanding and truth, and for building a sense of community outside the narrow definitions portrayed in the corporate media."

While much of America experiences the shock and grief of terrorism, the corporate media apparatus has worked diligently to take advantage of this emotional situation and create a frenzy of hype, war, and untruth. Lacking any real context or truth, many Americans are predictably responding with high emotions, but very little understanding or knowledge of the larger context.

As the situation lurches toward more devastation, violence and deaths of innocents around the world, alternatives to the hype machine must be effective in offering a forum for calm reflection, for thoughtful analysis, for understanding and truth, and for building a sense of community outside the narrow definitions portrayed in the corporate media.

In the past few days, the IMC's open newswire publishing system has allowed a variety of voices to independently express ideas and share information outside these structures of corporate media. In reality though, the background and context of these events are part of a story IMC participants have been documenting not only in the last few days, but since the IMC's beginnings in 1999 and long before.

Some of these more recent voices on IMC and other outlets are highlighted below. Participation and sharing is encouraged by all.

News updates:




Some recent analysis (feel free to add more links or direct response in commentary):

http://la.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=10110>Peoples will be independent

by William Mandel 12:11pm Thu Sep 13 '01

http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=9991&group=webcast">Howard Zinn on Democracy Now (10 minutes audio)

by Jaguar Johnny 12:02pm Thu Sep 13 '01

http://www.zmag.org/fiskawecalam.htm>The awesome cruelty of a doomed people

by Robert Fisk


by Jeff Sommers

http://www.zmag.org/calamitous_perspective.htm>Calamitous Perspective

by Michael Albert

http://www.zmag.org/reactionscalam.htm>All Znet selected reactions and analyses

http://la.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=10094>An activist's analysis on the recent events (please distribute)

by Edward Aruna (Australia) 2:55am Thu Sep 13 '01

http://la.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=10042>Why The Surprise?: "I Want To Be A Pilot So That One Day I Can Bomb Americans!"

by Rick Giombetti 12:30pm Wed Sep 12 '01

http://la.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=10100>This Means War!!!?!!!

by Jon Chance 8:15am Thu Sep 13 '01

http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=9953&group=webcast>Refocus S30!

by Don Ogden 8:52am Thu Sep 13 '01

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=1147>Hunt, Not Witchhunt, For Terrorists

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, AlterNet, September 11, 2001

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A Call to Vigilance Against Hate and Racism:

by Ryan Masaaki Yokota Friday, Sep. 14, 2001 at 3:01 PM

Like most people here in the United States, I followed the news footage of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with keen interest and was appalled at the immense loss of life that came with it. My heart and hopes go out to all the families of those affected by these attacks. Yet even more appalling to me was the reaction of many Americans in both their call for revenge against Arab peoples and the call for a renewed militarism in dealing with the incredible situation that we are currently living through.

To date, despite popular conceptions to the contrary, authorities investigating the aftermath of the attacks have found no conclusive evidence of the identity of the people responsible for the attacks. Despite this fact, however, the court of popular opinion has already served an indictment against not only Osama bin Laden, the man suspected of being behind the attacks, but against all people of Arab descent. Yet for all we know at this point, homegrown terrorists like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh could have instigated these attacks.

That, reality, however, has seemingly escaped the media at this time, and everyone from supposedly unbiased news commentators to political pundits has cast their blame on Arabs, Muslims, and everyone else in the Middle East. We are constantly inundated with images and messages screaming for revenge against Arab people, following Bush’s statement that this is “An Act of War.” Conveniently, Bush, however, has forgotten to mention that acts of war are usually issued against other nations, when the people responsible for these attacks most probably consist of a small group of individuals.

Yet while the call for justice against those responsible is a reasonable call, jumping to conclusions and singling out Arab peoples as culprits without proof goes against the very essence of our judicial system that states that all “people are innocent until proven guilty.” For those who have fallen into the trap of calling for street justice or unjustified attacks or threats on Arab peoples or nations, these people need a steep lesson in what the ideals of American justice and democracy are supposed to stand for.

The media has done a remarkably inflammatory job of juxtaposing images of the destruction in New York City with images of Palestinian people celebrating the attacks in the streets, in order to further feed the anger of the American people. Yet the media has de-historicized and stripped these images of any background in order to have us view Palestinian people, and by default, Arab Muslims, as fanatical people who do not respect human life. The media however, has not done much of a job to show how the Palestinian people are dealing with constant colonization by the Zionist forces of Israel, an entity that has been armed with weapons that the United States has supplied. The Palestinian people, many of whom are armed with sticks and stones, live in a constant situation of war where murder of civilians is an everyday reality. The United States has done nothing but feed the indiscriminate killing of Palestinian men, women, and children, so of course the Palestinian people are happy that the United States has gotten a small glimpse of how they have been forced to live under missiles and weapons supplied by the United States.

Besides following the media, I also scan the Internet message boards to see how “Middle America” is thinking, since the Internet message boards are the place where people can post their truest thoughts in anonymity. On these Internet boards I have seen nothing but anti-Arab sentiment, hate, and racism. As a fourth generation Japanese American whose great-grandfather was placed in the United States Concentration Camps following the bombing in Pearl Harbor in World War II, and whose grandparents survived the bombing of Hiroshima, I can only view with disgust postings to these internet message boards calling for the United States to “Nuke the towel-heads.”

And of course I am utterly appalled at the analogies that pundits are making in referring to this incident as the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century,” when the situation is entirely different, and as stated before is probably not an action taken by any nation, but by a small group of individuals.

I am dismayed at the information that I have already received of hate-motivated threats and attacks being lodged against Arab American citizens and organizations. It amazes me that a country that supposedly prides itself on equality and respect for diversity seems to have such a hard time practicing such tolerance that a Muslim temple in Los Angeles must now hold prayer services under the protection of the Los Angeles Police Department.

In the current period of time, with the rise in war-hysteria following these attacks I have also been dismayed by the military-minded commentators, or “hawks,” who have used this situation to call for an increase in military spending as a way to deal with this situation. Hopefully, we can remind people that the best way for the current administration to truly address this situation is to stop isolating itself from the international community, as it did by refusing to sign agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, refused to enforce the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, and sought to go beyond the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to build its faulty “Star Wars” missile system. Additionally, when the United States walked away from the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, the American public can clearly see how the current administration’s actions have escalated the United States’ isolation in the community of nations, and have set the stage for more hatred directed against the United States.

This has been a terrible time for all United States residents and citizens and we may never sleep the same again. The palpable fear and confusion that these attacks have dealt to our collective psyche is real and tangible, measured in the lives of the many innocent civilians that have been killed. Yet we in the Japanese American and Asian Pacific Islander community also know that extreme situations can easily be racialized and used to divide us as citizens in this country, as we saw with the Japanese American Concentration Camps and as recently as the Wen Ho Lee incident and Chinese Spy Plane incident. Hopefully, we can deal with this crisis by reminding ourselves that one of the main ideals that this country is supposed to stand for is respect for diversity and justice for all, irregardless of race, color, creed, or religion.

Ryan Masaaki Yokota is a fourth generation Japanese American who writes from Los Angeles.
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by face it Thursday, Sep. 20, 2001 at 9:16 PM
anonymous@hotmail.com n/a

What the International coalision should do is NOT side with the US govt but against it! An international criminal court should be formed to trial the US govt (cia, fbi,) the USSR govt, and all the Govts and corporations worldwide that have contributed to murdering innocent civilians since WW2. THEY are the ones that have placed our world into this terrorist war! They are the provocators of the hate against innocent Americans that have been deceived by the media and their govt. The US Govt has knowingly sponsored criminal acts against innocent civilians for the past 45 years: it is time that they face the consequences of their acts. It is time that their actions are exposed to the world by the corporate and govt-controled media (that have been accomplices of those crimes against humanity). It is time that the people of America, Canada and Europe are shown what has REALLY happened to the world as a result of the US foreign policies, It is time the media show those images or they will be judged in the International criminal court as well. Then, let's trial the Terrorist of the World trade center and give them a fair trial as well.
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