[eDebate] a thought from my ivory tower in fantasy land
Tue Oct 16 00:09:47 CDT 2001
Lots of people disagree with my point of view on this
crisis we are in and I welcome an honest discussion
over ideas. I've been told, though, that I don?t know
what I'm talking about, that I?m unrealistic, that I
live in an ivory tower, that I'm on the way to fantasy
So, to those of you who feel we are justified in
screwing over people we don?t know thousand of miles
away, for whatever reason, let me tell you where I'm
One day, years ago, forces beyond my control destroyed
everything in my life except my family in just under
60 seconds. My home, all my worldly possessions,
gifts from grandparents, baby pictures, everything . .
. gone in a flash. I was sntached from my friends and
all my familiar surroundings. I was totally screwed.
Not ?at leat I can go home? screwed ?cause I had no
home. I had--no exaggeration--the clothes on my back
and my family (thank God for them).
Then,years later, during the Gulf War, I realized I
was supporting a policy that was screwing people far
worse. People I didn?t know. People who had done
nothing to me.
Having been in a similar--albeit less severe--
situation, I realized that those people weren?t likely
to be consoled by the fact that they were ?collateral
damage? (and they were losing much more than I had).
I realized that most of them were not going to feel
better knowing that those who had ruined their lives
felt those actions were necessary. The rightness of
our cause wasn?t going to make them any less screwed.
I decided then I had no right to screw someone the
way I?d been screwed--and certainly I had no right to
do far worse, whatever my justification.
Perhaps my experience has distorted my objectivity.
Maybe it pushed me over the edge. But as we discuss
things like national security, and justice, and
deterrence, and collateral damage, I think about how
helpless I felt, and I think about those people who
are climbing out of Afghanistan with just the clothes
on their back. Some may welcome the U.S. action,
but I?ll bet most just feel screwed and don't care who
So please, recall the worst thing that ever happened
to you and ask if you have the right to inflict much,
much worse on innocent Afghans. If the answer is yes
then there?s nothing I can ever say that will change
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