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The events in New York, and what's to come

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 18, 2001, 23:25
Well, all, said that I'd once more be back
on after the move to Chicago. I had forgotten
to turn off the digest of the list on my old
mail account, so I've read much of the list's
activities over the last week, and let me
say how happy I am to hear that everyone is
safe and sound, if perhaps feeling not a little
traumatized by the execrable acts committed a
week ago in New York. It was quite terrifying
for me as well, since as I said to the list,
I was flying out of Houston on Monday, almost
exactly 24 hours before the planes were lifting
off in Boston and Washington. I believe there
were also reports of the FBI holding someone in
Dallas, and so it came terribly close to home,
even if the East Coast bore the effects of the
conspiracy. To think that I myself might have
met my Maker unexpectedly is not something I
wish to dwell on.

But the whole event was so massive, so beyond the
pale of anything we thought credible... it
boggles the mind.  It shocked me, as it shocked the
rest of the planet (except for those poor benighted
celebrants in Palestine), and shook me out of my
complacent cynecism about mankind, in this sense:
these acts showed that the cardinal characteristic
of cynecism, the belief that human beings do
not act according to principle but rather
according to self-interest, was outrageously
violated in the most spectacular way. There could
be no selfinterest for those who committed the crime,
nor little for those who volunteered afterwards to
help.  It showed that whether people wish to commit
unspeakable acts of evil, or subsequently the most sublime
acts of charity and love, there are times when they
are willing to put principle over selfinterest, even
when the very notions of what is evil and what is
good are inverted.  In this, there seems to be both
the seed of both human obliteration, and human
salvation, and it mind-wrenching to worry about
which path humanity will ultimately choose. But,
perhaps, a mixture of self-interest and principle
is the best route, for we might avoid the blights of
poverty and power-mongering on the one hand, and the
ideological terrors of the Holocaust and Mao's
Cultural revolution on the other. Perhaps...

But it was so bizarre! To think that almost everyone,
everywhere, was united in condemnation of this act
was amazing.  Everyone, from the Pope to 1000
prostitutes in Calcutta who marched in protest of it,
condemned it for what it was: a truly dark day in the
history of humanity, as John Paul II said. The scramble
over the aftereffects is already turning disheartening.
All the Great Powers have agreed that terrorism must
be unrooted, but each will probably take it as carte
blanche for their own designs: the US and Europe for
further hegemony of their economic system, Russia to
step up its oppression of Muslims in Chechnya (after
having laid Grozny desolate, they are already planning
to do the same to Chechnya's second largest city),
as well as China doing the same to its secessionist
Muslims in Xinjiang. And I'm sure the Central Asian
despots like Saparmurat Niyazov will take even more
leave to enhance their ruler cults. He already has a
monumental gold-plated, winged statue of himself that
rotates to face the sun: does he really need any more

So, right now, I'm even more depressed than I usually am.
Please forgive me if I must express my feelings. Please
also note my new address: <trwier@...>.

Thomas Wier <trwier@...>
Alternative: <artabanos@...>

"Aspidi men Saiôn tis agalletai, hên para thamnôi
  entos amômêton kallipon ouk ethelôn;
autos d' exephugon thanatou telos: aspis ekeinê
  erretô; exautês ktêsomai ou kakiô" - Arkhilokhos