Bombs and Broken Backs

Bombs and Broken Backs - Sept. 2001

Willard Van De Bogart
Director of Public Relations
International Association of Educators for World Peace

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A bombed village: Smoke rises from the village of Esferghich, Afghanistan, 31 miles from Kabul. U.S. planes began attacking targets along the Kabul front before dawn Saturday and continued into the day. Opposition forces said the Americans struck Taliban tanks and a Taliban hilltop headquarters.
By: MARCO DI LAURO Published 11/03/2001

There is no doubt about it. Ever since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City the social changes that are occurring in the world are vast and unalterable. One more day of bombing by the US military on Afghanistan is going to exponentially attract moderate Muslims to the extremist side.

Problem of United States Foreign Policy

To fathom the Middle East politically has been the nemesis of US Middle East policy for far too long. Anger seems to be mixed with the irradication of terrorist camps in Afghanistan. The new military speak that has been coined is "Target Processing Errors". The sterility of death imposed by the United States is implied in this term equally as was "Collateral Damage" in former incursions in foreign conflicts. It is a human tragedy to see such terms applied when innocent people have to lose their lives because of errors in military equipment or unintentional events which accompany retaliatory efforts.

The increase in Anthrax cases reported in the United States is causing abject fear amongst the citizenry. Peace and security in the American homeland has been damaged. The psychic trauma is causing severe social dysfunctionality. The Muslims believe in Islam. But, within the many Muslim factions there is a swelling within their numbers of over 1 billion members a belief that an injustice is being created by the United States by bombing Afghanistan. This injustice is seen even in the light of the destruction of property and innocent people in American that has been linked to an extremist Muslim; Osama bin Laden. But, Osama bin laden will not be found, according to his son, and each day the arsenal of bombs that are being unleashed is creating untold anti-American sentiments.

This whole campaign of anti-terrorism is ripe for creating more "Lone Wolfs" like Timothy McVeigh in the USA, and Mohammed Atta and his fellow terrorists pilots who flew into the World Trade Center in New York City. The single minded determination and conviction by these "Lone Wolfs" has galvanized a force equivalent to the American armed forces. Americans are now infused with revenge and moral retribution, and those against Western ideals are infused with a singular conviction that if the West is defeated that somehow the world will be a better place to live in.

Most recently, I attended the second in a series on Islam titled "The Better Side of Islam" organized by Imtiaz Muqbil on October 13th at the Siam City Hotel in Bangkok. Dr Surin Pitsuwan, former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Thailand, gave a most passionate address. He clearly pointed out the gap that exists between people everywhere and their leaders to be the most singular cause for the world’s problems. He states that this gap must be bridged so people can fulfill their own potentials.

Providing Constructive Help to the Masses

Rice field in Ban Photphisai

The people of the world are not accepting globalization or international trade as a window to financial opportunity. On the contrary people feel they will loose their unique cultural identity and their everyday existence. I live in the central rice fields of Thailand, east of Nakhon Sawan, where villagers fish freely in the rice patty canals, and have more than enough fruit and vegetables to sustain them forever. However, if agri-business conglomerates come on to the land, to be competitive for the nation state, then the individual farmer is co-opted into the multi-national organization and can no longer sit on the canals edge with a simple bamboo pole waiting to catch a fish and feed the family.

The term for this co-opting is "Marginalization", much like "Target Processing Errors" or "Collateral Damage". These new descriptors of reality are scalpels of destruction of real human values, and by subscribing to the new media – speak we are in effect sanctioning the elimination of people using words without emotive powers.
The major irritation for me is the people in this gap have never been educated to even understand any aspect of the socio-political order. The democratic system imposes a waiting period so you can vote in a financially weighted environment. This procedure has no connection to the peoples understanding, nor could they if they wanted to, thus the failure of the socio-political order as we know it.

Every bomb that is dropped is going to cause the plug to be pulled on one store at a time until looting and social anarchy become the only justification for survival. People are watching how the leaders of the nation states are using global resources for profit at the expense of the environment and are becoming very angry.
Today it is happening in Thailand with the rice farmers and the patents on Jasmine rice being violated with genetic manipulation in the USA. Global anger is going to be a slow process, and unlike George W. Bush’s announcement that it will take a long time to get rid of terrorism, it is the manner in which the irradication program on terrorism is taking place that is going to create an equally massive counter force to destabilize the irradication program.

The only way I see to defuse the global path to destabilization is to stop all military action unilaterally around the world. However, this is hardly a reality for Colin Powell, Secretary of State in the USA, and former Commander of the Armed Forces. The World Trade Center needs to be attoned for, and that mandate is fueling the war on terrorism with weapons of mass destruction. The mind fields of discontent are being laid faster than a patriot missile destined for its target.

If indeed the lifestyles of the Western world have been the by-product of the sweat on broken backs encouraged by greed and blind profit motives, then it is we today of these lifestyles who will suffer the results of such human injustices. No number of bombs dropped on Afghanistan soil will alter that reality. I am sad to see this is the way it is…very sad.

In spite of this there is always hope, the hope that the Western World will open wide its eyes to begin to see that the billions which are being spend on new weaponry systems would achieve more positive and constructive results if such money was spent, instead, to eliminate hunger, cure cancer, leukemia, AIDS and other deadly diseases, provide prefabricated homes for the homeless, and equip all the schools and hospitals in the world with the best means available that such institutions may function better and more efficiently. American living in Thailand

Willard Van De Bogart
38 Moo 3, T. Bangta-ngai, A. Banphot Phisai
60180 Nakhon Sawan
cell (66) 089 894-3030

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