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September 14, 2001

Narco News 2001


1991 Ticker-Tape Parade, New York ---- 2001 Palestinian Vigil, Jerusalem

Parade Rout

By Barry Crimmins

Publisher's Note by Al Giordano: This morning, somewhere in a country called América, having been bounced from airplane flights twice now this week trying to get to New York, I received a draft of the following essay by Barry Crimmins.

It is the first response to the week's tragedy that truly speaks for me.

Those of us who closely follow the "drug war" know that governments and media lie, they manipulate, they hide other agendas, they prey upon legitimate emotions and principles, distort immediate history and, by comission or omission, attempt to railroad We The People into not thinking for ourselves.

This week, a tragedy struck U.S. soil, New York soil. Being an American and being a New Yorker means questioning authority. In the coming days Narco News will offer comprehensive analysis of recent events and take a hard look where they may take us as a hemisphere. Meanwhile, Barry Crimmins speaks for me. He gives voice to my troubles, and maybe to yours.

Parade Rout


By Barry Crimmins

When Americans saw the pictures of the Palestinian youths celebrating after the hateful suicide/massacres that sucker punched the U.S.A. in its national soul on September 11, they were outraged.

How could anyone do such a callous and insensitive thing? Rather easily, actually. People do it all the time, even Americans.

After the Gulf War, New York City welcomed the troops with a massive parade and celebration. Americans thought they were marking the end of hostilities. This week we may have learned that some people viewed the hoopla as escalation.

Consider the United States' righteous anger when it saw a few Palestinian kids dancing in glee over Tuesday's terror. Well imagine if Baghdad turned out for a parade in honor of the evil lunatics who slaughtered so many in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. An awful lot of Americans would reflexively desire to inflict the same sort of pain on the celebrants as had been suffered in America. Even if it took a decade, they'd dance if Baghdad were bombarded with the same disdain for the well-being of innocents that was demonstrated by the mass murderers who hijacked planes full of unwary travelers and crashed them into large concentrations of human life.

Right now many Americans are clamoring to send out the U.S. Air Force to rain indiscriminate hell on Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere. This is a natural response at a time of understandable outrage. It's also wrong. Even if certain governments helped in the planning and execution of the dastardly acts, it's unlikely that indiscriminate bombing would harm any culpable party.

Much like George W. Bush, as soon as any retaliation began those truly responsible would hop the next transport for the local equivalent of Nebraska. Actually, they are probably already there. But office personnel, firemen, policemen, women, children, senior citizens, militarily conscripted peasants, EMT's, emergency room physicians and nurses won't have that luxurious option. They won't have a private jet to whisk them away. They will be at the next Ground Zero, innocents in harm's way. When they are massacred and maimed, their loved ones will become prime picking for those who want nothing more than to forge another link in the chain of violence.

TV talking heads tell us that the terror that struck the U.S.A. on Tuesday was an assault on democracy. That's nonsense. American democracy sustained a much worse blow last December when the president was appointed rather than elected. In fact, American democracy hasn't been in such good shape for years. Had it not grown pale and wan a decade earlier perhaps there would have been a fair debate over a massacre that was sanitized with the sexy moniker "Desert Storm."

And perhaps a few honest souls would have been heard when they warned that although war seemed easy and obvious, it would only serve to make the world more violent and unstable. They prophesied that someday amplified violence and instability could come to America. They were proven right on Tuesday when, with the accuracy of a smart bomb, the sins of his father were visited upon George W. Bush's constituents.

Carpet bombing Iraq did not punish the dictator Saddam Hussein but it most assuredly ended tens of thousands of innocent lives. It ruined families and broke hearts.

Participation in Desert Storm also damaged many young Americans. One of them was named Timothy McVeigh.

If Osama bin Laden turns out to be the mastermind of this barbarous assault then we have the Reagan Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency to thank for training him back in the Eighties when he was "freedom fighting" Soviets in Afghanistan. But then when they were instructing him in ruthlessness how were they supposed to know he'd do his graduate work in the U.S.A.? They cynically estimated his collateral damage would be done to people with distant and different ways of life. The hard lesson available this week is that the senseless massacre of innocents can impose needless and undeserved anguish regardless of geographical or cultural distance.

In the coming days as the rubble is cleared and the bodies are counted Americans will be offered simple solutions to complex problems. To accept these easy answers will mean there will be more carnage inflicted upon innocents. Without thoughtfulness, outrage will ferment into madness.

So this is a call from an American for the end of the killing of innocents, anywhere, no matter what. To truly honor the thousands who had their lives needlessly stolen this week, we mustn't succumb to the urge to inflict a similar fate upon others. Let us work diligently to track down and bring to justice each accomplice in these horrid acts. But let us not use our pain as justification to become what we resist. Let us not decide to kill more innocents and then dance down a parade route indelibly stained with innocent blood. Let unjust retribution stop with us.

"In War, Truth is the First Casualty"