Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sunday reading

United for Peace and Justice makes a statement:
United for Peace and Justice is horrified by the senseless death and destruction caused by the bombings in London on July 7, 2005. Our hearts go out to the people who have lost loved ones and those who have been wounded, as well as the countless people whose lives have been forever shaken by these events. UFPJ opposes terrorism - acts of violence against innocent civilians - in all its forms: bombs on public transportation in London, planes flying into buildings in New York City, or the armies of the United States and Great Britain waging war on the people of Iraq.

As we write this statement, there is no certainty as to who who is responsible for the London bombings. UFPJ hopes that as those who committed criminal acts are brought to justice there is no rush to judgment or assumption of guilt. It is in these moments that smear campaigns against individuals and whole communities can easily take hold, often shaped by and feeding racist stereotypes. We must counter those who will claim that the bombings reflect the supposedly violent nature of Muslims or the religion of Islam.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's comments that this was an attack on our values and way of life echoed much of the language George W. Bush used to justify his war on Iraq. We were told by the Bush Administration that our nation had to go to war in Iraq in order to fight terrorism, to make us and the world safer. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, none of us is more secure since the Bush Administration launched its so-called war on terror. The war on Iraq and the military occupation of that nation has certainly not made the Iraqi people any safer, nor has it lessened the risk of future terror attacks elsewhere around the world. Instead of feeding the cycle of killing it is time for a new direction in our policies. It is time for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, time to end U.S. support for Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories, time to stop supporting repressive regimes in the Middle East and other places, and time to remove U.S. military bases from oil-rich countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Just as we mourn the loss of life in London, we mourn the daily loss of life in Iraq. We use this occasion to re-commit ourselves to doing all that we can to end the war in Iraq, including building a massive anti-war march in Washington, DC on Sept. 24th. We will also be vigilant in ensuring that this new round of violence is not used by the Blair and Bush administrations as an excuse either for new military attacks in foreign lands or for domestic policies that scapegoat Muslims, immigrants and people of color.

Suicide bombers and IED's continue to maim and kill dozens of people in Iraq

England endures more terror threats--Birmingham was evacuated

And, Today in Iraq posts a statement that I most definitely agree with:
The breeding grounds of terrorism are to be found in the poverty of back streets, where fundamentalism offers a false, easy sense of pride and identity to young men who feel denied of any hope or any economic opportunity for themselves. A war on world poverty may well do more for the security of the west than a war on terror.

Food, a decent job, housing, and an education....also spelled HOPE for a future, will contribute more to a person's sense of self, and value of his and her life, and other's lives, than RPG's and aerial bombing ever will. The deadly machismo/religious patriarchy that gives a dirt poor male the only sense of power, control and ego aggrandizement that he may ever have in his life, could be replaced by a true sense of self confidence and control over his life. Self confidence would be born out of the knowledge that you can provide for yourself, have the ability to help others, and have the ability to build a future with your loved ones and in your community.
It would be a future that doesn't include 40,000 virgins in Allah's heaven, a future that includes only death, with no hope for life.


Blogger PaxRomano said...

I think it is difficult, these days, not to equate an act of terrorism with an Islamic extremist...of course, my first thought when I heard of the bombings was, "Uh oh, The IRA is back!"

Whoever did this, I hope they are caught soon.

7:53 PM  

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