Writer Misunderstood My Position

Oct. 17, 2001/The Northeastern News/Age, 18

I would like to respond to Mr. Copeland’s comments, which were written in response to my  letter concerning the tragic  terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Mr. Copeland’s piece is aimed against a straw man. Not once did I state or imply that  “America deserved to be attacked.” That is slanderous. Taking a class-analysis approach, I argued that the US capitalists have carried out policies of genocide and the country has funded terrorists abroad, thus placing our workers at  risk.

There is  no “we deserved it” line of thinking present, because I do not see a “we” in this situation at all. On the one hand, there are bureaucrats and pundits, riding into office with the support of corporate money, committing crimes against humanity in other nations, and on the other hand there is us, forced to hand our tax dollars over to be used for criminal purposes and having our rights diminished by ominously-titled, unelected “Director of Homeland Security.”

The millions of Vietnamese peasants, Iraqi civilians, and Afghan children are real, living people. They love, they laugh, they smile. That is a fact. That our government ended many of their lives with bullets and bombs – “collateral damage” – is also a fact, not a “conspiracy theory.”

Moreover, it does not follow that because I oppose the ruling class, I am not proud to be an American. It is highly suspect for you to imply that I should ‘find a new home” because I disagree with the government.

I am extremely proud to be an America precisely because all the achievements in this country  — including the building of those twin towers of the World Trade Center – were the products of the American working class: hardworking, honest and sincere individuals. It is also they – not Bush and Co. – who died in that building.

So let’s not pretend that “being American” means supporting those who live off the sweat and toil of our country’s workers. Patriotism is something else entirely. It is not blindly falling in line with the actions that get civilians and soldiers – our soldiers – killed.

The state’s massive security failure already got 3,000 Americans killed – even when Israeli and German agencies informed the CIA that an attack was imminent. Supporting such careless ‘patriots’ is not my idea of being American.

Yes, it is blatantly obvious that those behind this attack were murderous henchman. I do not pretend otherwise – because again, they were trained, funded, and equipped by this government! They only pretend to represent the downtrodden to give themselves rationalization – just as this government pretends to represent us.

“Our” foreign policy, contrary to Mr. Copeland’s assertion, doesn’t ‘change;’ it consistently kills. It all boils down to this: the government’s foreign policy is soaked in blood: American blood, Afghan blood – innocent blood. The real questions is, do you support the government and the terrorists they created and funded, or do you seek the emancipation of workers here and abroad from the ruling class’s genocidal call to ‘patriotism?’

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