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Dear "Terrorist" Child: Life Under Empire's Claws

By       Message Manuel Valenzuela     Permalink
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They are called terrorists by the American military and its propaganda machine, the corporate media. You know better. Anything and anyone against the American government and its imperial ambitions gets labeled a terrorist. Any group that does not bow down to honor the Empire and lick its stained boots becomes an evildoer. Any entity that fights the injustice and the devastating policies of America is smeared as an insurgent. Terrorist is the term used to frighten and manipulate the gullible and brain dead American citizenry, making millions believe that if the government labels a group a terrorist organization, then that group or entity is evil and wicked and fighting America because they hate America for her freedoms and democracy and her way of life, and therefore must be defeated and fought in battle, in this charade called the "war on terror." With such an unthinking, ignorant population, willing to believe anything and everything told them, manipulation and propaganda serves to hide truths better left unknown.

No, you don't fall for the bull manure of lies and propaganda and manipulations, you are smarter than that, with a mind that thinks on its own. You know your friends and neighbors and relatives and fathers are freedom fighters, interlocked in a war of resistance, much like those in Vietnam and in the American War for Independence. You are proud of the resistance, for they fight in your name, for your land and your resources, fighting to remain free of American hegemony, with its vast arsenal of plundering policies and pillaging techniques. You know very well Bush does not care for the Iraqi people, or for bringing freedom and democracy to your country. He wants your oil, your slave labor, your wallets and your strategic location. You know that your people must fight the Americans, for if not then you will become an American colony, occupied into perpetuity, a nation oppressed inside its own borders, a people robbed of their freedom.

And so you imitate your elders, brave freedom fighters that they have become, abandoning jobs as taxi drivers, teachers, construction workers and managers, forced into armed conflict by the brutal oppression and occupation of Iraqis by the American military. You have no AK-47, no IED's or mortars, and so you and your remaining friends imitate the poor Palestinian children, reaching down and around the rubble of destroyed buildings, creating the rocks thrown at American tanks and Humvees. The tanks have become the symbol of occupation, of the hatred and the rage you feel against America, for what it has done to you and your land. You throw and throw rocks at these mighty iron beasts, knowing that you can do them no harm, that your rocks don't even dent the iron. Yet you throw until your arm is dead, for such is the bitterness and the rage inside your tiny body, wishing your rocks were bombs, wishing the American scourge could finally be expelled from Mesopotamia.

The damage done to Iraq and its people has been horrendous; the vicious cycle of violence is unending; chaos and anarchy fill the streets; civil war has erupted; the peace and tranquility you once knew is but a distant memory; your school has not been open for years; your country is imploding, its seams coming unglued; cancer and disease fill the hospitals; having electricity and water are distant dreams; sewer and garbage service are non-existent; simply walking to the grocery store down the street is risking your life; more than 3,000 of your fellow citizens are dying each month, the equivalent of a 9/11 each and every month. Yes, you think, I cannot wait to grow up and join the resistance, finally having a chance to fight and defeat an army, and a nation, that has brought nothing but misery to my once beautiful and peaceful country. "I am a child today," you think to yourself, "but tomorrow I will be an adult. I will be mujahadeen."

You Call Me "Terrorist," I Call You Coward

For fighting against America, even though the war is being waged in Iraq, in a legitimate war against an illegal and immoral occupation, you will be labeled as a terrorist. Every Arab and Muslim these days, it seems, is seen as nothing more than a terrorist, a dreaded boogey man sent from hell to scare the ever-frightened American populace. Yet it is your land, whether in Iraq or Lebanon, Palestine or Iran, that is being terrorized either by threats of war or by an actual blitzkrieg of state sponsored terrorism. You cannot understand why, when your nation is being destroyed from the air and from the ground by the latest American weapons of war and destruction and death, it is your people, and not America herself, that are branded as terrorists. Your land has been filled with radioactive pollution from America's dirty bomb, depleted uranium munitions, causing entire clusters of cancer, leukemia, disease and birth deformities, yet you are the terrorist. There was not one act of terrorism before the illegal invasion and occupation of your land, yet when you rise to resist, you are the terrorist.

In Lebanon, your county has been sent back in time twenty years, its infrastructure decimated, its beaches made toxic with petroleum, entire neighborhoods flattened, cluster bombs littered throughout cities, villages and fields, killing long after the Israeli state terror machine has left, yet your resistance fighters are the so-called terrorists. One thousand three-hundred of your fellow Lebanese are dead, many more still buried under rubble, one-third of them children like you, yet your fathers and brothers and grandfathers are the terrorists? Somehow, you cannot understand the logic behind the propaganda, nor the blind trust and belief the American people place on such lies and distortions.

For the last six years it seems that America has declared a Crusade against the Arab and Muslim world, invading two nations and giving Israel the green light to destroy two more, using American made weapons and technology. Yet her appetite does not seem to be quenched. On the horizon you can see Syria and Iran in the American crosshairs, two nations whose reputation is being marketed to strike fear into the most coward-laced population on Earth, the American people. You cannot help but wonder why such cowardice exists in the land of the free and the home of the brave. You fail to see the logic behind 300 million people willingly giving up their freedoms and rights in exchange for protection and security from a boogeyman that is more a figment of Bush's imagination than a threat to the sovereignty of the most powerful nation on Earth. Have they been manipulated so thoroughly, brainwashed so profoundly, that they fear an enemy that has been concocted from the minds of the real terrorists, namely the Bush cabal or corporatists and neoconartists?
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America has not experienced one one-millionth the amount of terrorism that has afflicted your land, you realize, yet it fears one million times more. It was subjected to one monstrous act of state terror, something that happens to your country on a daily basis, yet it is America that now runs to hide and scapegoat at the first sign, real or concocted, of imminent danger? Did the demolition of the World Trade Center have such a deep effect on the psyche of the population, enough to transform a once brave and great citizenry into one filled with cowardice and fear? It sure looks that way, you say to yourself.

Even as a child you realize that Arabs and Muslims have been selected to become the latest incarnation of America's enemy, the boogeyman needed to advance the interests of imperial hegemony, the perfect excuse to launch wars for geopolitical expediency and resource control. You see Arab and Muslim men and women slowly becoming the object of hate throughout the western world, much like the Jews in Nazi Germany, slowly becoming the scapegoats needed to pursue the interests of the powerful. To those Arabs and Muslims living in England or America, you wonder if soon they will be forced to wear a small yet noticeable red or green Crescent Moon on their sleeve. You wonder if soon they will be so marginalized, so hated by the ignorant masses, that they will not be allowed to fly or travel or stay at a hotel. You wonder if the day is coming when, after one more attack, they will be deported back to the Middle East or worse, sent to detention centers, their neighborhoods turned to ghettos, their rights and freedoms taken and destroyed.

This madness cannot continue, you think to yourself. You are but a child, yet have seen so much suffering already. You live in indigence, while your masters live in gluttonous luxury. You see desperation all around you, poverty, disease, frustration and deep resentment growing on a daily basis, your neighborhoods becoming the epicenters of growing anger, both at America and at its puppets. You have no future in the Middle East, no destiny worth pursuing. Few if any jobs await you once you become an adult. Your education by the state is designed to make you an ignorant primate, obedient, complacent and acquiescent to the dictates of the state. Your family has been devastated by the bombs, missiles and munitions dropped down by state sponsored terrorism. You see no future and no hope, only desperation, frustration and resentment.

The western world calls you terrorist, evildoer and boogeyman, a dark-skinned enemy of freedom and democracy, a wicked criminal lurking in every closet, underneath every bed, waiting to inflict fear and terror upon the populace. You have become a convenient patsy, a walking advertisement of fear, an alien walking in unwelcome land, a cave dweller with the capacity to implode the monoliths of capitalism's might. Your appearance and color strike fear on the street, in a mall, on a bus and inside an airplane, your ethnicity and religion condemning you to profiling, harassment, stares and guilt by association. You are guilty until proven innocent, an evildoer terrorist who must be deported or imprisoned, to be tortured and sent to rot in Guantanamo.

The ignorant hate and despise you while the educated simply avoid you like the plague. You are no longer welcome in America or England, you have become the new "n-word," the new leper, an unwanted human being made evil and malevolent by the public relations and marketing machines of the Zionists and the Americans, becoming, in the span of half a decade, the terrorist engineered to devastate the psyche of your average American and British citizen, sending them crying at night in fright, begging that their rights and freedoms be taken away in exchange for security and protection from their masters and their government.
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In the end, you wonder where all this is headed, if this vicious cycle of hate and violence can sustain itself. You wonder how long you will be called terrorist and how many more Middle East nations will be invaded and destroyed. You wonder how long it will be until America finds a new evildoer, a new enemy to exploit and devastate. You hope that day comes soon, for you fear what is to happen to your cousins living in Michigan, or your friends residing in London, if this madness continues and its unstoppable momentum can no longer be stopped.

The lunacy that is the so-called "war on terror" has taken us into a bizarre and alternate world, one that is as dangerous to the human race as any time in our brief history. We are on the verge of disaster, of immersing ourselves into the self-fulfilling prophesy of our most archaic myths. If we do not put a stop to this madness, then surely it will put a stop to us. What we do in the next few years might well determine our future as a civilization, and it might very well decide what future historians will write about humanity at the dawn of the 21st century. Have we learned nothing from the errors and mistakes of our descendants? Have we yet to grasp the kind of future we are invariably leading ourselves into?

We must let go of the primitive tendencies of our human nature before their demons once more take possession of our minds. We must understand our animal selves, as well as control the emotions and passions and instincts we naturally possess. It is time to move forward into enlightenment, not backwards into dark ages. It is time for a new human renaissance, not another human catastrophe. Let humankind turn against the wickedness of our leaders and the evils of our ways, transforming ourselves into caretakers both of ourselves and the planet, not destroyers of all that is innocent and beautiful. The cowardice now prevalent must be made extinct, to be replaced by the bravery that once permeated through our pores. We must conquer fear and hatred, we must quench our desire for vengeance. We must conquer our appetite for war and violence, turning instead to peace and understanding. Only then can we move on. Only then will humanity be saved. Only then can we honestly call ourselves human and not primates.

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Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet essayist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog, http://www.valenzuelasveritas.blogspot.com as well as at other alternative (more...)

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