From: Sheryl McCarthy / Newsday.
Date: 21 Sep 2001
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Published on Thursday,September 20,2001 in Newsday <http://www.newsday.com/>
FANATICS.Barbarians. A war between good and evil.
These are the words being used to describe the World Trade Center attackers and whatever method the United States will use to retaliate.
Americans are good and the people responsible for this terrible crime are evil, aren't they? While the world waits for our response, it's important for us to understand why we were attacked and why more and more people in the Muslim world hate the United States so much that they're willing to die to hurt us.
I don't believe the attackers were crazy or even irrational. And, until we stop waving them off as a bunch of fringe-group religious nuts who had nothing to lose and try to understand their grievances against this country, this holy war against us will continue.
What fueled their hatred of the United States? To begin with, it was the sense of second-class citizenship in the world community that's felt by the Mideast as a whole. This is the result of colonialism, when the colonial powers determined what happened in their countries, what their boundaries would be, who would rule and who would dominate their economies. As the only remaining superpower, the United States today calls all the shots, even in their region of the world, and this has created a sense of helplessness and resentment.
In New York City right now, we see more than 5,000 people dead, countless grieving friends and relatives, and a national landmark that's been reduced to a mangled steel grave. In Iraq, they see more than 300,000 children under age 5 who've died as a result of the Gulf War and the economic sanctions that followed, both engineered by the United States. They see more than 5,000 American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, U.S. aircraft carriers patrolling the Persian Gulf, and U.S. airplanes flying overhead.
Would Americans tolerate foreign occupation quietly? And, if Iraq is such a rogue nation that it deserves such rigid oversight, why is the United States so lenient on Israel, where government forces have gunned down unarmed Palestinians with impunity? In Israel, Muslims see American jets dropping U.S.-made bombs on Palestinian civilians. And, while both Israelis and Palestinians have died in the current uprising, they see the United States condemning the Palestinians while giving the Israelis mild reprimands.
Osama bin Laden is said to be the mastermind behind the World Trade Center attack. He was a Cold War ally when the United States was paying Afghan rebels to fight the Soviet Union. He didn't turn against us until the Gulf War. Bin Laden tried to form a coalition of Arab nations to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Instead, in marched United States troops, defiling, in his view, the most sacred shrines of Islam - Mecca and Medina. "We are also human beings, just like you are," Khalid Kwaja, a comrade of bin Laden, told a CBS producer in June. "Our people also want to retaliate."
Another reason for the attacks on the United States is the existence of repressive Mideast states that don't tolerate political dissent or free expression. The United States supports them - Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, for example - because they assist us in our goals in the region, keeping oil cheap and available. But the lack of outlets for dissent have driven Muslims into extreme religious groups, which hate America because its worldy culture threatens to undermine their conservative values.
Combine the resentment created by colonialism, the occupation of Muslim lands by Western powers or countries backed by Western powers, U.S. manipulation of Mideast politics - from ousting Premier Mohammad Mossadeq of Iran in the 1950s to abetting a 10-year war between Iran and Iraq in order to keep them both weak, the U.S. failure to be an even-handed broker between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the huge power that the United States wields arrogantly - and it translates into hatred.
I can't look at the wreckage of the World Trade Center or observe the grief of those who have lost friends and relatives without knowing that this attack was morally wrong. The people who carried it out should be tracked down and punished. But, if we view them simply as wild-eyed fanatics who harbored an irrational hatred for our country, we won't understand the specific incidents of this country's own behavior that contributed to this vicious attack.
And, even if we capture Osama bin Laden tomorrow, if our approach to the Mideast remains the same, these attacks will continue because the hatred for us will still be there.
Copyright © 2001, Newsday, Inc.[_borders/Hablamos_aftr.htm]
Date: 20 Aug 2003
Remote Name: 22.214.171.124
Así lo declaró Francisco Santos durante un encuentro en Barranquilla con líderes sindicales del Atlántico.// "Los enemigos del sindicalismo son muchos: a los dirigentes sindicales los están matando, sobre todo, los paramilitares, pero también las Farc y el Eln. Y también empresarios que no tienen organizaciones, que son muy pocos, pero que no quieren a los sindicalistas", aseguró Santos.// En Barranquilla se ha incrementado en las últimas semanas el número de ataques y amenazas contra representantes de los trabajadores.// Santos analizó con los voceros de las principales centrales obreras del país el establecimiento de un esquema de seguridad para brindar protección a los sindicalistas.// Julio Roberto Gómez, presiente de la Central General de Trabajadores Democráticos (Cgtd), denunció la existencia de un grupo denominado Muerte a Sindicalistas, responsable según él de la campaña de exterminio en el norte del país.// "Aquí hay fenómenos de paramilitarismo que están seriamente comprometidos con la muerte de sindicalistas", denunció Gómez.// La reunión se originó tras varios asesinatos y las constantes amenazas de muerte que ocasionaron la salida del país en los últimos días de varios dirigentes obreros, entre ellos el presidente del sindicato del sector salud en Barranquilla, Carlos Hernández.// Según la Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), 42 sindicalistas han sido asesinados en Colombia en lo que va de 2003, mientras que suman unos 500 los crímenes de activistas laborales en los últimos tres años y medio.// En el año 2000, 116 sindicalistas fueron asesinados, 191 en 2001 y 148 en 2002, y la mayoría de esos hechos permanece en la impunidad, según la central obrera.// A mediados de junio el Consejo de Administración de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT), que congrega a trabajadores, empleadores y gobiernos, rechazó en Ginebra enviar a Colombia una comisión investigadora a raíz de la violencia que se ejerce contra los sindicalistas.// Con AFP.// ~Tomado de El Tiempo.com, Agosto 20 de 2003.