The following article was written and submitted by author, educator, and activist Steve Coffman of Dundee, New York (Yates County). The writer has taught at the University of Michgan and Keuka College, and is author of numerous of books and articles on social and historical issues, including Peace Meal, Messy Freedom and Words of the Founding Fathers.
We previously printed an article by Steve, “PA Fracking Study: ‘No Contamination of Drinking Water’ But…” in August.
I write this on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Of the 19 attackers on that horrid day, 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. The other four were from Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. Yet, instead of retaliating against any of those countries (especially Saudi Arabia), we gave them all more weapons.
In fact, we whisked Saudi nationals through our no-fly skies back to Saudi Arabia without even interviewing them.
Since then, purportedly to avenge 9/11, we have initiated one war after another in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and now perhaps Syria and Iran—none of whom has ever attacked us anywhere, or had anything to do with 9/11.
Not that I’m suggesting that we should have gone to war against Saudi Arabia instead. Of course not. The country of Saudi Arabia did not attack us; fifteen of its fanatical citizens did. While it was certainly right for us to hunt down those who planned the attacks and bring them to justice, it would only have disrespected our innocent dead to avenge them by killing innocent Saudis.
Yet, sadly, that is exactly what we have done by our outraged (and outrageous) decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, killing tens of thousands of innocents, displacing millions, now also terrorizing innocent Pakistanis and Yemenis with our dandy, deadly new drones.
And all supposedly justified by al-Qaeda’s killing of our innocents on 9/11.
The harsh truth is that every bomb we drop or drone we send creates far more terrorists than it kills.
How would we feel if our family or neighbors were blown to bloody bits by some foreign country that we had never cared about one way or the other? Exactly how our 9/11 families felt, no doubt.
We don’t get rid terrorists by bombing innocents. That only makes more terrorists—including us. The noblest honor we can pay our 9/11 victims is to more vigorously pursue understanding and peace.