[unrev-II] Re : Comments On Terrorist Attacks

From: Bernard Vatant (universimmedia@wanadoo.fr)
Date: Wed Sep 12 2001 - 14:44:43 PDT

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    To second Peter's view, I copy to this list the message I posted to PORT
    list a few hours ago.


    From France

    First point, maybe a little off-key with some former messages stressing the
    symbolic (semiotic) importance of the acts against their real efficiency or
    impact. Yes, the targets were highly symbolic, but they were more than that
    and really strategic. Economic life has stood still, Wall Street is closed
    and other worldwide financial places are diving deep, planes are stuck to
    ground, and so on. The cost, not only in terms of direct human casualties
    and destructions, but also in terms of social and psychological impact and
    economic aftermath in an already bad-shaped economy, will be counted down in
    thousands of deaths, more thousands broken lifes, struck-to-death
    industries, and billions of dollars lost. Let alone the previsible global
    gloomy consequences of retaliation and escalation in the violence ...
    Speak about symbols ...

    I wonder if this has been hidden in that debate under the symbolic aspect,
    as a way to minimize the real impact and emotion. But it should be a real
    mistake to hide the real strength and intelligence of the organization of
    those acts, beyond their apparent wildness and fanatism. We have not there
    something akin to desperate samurai chopping heads of westerners because
    they could not stop westernization, or other historical precedents quoted
    before. This is a real war act, with strategic objectives, deliberate and
    efficient worldwide organization, certainly a lot of money and logistics
    behind it, people well prepared and accomplishing their mission with
    remarkable efficiency and professionalism. All cultural, religious, moral
    considerations being set aside, that is what remains. A remarkably organized
    war operation.

    Second point. What those people are really at war against, do we know for
    sure? I won't try to guess. The guys who killed themselves along in the
    attacks were certainly brainwashed fanatics. But what about the organizers,
    financial and logistic supporters? Are they fanatics themselves? What do
    they aim to? For what purpose do they feed the hatred against Occident in
    general and America in particular? Out of religious integrism? Of
    incomprehensible geostrategic interests? Of personal ambition? Of a mix-up
    of all that and anything else we don't understand? Anyway those guys would
    not have such a power if it were not for the following point.

    Third point. For ten years at least, occidental culture has been felt in
    many parts of the world, and singularly the most deprived of them, not like
    democracy and progress and knowledge and tolerance and whatever qualities
    we'd like to show off as the main features of it, but like arrogance of
    market and money. And arrogance of market and money is - fair enough if you
    look at it closely - felt responsible for everyday silent killing of
    thousands of people - with no TV watching - out of the disorders it creates
    all over the place : economic collapses, slums, deprivation, endemic
    diseases, local wars, corruption, drug trade, prostitution, children work,
    urban criminality ...
    That silent and permanent collapse of entire communities, left dying along
    the road to global market, is the real ground in which hatred and fanatism
    are feeding their roots. Whatever the atrocity of their acts, we should not
    forget that terrorist organizations have only to garden a little on that
    ground to harvest the dark fruits we've seen yesterday.

    That may sound hard words at the present time. But if we want to understand,
    we have to see the whole picture.

    Regards to all



    ----- Message d'origine -----
    De : "Peter Jones" <ppj@concept67.fsnet.co.uk>
    À : <unrev-II@yahoogroups.com>
    Envoyé : mercredi 12 septembre 2001 21:30
    Objet : OFFTOPIC:Re: [unrev-II] Fwd: Re: [PORT-L] Comments On Terrorist

    > My last post on this topic, because it [the atrocity] is so far removed
    > the unrev feelgood factor.
    > Yes, it was an attack on symbols, with symbolic significance.
    > Yes, it has deep and far reaching meaning because so much of what the U.S.
    > is,
    > is iconography.
    > The terrorists struck at those U.S. values. No less.
    > It was iconoclastic.
    > But underlying that is pure horror; a horror that is beyond icons, that
    > only simple disgusting truth to it, that betrays facades, ferociously
    > exposes core human values, and unites all compassionate men in
    > with the blunt reality of the cold, fractured corpse.
    > That the perpertrators would inflict this on the U.S. says to my mind that
    > they have seen this before, and that they (for reasons they clearly
    > intensely) see the U.S. as having been the root cause of that for them.
    > (Whether the U.S. really was or not doesn't matter at this juncture, only
    > that the mesh of symbolism is traced back to that origin for the
    > perpertrators; for that too is part of mesh.)
    > As I see it, it's an attack that says quite clearly, "Your values are
    > in their aftermath we saw the truth, and now we return it all to you."
    > One must also understand that many of the mores that the U.S. has
    > promulgated so forcefully in recent decades overhaul centuries-old values
    > great sophistication in different cultures.
    > And even I am inclined to suggest that many new American media values are
    > shallow, fickle, trite and debasing, with no respect for awesome
    > It is certain that the attack was wrong, because it took human life.
    > But it is also certain that the picture that America painted of itself led
    > the attackers there, however mistaken they perhaps were.
    > That countries refused to be policed by the 'Western Democratic Alliance'
    > no surprise to me.
    > They believe the 'policemen' are corrupt (and again is that because of a
    > self-portrait we painted?). It won't do any good to try overcoming that by
    > force, verbal or physical.
    > What is needed is the grounds for the trust that enables great friendships
    > and collaborations -- genuine respect, compassion, love, and true
    > generosity.
    > Peter

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