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Message of solidarity to those who never receive them
14 September 2001
As a US citizen, I would like to express my gratitude to all those organizations and individuals worldwide who have expressed their solidarity and condolences to the American people.
But in this time of tragedy, let us not forget our brothers and sisters around the world, particularly in the Middle East, who are subjected to acts of terrorism by the US military, other militaries and repressive regimes on a daily basis. Those people do not receive our messages of solidarity on a daily basis. Those who suffer regularly at the hand of violence and oppression are never sent a message from heads of government expressing their "condolences" or condemnation for the acts committed against them.
As people working daily to create a truly peaceful and just world, let us not forget the sufferings of those in less fortunate countries. Just because these people live in a country that does not comply with US military and economic interests, countries often termed as "rogue," does not make their lives less valuable.
Let us remember the devastation wrought on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Let us remember our brothers and sisters in Iraq who are frequently bombed by American and British forces. Lets us remember the ongoing violence in the Middle East, Asia, Central and South America, and in Africa. We must remember our commonality and our humanity and be mindful not to demonize any peoples based on ethnicity, religion, nationality and gender. We must put a stop to nationalism and hatred. We must not allow prejudice into our hearts and minds.
I believe that it is very important, particularly in light of yesterday's events that we redouble our efforts for peace and that we stand firm in our belief that such a world is possible. While the tragedy which occurred in the US against innocent people is unjustifiable by any means, it is undoubtedly a message to the US military, government and citizens that we can not and must not continue to exploit other peoples of the world for our own military and economic interests. We can not allow this event to justify continuing acts of violence or retaliatory acts against any peoples and the environment.
Rather than perpetuating a high technology-driven military corporate system, the US should reformulate its policies to create a more just and peaceful world, where security is defined by human and environmental needs and not by military superiority. As activists and concerned citizens, we should stand up for all victims of violence and an end to the oppressive and fear-based military-corporate-education complex. If we are not a voice for true and lasting peace then who will be?
My heart goes out to all those who have been subjected to acts of violence.
In peace and solidarity, Carah Ong, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation