Re: some U.S. observations and notes

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Dec 15 2001 - 01:58:13 MST


Thank you a lot for this post. It is very valuable to have a
on what is happening here from outside. Especially from someone
who both
knows the US as only a citizen can and has been away long enough
to note
the differences more starkly since 911 than those who have been
throughout the fallout from this tragedy. A few comments on
sections are

> Finally, I observed a transformation in America, that frankly scared
> me. It's there now, and is trickling outside. Fear, suspicions,
> sometimes paranoia. Boundaries and borders are being heavily
> fortified, civil rights are being trampled right and left, and for
> the most part, I didn't hear people complaining about that (the one
> exception was the the ~1000 people who are held in jails with no due
> process for 'suspicious terrorist activity'). In human history's
> most wretched times, people were labeled and then burned,
> quartered, persecuted, and I see this kind of fear-based labelling
> on people appearing again. I couldn't escape the feeling that the
> place where I was born and lived for most of my life (the U.S.) has
> gone a little bit insane.

Yes. This really freaks me out. Most of the population seems
to be
giving in to fear and to be successfully manipulated by the
powers that
be to go along with whatever is proposed as long as the magic
wand of
"stopping terrorism" is waved. It doesn't matter if what is
will really stop terrorism at all. Just wave the want - push
the big
red Fear button - and the people will bless you even if you run
over them. This is hideously dangerous and *very*
"anti-American". As
Americans who understand the importants of human rights, rights
not because we
are citizens but because we are humans. It is actually very
un-patriotic and
anti-American to not speak out against the gross abrogation of
rights and
the overriding of our Constitutional protections and checks and

> Before I moved out of the U.S. ~4 years ago, I was, in a small way, a
> pacifist, believing that one doesn't answer violence with yet again
> more violence. I also believe that any group's rampant unhappiness
> or disrest has an element of truth embedded, and it must be
> addressed in a civil way, or the violent cycle will continue. The
> events since September 11, and my U.S. observations the last weeks,
> have polarized me (unexpectedly) much more as a pacifist, and I know
> now that the U.S. is not a good fit as an environment for me to live
> (or to raise a kid).

Before 911 I wasn't a pacifist. Now I am becoming a staunch
believer in
non-violence, at all levels right down to speech and thought.
Why? Because
I do not believe there is escape from terrorism without escaping
from the
automatic reaching for violence whenever sufficiently provoked
or threatened.
I do not believe that a violent response will address what
fueled these specific
or any future terrorist actions. I believe it will in fact lead
to more terrorism,
including our own. Also, without embracing non-violence I would
have to
prepare to defend my own rights with violence as my government
has clearly imho
declared that it will not stand up for my rights and will
happily overturn them
in secrecy and with no accounting whatsoever whenever its
current czar believes it should.
If I accepted the premise of violence being a healthy tool right
now I would be
arming myself to the teeth and digging in, frankly. I also feel
that it is very
important to remove the seed of xenophobia and of dividing the
world into us vs.
them if we are to have a future, much less a happy and viable

> I don't know if my observations are useful to anyone in the U.S. and
> I won't entertain arguments or debates, since they are mostly my
> observations. I'll only state that I'm very worried with the
> direction that the U.S. humans (and others) on this planet are
> following.

Me too. Again, thank you for sharing this.

- samantha

                "Become the change that you wish to see." - Gandhi

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