Are American citizens more human than Arab citizens?
Stabroek News
September 15, 2001

Dear Editor,

The news on everyone's lips at this time will obviously be the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States of America. Television reports and accompanying pictures spare nothing in reporting on the horrors of the incidents.

The loss of life must be felt by all peace-loving people of the world. Listening to the emotive coverage by newscasters of the major channels can serve to arouse sorrow, anger, hate and revulsion among even the stone-hearted. Local newscasters, not to be left out, have adopted attitudes that may be box-office successes were it not for real.

I wish to answer a question posed in your editorial of l3.9.200l and which reads in part, "And who, one wonders, could possibly have sat and coldly plotted the death of thousands - real men and women with life and hope and being - as though they constituted nothing more than so many numbers in an unfathomable equation?" My answer to that question in relation to the thousands of Iraqi men, women and children, with life and hope and being, is, the Americans.

In your third paragraph I quote, "Disturbing in a different kind of way were the images of some Palestinians and Arabs openly rejoicing in the streets at the carnage in the US." I invite you to view the tapes shown by CNN and CBS of the pilots when they were bombing Iraq. The glee and excitement, punctuated with terms such as, "Look at the bonfires down there; the fireworks are simply awesome; it looks beautiful baby." American pilots were knowingly killing real men, women and children. Are American citizens more human than Arab citizens?

I will never condone violence in any way. I want to live in a world of peace. A world where every person is recognized with equal dignity. America must recognize that the basic law of dynamics demands that for every action there must be a reaction.

The attack on America will surely change the face of that country permanently. Guyanese complained of living in a land of fear of racial antagonisms, violent crime, and murderous drivers of vehicles. The average American citizen will now live with real fear from an enemy that is difficult to identify.

In all of this the assumption is that the acts against America were carried out by Arab `terrorists'. Perhaps we should recall the interviews of Timothy McVeigh before his execution. He said that when he killed innocent Arab men, women and children he was decorated with medals. When he turned on the system that made him into a killer he was condemned. Are there more Timothy McVeighs out there?

Yours faithfully,

Rudolph D Mahadeo