US foreign policy contributed to conditions which provided fertile ground for terrorists
Stabroek News
September 25, 2001

Dear Editor,

New York is experiencing a most horrendous situation. And the rest of the world remains in awe at the destruction that has been levelled at this most cosmopolitan of all the cities of the world. Most of us remain numb with incomprehension. How could such a thing happen? To such a bastion of democracy? It must surely be the work of madmen! And sensible persons adduce to themselves senseless reasons for such senseless killings. Even though I could understand the root causes which have provoked this onslaught against American sensibilities and citizenry, and could empathize with all those innocent persons who lost loved ones in this tragedy, I am most fearful of what we, each of us, could become in circumstances where there is only despair and deafness to the cries and pleas of others for justice and bread and equality!

This event makes rather stark the old saying which states that `you have to walk in my shoes to know where it pinches or sleep under my roof to know where it leaks.'

We have heard of 'Fortress America'; this is what America will now become, unless fair-minded citizens take a stance to restrain or, better yet, to confute the knee-jerk responses and initiatives that have been recommended by politicians, media personalties and so-called terrorist experts to treat with this tragedy. Every known authoritarian and totalitarian state has imposed devices which curtail, or extinguish individual rights and civil liberties that, as they have argued, are necessary to protect the integrity of the state. The USSR has now disappeared, not least of all because of the political stranglehold they had placed on their peoples - all in the interest of the state! Those other criminal states that still remain intact do so precariously, with no evidence that the impositions on their citizens' liberties are effectively working to safeguard their political integrity.

Other newer police states and dictatorships and, incipient dictatorships are permitted to continue in their present form because it appears to be in the best interest of the USA; and, will surely continue to do so, as long as they respond to the US behests, despite what leaders may tell them of their new found democracy. And, of course, if the people let them!

There are so many instances of this in our own historical and current record that it serves no purpose to list those examples here at this time. Instead, there is material, if you are interested in another perspective, in `The Nation' ( which may help one appreciate the complex situation or dilemma the US now faces, ie if they are willing to confront the truth!

The foreign policies of successive US governments have contributed to the conditions which have provided fertile ground for such poisonous hosts of the threat that we all now face. And sadly it's an innocent populace that has to reap such a bitter harvest!

In Guyana the current regime has already embarked on their own notions or, rather, sets of initiatives to protect itself from assaults on its unpopular, incompetent and discriminatory governance. They fear a threat to their very existence by 'criminal elements' launched against them by their political opposition, their apologists constantly argue. And so, as a precaution, the right to life, as enshrined in the Guyana constitution, is no longer a right to be enjoyed by all. Those whom the state has deigned to deem 'bandits' have forfeited that fundamental human right! The power of the courts to make such determination has been entrusted to a group called the Target Special Squad! And their decisions are handed down in the street in a hail of bullets against the hapless citizen who might carry that sobriquet of 'bandit.' The taxpayers' money is saved from being wasted on a lengthy trial, despite what the constitution may say about that! And the rest of us are expected to carry on with our business as usual. Anyone who dares to raise their voice in question is him or herself ostracized or deemed anti-government, or unpatriotic or worse, a bandit! Is it any wonder that the citizenry remains mute!

The events of the WTC compel each of us, governments and man, to take this as an opportunity to step back from the abyss and to reflect quite soberly on the kind of world we want for ourselves, and to recognize that an injustice anywhere is an injustice against us.

Politics is about life. And power. And the power of politics may determine who lives and who dies. But many forget that not only governments are able to wield this power - ordinary people do too; those that show strength and have faith in themselves and their Gods! And the will to prevail!

My deepest condolences and sympathies go out to all those persons who have lost loved ones or have otherwise been touched by this almost inexplicable tragedy. A truly atrocious act.

But we must bury our dead and pray for the souls of all those that try to vanquish us!

All are involved, all are consumed.

Yours faithfully

Lawrence Houston