INDEPENDENT NEWS

A Brief Reflection

Published: Fri 13 Sep 2002 08:15 AM
A Brief Reflection
Keith Rankin, 12 September 2002
Now that it's the first anniversary of the attacks by (presumably) Al Qaeda on New York and Washington, two things in particular worry me. The American political leaders seem to have learned nothing about how to avoid terror, and they make statements that suggest to others that America morally condones terrorism.
Various people with alleged Al Qaeda connections started rumours about repeat terrorist attacks. And some Americans in high places actually believed them! If you can terrorise a superpower with disinformation, why the heck would you want to kill yourselves repeating a stunt that you've already performed?
If there was a genuine threat of a repeat attack on America, the best response would have been to be prepared, quietly. And every day. The worst response was to show Al Qaeda et.al that they have successfully induced a state of terror in America.
What is most worrying however is that there is a nation in this world, with an unelected president and with a long record of building weapons of mass destruction and a less than perfect record on human rights, that is openly threatening to terrorise another nation. Why? Because the proposed terroree has an unelected president, may have plans to manufacture weapons of mass destruction, and has a less than perfect record on human rights.
If it is morally OK for the world's most powerful country to behave in a bullying and threatening way (ie as a terroror) towards other countries that behave in a bullying and threatening way, then how can it be morally unacceptable for the leadership of Iraq (or any other country) to behave similarly?
© 2002 Keith Rankin
keithr@pl.net
http://pl.net/~keithr/
Keith Rankin
Political Economist, Scoop Columnist
Keith Rankin taught economics at Unitec in Mt Albert since 1999. An economic historian by training, his research has included an analysis of labour supply in the Great Depression of the 1930s, and has included estimates of New Zealand's GNP going back to the 1850s.
Keith believes that many of the economic issues that beguile us cannot be understood by relying on the orthodox interpretations of our social science disciplines. Keith favours a critical approach that emphasises new perspectives rather than simply opposing those practices and policies that we don't like.
Keith retired in 2020 and lives with his family in Glen Eden, Auckland.
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