Thoughts Following 9/11

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11/5/2001:  Tonight’s Science News includes links to several Asian newspapers (Friday Times (Lahore), Arab Media Internet Network, The Milli Gazette- Indian, The Star- Malay, and the Weekly Mirror International), and to several excellent articles ( Afghan roadmap needed, Top Ten Tips For Ambitious Indian Prime Ministers, THE DESERTION OF ARAFAT, Intifada in the Aftermath, Solidarity Convoy for Peace, A vision to lift the spirit, The carat and the stick, Exploding the myth of Islamic terrorism, Paradise lost, and Algerian security forces kill five armed Islamic guerrillas) in these papers. 
    Faiza S. Khan's "Paradise Lost" is, to me, a meaningful read. These articles may not make us comfortable, but I think it's a privilege to be able to hear other perspectives, particularly from astute observers who are close to the problem.

   Given this kind of instant access to the whole wide world and all its inhabitants, surely war is going to become less prevalent than it has in the past. How can we hurt friends we care about? Also, our friends' opinions and needs are going to register a lot stronger in Washington and Peoria than they did in the past. 
 
Here in the U. S., we're all running our Lilliputian errands ninety to the minute, going to the kids' soccer games, painting the house, changing diapers and the oil in the car, mowing, edging, and trimming the lawn, washing the dishes, and reading the children bedtime stories....  not to mention our jobs. We realize in a dim and distant way that the U. S. has some influence in the world, but most of us live in our little, local worlds, racing from one chore to another. But the Internet, by connecting our personal, inner worlds with the personal, inner worlds of friends halfway around the globe, is, at least for me, changing all that. One of the articles in the Arab Media Internet Network is saying that breaking the monstrous Israel/Palestinian cycle of violence/counter-violence is now in President Bush' hands. 
  
As Faiza says, the dropping of food packages has been  admitted to be a token gesture compared to the full-scale relief that might be provided through the various relief organizations, and possibly, through relief agencies in Pakistan. Perhaps, though, as the Dalia Lama has observed, it's better than the indiscriminate and heartless targeting of civilians that has characterized prior wars.