Can We Change?

by Michael W. Stowell

October 1, 2001

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Envision this: It's November 23rd and the Christmas shopping season officially opens. Americans are encouraged to do their patriotic duty and shop, shop, shop to prop up the stagnant economy. Meanwhile, two million refugees are starving to death in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The American public, having watched the media mini-series on the destruction of the World Trade Center with rapt horror, is now demanding a sequel; between football games, of course.

Congress has allocated $40 billion to shoot the next episode. The problem is that the scriptwriter is Osama bin Laden, the destruction of the WTC towers was bait and the average American has taken the bait, exactly as expected.

This war is a recruiting campaign, financed by American taxpayers, for the Al-Qaida network. They are fringe-dwellers surviving on donations from "true believers" and drug trafficking, but a couple of hundred American missiles could turn them into a Pan-Islamic government.

The average American doesn't have the slightest idea of what their children are going to be fighting. Missiles costing $2 million each are great for hitting command posts and presidential palaces, but they are an expensive way to burn the hair off a camel's hide. The Afghans have no government. They have the tradition of blood-feud, just like any society where instability and the threat of death is too high; strikes against them make them multiply.

Clearly, neither of the two sides getting involved in this war will win it. The war will be won by a third party, China, a country developing dynamically, without fanaticism, in contrast to bin Laden's followers; and with a 4,000-year history, in contrast to the US. Also, among Asian countries from China to Iran there is one common factor, they are all importers of Russian arms and potential allies of Russia, the other beneficiary.

WWIII has begun, its final battlefield will be in Palestine and it will end with the sound of a nuclear weapon; a death knell for capitalist colonialism.

Or we could change.


       Michael W. Stowell is chairperson of both the City of Arcata, Humboldt County, CA, Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Commission and the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Arcata Library. He is the producer/editor/videographer of numerous public access television programs; he is a naturalist, a gardener, a bicyclist and a Swans columnist.

[Ed. Note: The City of Arcata, incorporated in 1858, is located in Humboldt County, on California's Redwood Coast, at the juncture of California Highway 101 and 299 West. The city is approximately 289 miles north of San Francisco, 150 miles west of Redding and 760 miles north of Los Angeles. The 1990 census reported Arcata's population as 15,197 and the county population as 119,118.]


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Michael Stowell's Commentaries on Swans

A Hot Rain's A Gonna Fall (July 2001)

This Round's On You, Again (June 2001)

The Remarkable Mother of Invention (May 2001)

Beneath the Cloaking Device (April 2001)

Palestine and Israel (March 2001)

Biocracy (February 2001)

Barbarians of Our Own Dark Ages? Debunking the Myth Behind the Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (December 2000)


Published October 1, 2001
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