The terrorists made a mistake; they attacked working people as if we are the architects of Western power, arrogance and world dominance. They continue to attack working people, the people who have no say in world policy, no say in the internal machinations of their own governments, no say in the marketing of a soulless consumer culture based on wealth for the sake of wealth. The terrorists believe that no one is innocent. Our deeply held belief in the protection of innocents cannot be communicated to those who have developed self-justifications for all of their actions, no matter how horrific they are to us. To the fanatic, the enemy is not real, not human, not family, and not entitled to the respect they are demanding.
Sad and tragic as the actions of the al-Quaida and al-Quaida copycats are, it is more tragic when we realize that it is the same old trick being played on us again. The rich put the rest of us in the middle of their violent power plays. Just as kings and Emperors have jousted with each other with us as pawns, so do the current heads of state and the terrorists. There can be no winners. Worldwide, we lose our lives on the battlefield, in the streets, at work or in our homes. We lose our love of life and our joy in living. We lose our humanity, our ideals, and our sense of justice.
Civilization itself is always at risk in these violent confrontations. Although our religious beliefs can cushion us from the excesses of our culture and exacerbate the strangeness of one culture from another, they are great achievements in intellectual creativity. This creativity shows that we can overcome terrorism. Sadly, our religious beliefs can also sap us of rational thought and deliver us to the great manipulators of our time. There is a solution if we are to save our cultures, our creativity, our romance, and our joy.
We must not give into these manipulators, these rich and powerful who tell us what to think. Neither the Western cultures nor Eastern nor Arabic, nor African have a stake in this war by terrorism, whether by terror cells, individuals, or by nations. We must refuse to follow leaders who kill us, and ask us to kill others. We must say no.


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