HomeBlogsPeter's blog Peter’s blog: A Tale of Two Disasters — and U.S. Response

Peter’s blog: A Tale of Two Disasters — and U.S. Response

On 9-11-2001, terrorists (mostly Saudi) attacked the World Trade Center in New York, killing 2996 people. The US allowed Saudis to leave the US after the attack and has maintained good relations with Saudi Arabia — while pouring trillions of dollars into war on Afghanistan and the Iraq. Those wars killed least half a million people, with estimates ranging as high as 1.2 million. After destabilizing the area, the US continues to attack Iran politically—although Iran was the site of the largest pro-US rallies & vigils immediately after 9-11 (over 100,000 people in Tehran held a vigil expressing dismay at the tragedy and support for the people in the US).

Sixteen years later, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, killing 2957 people. The US made a few efforts to provide relief, but failed to provide anything like the aid that was needed. Trump threw rolls of paper towels to people, and said “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack”.

Trillions for war on people who didn’t even participate in the attacks, next to nothing for our own victims.

William Rivers Pitt recently pointed out that:

“In every way that matters, the victims of Hurricane Maria suffer from the US government’s negligence in much the same way the victims of the 9/11 vengeance tour do: Both are targets of indifference born of a strain of racism that goes bone deep and all the way, in both cases, to the White House.” *

David Swanson, in a recent column critical of American exceptionalism, pointed out that:

“What we’re dealing with is not just valuing the United States, but also devaluing the rest of the world — and not just as observers, but as people who believe they have the right, if not the duty, to impose their will on the rest of the world. Exceptionalism is an attitude that tends to include arrogance, ignorance, and aggression, and these tend to do a great deal of damage.

Actions by the Trump administration have clearly shown that this willingness to hurt others includes even U.S. citizens whose skin is not white. Structural racism is a tool of the white supremacists.

Over 50 years ago, MLK pointed out that racism, capitalism-caused poverty, and militarism are the ‘evil triplets’ and the US was the ‘greatest purveyor of violence in the world’ — and since then it has become worse, not better.

* ‘September 11, Puerto Rico and the Racism of Callous Indifference’
** ‘Celebrate Mass Slaughter on Patriot Day!’

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