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|September 18, 2001: This message was distributed by Papyrus News. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For info on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <http://www.gse.uci.edu/markw/papyrus-news.html>.|
I want to "wrap-up" a bit the discussion on Sept. 11 events. Not that I won't comment on them anymore, but probably not at the intensity of the last week, or in such a wide-ranging fashion. So, just a few points.
First of all, for those of you who find Radu's views in my earlier message unstomachable, here are some alternative American perspectives. Z magazine in particular provides links to a number of other articles and leftist perspectives.
Howard Zinn's view
Noam Chomsky's view
Z Magazine's collection of views
Secondly, what's my own view? Well, without going into a lot of detail, I'll just say that it falls somewhere in between that of the right and the left on this issue. I do think that a military response is required, against the terrorist networks and also the states that sponsor them. Part of the reason I feel this way is that I believe that terrorists' potential use of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, or nuclear) is a real threat, not only to the people of the US but to the people of the whole world (imagine what kind of world conflagaration could be triggered if a nuclear suitcase bomb was exploded in a major US city.) This escalation of terrorism could possibly happen anyway without state support, but is much more likely to happen with it.
At the same time, though, I also believe that other issues raised, such as long-term socio-economic development and Israeli-Palestinian peace deserve our serious attention. The world has gotten a lot more unequal in recent decades, and attention needs to be paid to raising standards of living and overcoming poverty. As for Israeli-Palestinian peace, the Osama Bin Ladens of the world certainly don't care about that, but the average person on the street in the Middle East does -- and, in any case, it's in everybody's interest to resolve the conflict in a fair manner as quickly as possible. In spite of the past year's terrible carnage, the bottom line positions of the two sides are not that far apart, and I'm hoping that with renewed focus current chasms can be overcome. A cease-fire was agreed to today (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/18/international/18CND-ISRAEL.html) and let us pray that it will hold and that the two sides will get back to the bargaining table where they belong.
I'll end by sharing two of the many messages of support I've received from colleagues around the world these last couple of days. Both of them speak, in their own way, to what I hope to achieve through Papyrus News. Thank all of you for your support, participation, and contributions toward this end.
September 18, 2002 /Day 1, Year 5762
From: "Marcelo Buzato" <email@example.com>
To: "Mark Warschauer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: About PN
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 22:11:50 -0300
I've been meaning to write you since last Tuesday, but I decided to write today because of your PN message in which you reply to those who have accused you of being anti-East and/or anti-West.
Most Brazilian newspapers today bring the story of a twenty-year-old Brazilian student who was bashed in Bridgeport, Connecticut, because he "looked Arabic". It's amazing, but for any Brazilian, he doesn't look Arabic at all. He is a typical African Brazilian descendant, and anyone who saw him in the streets of São Paulo would know it. It's just that he doesn't look like anything else an average American teenager from Connecticut could identify.
The boy has obviously decided to come back home - he was going to stay through college - and he explained to the papers that he never had a chance to tell his aggressors where he was from. As I read the story, I asked myself : what if he were an Arab? Would it make the aggressors less stupid? What if he'd had the chance to tell them where he was from? Would that make any difference?
It looks like these are times in which people just need to find something or someone to come down on, as if, by hitting someone else, they could get it off their chests. And it looks like the aggression begins by making stupid assumptions about people without any knowledge of their background or history. In a sense, it seems that terrorism has hit a bigger target than the WTC. It has hit people's hearts and minds.
Papyrus News is a very important contribution to all the readers who want to keep their hearts and minds open. Please keep it up!
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 12:43:37 -0400
From: David Weber <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: about Papyrus News
To: Mark Warschauer <markw@UCI.EDU>, papyrus-news@UCI.EDU
I just wanted to express my support of papyrus news as it has emerged and as you have constructed it. If this were a listserv, this commendation would likely be forwarded to all subscribers, but since it is not that kind of digital forum, I am still glad that at least you can read these comments. I "get" what you've done with this e-publication, and unconditionally applaud the presence of your own voice in the mix.
I also think you are doing exactly the right thing by presenting to us a panoply of opinion, perspective, and ideology, so that we may, as an enduring project, develop our thinking and identify our feelings with respect to the geopolitical challenges faced by all of us before and in the wake of last Tuesday's horrors.
Also, to the extent that papyrus news contains your voice, and reflects your opinion on what is of importance to read and reflect on, papyrus news is a creditable example of a phenomenon unique to and paradigmatic within artifacts of digital telecommunication: the stimulating and engaging local-&-global, subjective-&-objective, personal-&-social, private-&-public interplay never before possible with other media.
Thanks, and carry on!
David E. Weber, Ph.D.
Communication Studies Dept.
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