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The Sting


God Bless America
Its Tuesday, 11 September 2001, nearly midnight. I am in Italy, I am chatting, the World Trade Center towers ended their existence approximately 8 hours and a half ago. They disappeared in a flame cloud along with nearly six-thousand persons ¹.

I am chatting in a "room" that's usually used to play < i>spades tournaments, a card game. There are fifteen or so people inhere, I am Italian, a guy named Sami who's Finnish, the others are all Americans, with one exception. He's nickname is Abdul, he claim to be "Arabic and son of Allah". He wants to explain us why he's celebrating a victory, while the world cries over a tragedy.
He said: "we killed 50thousands of you, pig eater"
I expected a blow of rage, insults. I am not American, but i wanted to have him in my hands to choke him. But the Americans inhere were just asking questions - quiet, astonished, maybe shocked. A girl just kept asking him: "why?"
He answered: "children died in Palestine too, you never cried. Now you cry."
Another girl asked: "what the hell have to share the children died in the WTC today with the ones killed in Palestine?"
Abdul answered: "your governors condemned you all"
Someone considered: "Maybe in your country there is no distinction between the government and the people. Maybe there is no difference of opinion and all people support their government decision. But here we have it, we are not all unified in a holy mission, we are not one single thing"
Abdul said: "At the eyes of Allah there is no difference"
And i was asking myself if someone was tracing him, if someone would have soon knocked in his door, if they would have kicked down that door raiding in its house just to grasp him by the neck and shout in his face that there were thousands of innocent beings in those towers, thousands persons with their own mind and opinions and hopes - their own lives - and that they might not even know a shit about Allah and the Middle East Situation - To jolt him until he wake up, goddam!
A girl in the chatroom sent me a private message, she asked me if i thought Abdul was chatting from the USA. She was afraid. I thought about the subway I took every day to go to work. I thought about the coach half filled with arabs every single day. I asked myself if Abdul was within them. I asked myself if people grown up with milk and hate may really be able to live together in different societies.

There is an Italian proverb saying "do not to make a single bundle of all grass". it warns to avoid simplifying things too much. It's true, very true. But we live in the Occident. This decaying, pluralist, blessed, hypocrite and bigot multiethnic society. I am an atheist, but i do have catholic friends, buddhist friends, protestant friends. We discuss, we are able to joke on our different visions of life. We maintain a grey area for irony around our personal beliefs. Crusades were over so much time ago, the Inquisition is a nightmare to be used in movies and bestsellers. We sure aren't the nice guys: racism spreads around, xenophobia, rages. But at the light of day we condemn all that. The rapist, the violent guy, the racist are publicly fingered and cursed by the law. Our laws warrant the rights of opinion, religion, sexual attitude. Yes, we face violation of them everyday, but our states have the mission to fight them. Our consciences condemn them. In Afghanistan, in Iran, in Iraq, there is no thought freedom. The law do not give any warranty. The law grants persecution to those who do not accept the Islamic Religion. The hate may be a natural aspect of human beings, but its the culture that chose if to restrain or encourage it.

I saw a tape, times ago, filmed in Cisgiordania. It showed a classroom of Palestinian children. There were around 30 children, all looking between 5 and 10 years old, dressed with funny foulards with colorful arab-like letters on. They smiled and singed the the operator. The tape was taken by the International Red Cross and was originally made to be part of a documentary on Palestine. The children were singing Koran passages. A melodic sound, honey, reminding me the "happy birthday to you" theme, with different words on it. Then appeared the subtitles. Children were singing: "I am happy to die for Allah, i am happy to die for the holy war." The writings on the foulards told: "death to USA, death to Israel." As I know the tape was cut off the Red Cross documentary, but it has not been cut off from my memory.

There are societies feeding hate to the children. They grow them up in hate, they educate them to hate. The Occident made a huge evaluation mistake. I should define it Pluralist Ethnocentrism. We past the integralist phase. We even are on the decaying phase, but the same word "integralism" in our lands is perceived as dumbness. That is not in the arab countries. The same countries growing children in hate. The same countries breeding murderers. The same countries financing and training terrorists

The Occident already faced a hate culture in the last century. It was named nazionalsocialism. Nazism too breed children into hate. But it had only one generation, and a limited area to root in. Leaving nazism to grow up ten years cost a worldwide war. The arab hating culture is growing from at least 50 years on an immense area. We slept in the fantasy to have a sane confrontation, to valorize the cultural differences. We repeated each other the magic word "integration" for decades. Today the son of such hate are bringing us the price of our mistake.

Its time to face a hateful, painful but present reality. There are states breeding the hate. There are entire populations ready to move war to the Occident, sanctified in fanaticism and grown up in the shadow of our conscience. Yesterday there was people celebrating in the streets, in Palestine. But some were also here in the streets of Milano. And there was people justifying this act or pleasantly commenting the newly demonstrated vulnerability of USA. Those new fanatics of hate aren't just people with a different opinion. They are bearers of death.
Their culture isn't less brutal then the nazi one.

I say, its time to trace a well defined line. A line between cultures accepting tolerance and civil rights and cultures of hate and death.
Before any military retaliation, before any political or moral condemnation, its fundamental to get down at the root and give a cultural condemnation.

All the rest will follow.

¹ It was the first count media gave after the attack. Up to present day the count is claimed to be around two thousandeighthundred victims.

Stefano Re © 09/11/2001