No To Lies, Jingoism and War Mongering

By Craig Martindale
Posted: 29 Jamad-u-Thani 1422, 17 September 2001

Dear Albalagh,

I am a white, Christian, Middle American, born in New York City and living in Indianapolis. I am saddened by the events of the last week. But, before the attack, I actually saw the beginning of balanced reporting about the ongoing Middle East conflict, and I had noticed a vague acknowledgement by others in my community that we in America should give more credence to the cause of the displaced Palestinians. I fear that that this attack, performed by a small group of cruel extremists, jeopardizes the fragile state of American sympathies toward the Arab world.

I feel strongly that living in a country founded on the concept of religious tolerance requires us to investigate and try to understand points of view beyond the obvious, or more importantly, beyond those that are being sold to us by those seeking a profit for providing the information. It is extremely important that we realize that the recent terrorist attacks in this country were a response from an angry, oppressed group of suffering people.

Before the attack, I actually saw the beginning of balanced reporting about the ongoing Middle East conflict.

I know these attacks were not justified ... the people killed and injured did not commit the oppression or cause the suffering. But we cannot hope to stop violence and war without removing its cause. We no longer fear invasion and war from Japan and Germany because they have been lifted from their unfortunate situations, and have been invited to join in a world of mutual benefit and shared appreciation. Let's apply the lessons we learned from World War II to the conflicts of today.

The evidence is already present: our best relationships in the Arab world are with countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia that have higher standards of living and more open trade with the world. We have chosen the role as world leaders in economic and political liberty, and it is time to extend our assistance in a more effective way to the most oppressed people in the Middle East.

We must begin by seeking to understand and sympathize with those who are the most oppressed ... even though their lifestyle, religion and social structure is very different from our own. We cannot afford misrepresentation of the facts, jingoism and war mongering in the media.

If retaliation is inevitable, I hope it is swift, accurate, and targeted only on those involved in the attack. We need so badly to get past this unfortunate point in history, and move on to solve the problems of this world that cause these situations.


Craig Martindale

Vice President
Project Media Inc.
Indianapolis, IN 46268