An Inclusive Litany


Jeanette Winterson in the Guardian, October 16, 2001:
My friend Ruth Rendell was in conversation at the Cheltenham Literary Festival last weekend. Her sell-out audience was conservative and over-50. Someone asked a question about pure evil, citing the terrorist attacks on America as an example. With great presence, Rendell replied that we could not categorise such attacks as evil, since they were carried out from the highest motives and in the name of freedom. The audience hated this reply—there was a collective and audible shudder. Yet who reading Bin Laden's speeches can doubt it? There is no cynicism in the man—he has never heard of a spin doctor.... We need not sympathise with him to recognise a gulf between the pragmatic concerns of the west and the fervent beliefs of the east. How to bridge east and west is the question—and bombs are not the answer.
Arundhati Roy, again, in the Guardian, again, October 23, 2001:
Enduring Freedom for some means Enduring Subjugation for others. The International Coalition Against Terror is a largely [sic] cabal of the richest countries in the world. Between them, they manufacture and sell almost all of the world's weapons, they possess the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction—chemical, biological and nuclear. They have fought the most wars, account for most of the genocide, subjection, ethnic cleansing and human rights violations in modern history, and have sponsored, armed and financed untold numbers of dictators and despots. Between them, they have worshipped, almost deified, the cult of violence and war. For all its appalling sins, the Taliban just isn't in the same league.

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