Daniel Pearl's widow speaks out.
February 22, 2002 10:12 PM   Subscribe

Daniel Pearl's widow speaks out. "Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism." (via the indispensable rc3.org)
posted by jjg (12 comments total)
Danny is my life.

Shit, this made me cry. What a brave, intelligent woman.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:45 PM on February 22, 2002

If revenge had been easy, it would have been done already.
posted by semmi at 10:56 PM on February 22, 2002

Damn. She should be proud for having the courage and grace to make such a powerfully good statement now, when she's lost everything but the world happens to be listening.

I think the quote you pulled out is really important, jjg. The thick rhetoric of "stop the evildoers" is all too rarely cut with the knife of rationality along the axis of cause and effect. I am always glad to hear this sentiment from someone directly affected by terrorism. It leaves the average angry American moron little excuse for blindly wanting to lash out against "the evildoers."
posted by scarabic at 10:57 PM on February 22, 2002

posted by SpecialK at 11:22 PM on February 22, 2002

For another point of view, here's what the widow of Nathan Chapman (the Green Beret that was the first combat fatality in Afghanistan) said.

As "easy" as it may be for some to speak of revenge. It is equally "easy" to say we're all responsible. That it is just two different value systems. That we are equally to blame for the causes of terrorism, and the acts of terrorists themselves. Easy to speak in a high minded fashion, and dismiss, from some imagined lofty moral perch, anyone wanting to use weapons against terrorists as simply seeking "revenge".

"That concern for people was what drove him to join the special forces in the first place, she said. ... He had seen so much of the world … he called me on satellite phone and he said he sees women and children being beaten with sticks just for walking down the street. He wanted to fight against that."

In this statement is also "courage and grace", from someone who's lost everything. The Taliban did not beat women and children because America supported Israel, or because they were poor. If you beat women and children on the streets, your are evil. Women and children there are now not being beaten - because of the American military ... not because we sought peace and understanding between ourselves and the Taliban.

Those who believe calling Taliban actions "evil" may be dismissed as "American morons lashing out blindly" - but those who are no longer being beaten ... know pretty well who is blind, and who can see.

Probably shouldn't forget that long before 9/11, a not insignificant number of Afghanis saw the Taliban as "evildoers". But perhaps they were just Afghani "morons", using that opinion to justify "blindly lashing out".
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:37 PM on February 22, 2002

So, Midas, what did you think of what the woman actually said, as opposed to what everyone else on here said? Think she was a traitor or something for expressing complex and nuanced thoughts that win agreement from people who choose to express said agreement in a crude, thoroughly undiplomatic fashion? I certainly hope and sorta doubt that the answer's not "yes." But all I'm reading here is reaction.
posted by raysmj at 12:12 AM on February 23, 2002

It's a complex world and the simple-minded may have their day in the sun, but in the end their words are all as equally meaningless.

The US Gov't is behaving withfar more subtlety and complexity than most of its die-hard rah-rah boosters and its enemies, and for that I am thankful.
posted by chaz at 12:23 AM on February 23, 2002

MidasMulligan: "As 'easy' as it may be for some to speak of revenge. It is equally 'easy' to say we're all responsible. That it is just two different value systems. That we are equally to blame for the causes of terrorism, and the acts of terrorists themselves..."

If you're living in an apartment near an alley and hear a woman cry rape out your alley window, are you guilty of committing the crime by your inaction? If you call the police, are you a hero? No on both counts. However, if you choose inaction, you are guilty of allowing injustice to continue unabated. If you get involved, you risk becoming a target for violence and hate. It's a difficult decision for anyone to make.

There have been individuals, and some of them are or have been in the US government, who made decisions which either directly or indirectly fed the flames of hate in terrorists. However, we didn't start the fire. There are some people on this planet who know nothing but hate. They simply look for an excuse to feed it.

It's not the fault of the civilized world that terrorism happens. It is our responsibility that it is put to an end, and efforts must be made to accomplish that.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:30 AM on February 23, 2002

Oh. Forgot to add: those efforts are going to include kicking the ass of the evil-doers, because of the people in power and the choices they make. However, that isn't the only choice available. There's other things that can be done. Hopefully the right combination of choices will be made. If they just use hate to fight the hate, all we'll get is more hate.

The War To End All Wars, didn't. Neither will this one.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:35 AM on February 23, 2002

jjg: Thanks for the link; she's a very brave lady.

MidasMulligan: Yeesh. We get enough of that in other threads, don't you think? We get your point already but the fact remains that what Mrs Pearl said is not exactly a popular sentiment (hello, Rumsfeld), and regardless of what's happened to her some people are likely to take offense at her compassion and lack of rah-rah jingoism. Like you?
posted by lia at 5:31 AM on February 23, 2002

I don't feel her lack of 'rah-rah jingoism' makes her a 'traitor', especially since, being a French Citizen, she owes no allegiance to the United States. That many Europeans have a perspective which differs from that of the 'average angry American moron' is neither surprising nor really very significant. Her loss is no less or greater than that of many others and I personally admire her. Her demeanor reminds me of Lisa Beamer, widow of Todd who was murdered on United Flight 93. While I reject the possibility that I have any responsibility for the rise in terrorism, I am certainly willing to hear evidence regarding this nations responsibility for the rise in terrorism.
posted by Mack Twain at 7:36 AM on February 23, 2002

i thought the rest of the paragraph was really interesting:
This helps me trust that humanism ultimately will prevail. My other hope now--in my seventh month of pregnancy--is that I will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations.
it reminds me of this other thing. and looking around it's opposition.
posted by kliuless at 8:54 AM on February 23, 2002

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