“Terrorism has no country. It’s transnational, as global an enterprise as Coke or Pepsi or Nike. At the first sign of trouble, terrorists can pull up stakes and move their “factories” from country to country in search of a better deal. Just like the multinationals. Terrorism as a phenomenon may never go away. But if it is to be contained, the first step is for America to at least acknowledge that it shares the planet with other nations, with other human beings, who, even if they are not on TV, have loves and griefs and stories and songs and sorrows and, for heaven’s sake, rights. The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Osama bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America’s old wars: the millions killed in Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel-backed by the U.S.-invaded Lebanon in 1982, the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators, and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled, and supplied with arms.”—Arundhati Roy, “The Algebra of Infinite Justice”
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”—Arundhati Roy
“People rarely win wars, governments rarely lose them. People get killed. Governments moult and regroup, hydra-headed. They first use flags to shrink-wrap peoples' minds and smother real thought, and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury their willing dead. ”—“War is Peace”, The Algebra of Infinite Justice
“The nuclear bomb is the most anti-democratic, anti-national, anti-human, outright evil thing that man has ever made. If you are religious, then remember that this bomb is Man's challenge to God. It's worded quite simply: We have the power to destroy everything that You have created. If you're not (religious), then look at it this way. This world of ours is 4,600 millions years old. It could end in an afternoon. ”—“The End of Imagination”, The Algebra of infinite Justice.
The Algebra of Infinite Justice:
“In the aftermath of the unconscionable September 11 suicide attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, an American newscaster said: “Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did last Tuesday. People who we don’t know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee.” Then he broke down and wept.
…the trouble is that once America goes off to war, it can’t very well return without having fought one. If it doesn’t find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we’ll lose sight of why it’s being fought in the first place.”
- Arundhati Roy
Published on September 29, 2011.
Note that Roy’s insight wasn’t widely acknowledged until many years after the attacks.