Who are the Terrorists?

"You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or who says it."

— Malcolm X

The big question that has been the sleeping elephant in the national living room has finally been voiced. Rosie O’Donnell was not the first to ask the question, but she is the one who brought it to main stream television now. The question caused a meltdown at Fox news and resulted in thousands of comments at the ABC News blog. Justifiably so. This might be the most important question facing the United States today.

The question is: since 655,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, who are the terrorists. Rosie made a little mistake. Her question is a bit misleading because the correct number of dead Iraqis is estimated to be more that two million. Rosie’s 655,000 number does not include any of those who were killed prior to the Shock and Awe bombing campaign which started on March 20, 2003. The United States has been bombing Iraq since 1991. In addition to those killed in the bombings, 500,000 Iraqi children died as a result of the U.S. sanctions.

When Rosie asked, "Who are the terrorists?", it resulted in an onslaught of ad hominem attacks against her. There was apparent sexism in much of the criticism. Never have two men who debated an issue been the objects of such viscous attacks. The sexist, degrading, and mean spirited nature of the attacks on Rosie could lead an observer to believe that the dumbing down of the population is even worse than anyone ever imagined. Those who are not sufficiently informed to make a credible argument in a debate often resort to such mean spirited tactics.

The one thing that was missing from the great surge of public discourse on the airways and in the blogoshere was an intelligent discussion of the issue. The issue is, who are the terrorists. That is the question that CNN, MSNBC, CBS, FOX, and most of the print media have refused to explore. The challenge is now out there. Those who have had such harsh criticism of Rosie should welcome a debate. Qualified debaters on the other side of the issue could include, but not be limited to, Mickey Z, William Blum, Harry Bellafonte, Howard Zinn, and Ramsey Clark. I would bet my best protest poster that this is one debate that Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity will avoid by any means necessary.

There may be some questions that are more important, "What is the meaning of life? What is the origin of the universe? Does Ultimate Causality exist? How does the brain function? What is the cure for cancer?" To the families of the slaughtered Iraqis, Rosie’s question might be more relevant, "Who are the terrorists?" It is a question that has been suppressed in the United States. It is a question that has been a topic of conversation around the world, except in the United States.

Thanks to Rosie, the sleeping elephant in the living room has been awakened. The big question is now out there. Who are the terrorists? No need for a team of philosophers or military men. No need for a Congressional Investigation. It is not complicated. It is not like trying to explain String Theory, Black Holes, and Anti-gravity. It is very clear and simple. Just do a body count. The answer is obvious.