Op Ed
NakedSunfish ~ Number 1.

Editor¹s note:
Since the war rages on I think...for perspective...we all should try to remember that the situation has a more direct effect on the Afghan civilians than Americans. I relate this not to diminish the events of 9/11 but to remind us all that innocent peoples everywhere suffer from the hatred of others. Even those who may survive the bombings will have to live with the terror and fear raining from the sky.

Amelia Hapsari is a recent graduate of Ohio University and independent documentary film maker who recently returned to her native Indonesia.

October 7th, 2001, Athens, Ohio
Chiara Amelia Hapsari

It is Sunday, October 7th, 2001. The sun shines bright and the breeze is gentle and sweet. Golden autumn leaves are falling. The dining table of the church is filled with children's laughter. Hands join hands to pray for the goodness that they receive. That day, America bombs Afghanistan.

On the same day, the sun does not shine in Kabul, Afghanistan. The city is covered with smoke. There is no laughter there, and no child with a full stomach. While the Americans are recovering from the September 11th tragedy, the Afghans are beginning a new tragedy over another, for a time that we all do not know.

And to keep all Americans feeling good about themselves, even when they wear a pair of Nike shoes that are made in a country whose laborers cannot even afford a pair of Nike shoes with their monthly salary, even when they eat with paper plates that can be made cheap because the paper comes from forests overseas, even when their tax money is used to fund military training for what now the government defines as terrorists, even when their government gives financial and military supports to other countries' authoritarian regime that have done injustice and have violated human rights, even when in the name of peace and justice, their government have done the same thing with what they call "terrorists" have done, President George W. Bush delivers this story about a little fourth grade girl in his speech. "I recently received a touching letter that says a lot about the state of America in these difficult times, a letter from a fourth-grade girl with a father in the military. 'As much as I don't want my dad to fight,' she wrote, 'I'm willing to give him to you.' This is a precious gift. The greatest she could give. This young girl knows what America is all about."

No, this young girl does not know what America is all about. This young girl does not know that America does not equal to neither justice nor peace. America is just a country, like some others in the world whose interests and policies intend to most benefit only a few power holders. Her pure heart wants to contribute something for a good cause, but she gives her precious gift to a wrong hand. And she is not the only girl whose pure heart is led to believe that a war can bring peace and justice. She is not the only girl who is led to believe that a country has to stand high with violent retaliation instead of reforming the foreign policy. She is not the only girl who is led to believe that America has the power and ability to define who is good and who is evil, or who are terrorists and who are patriots. I am sad for the little girl. I am sad for the victims of violent acts. I am even sadder for those who believe that a life that is gone can be replaced by killing another life. And also for those who believe that justice can be done by war against something as abstract and as misleading as terrorism.

God Bless America and the whole world.