Vitriol
© 2001 by Andersen Silva (10-17-01)

Now this is what it's like when worlds colliiide...!

It's been a month and a day since I was compelled to write the mid-month Vitriol in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and in anticipation of the attacks I'd feared the United States was about to launch in retaliation. Fortunately, our government chose to act cautiously and wisely, investigating, warning, and offering the Taliban a chance to prevent the attack. I'm still not thrilled that we're bombing in Afghanistan, as I know without a doubt that there are innocents being killed, but I think this is the best I could've hoped for under the circumstances.

The administration does apparently understand that they're not going to be able to just go in and take Osama bin Laden. I do hope that he is brought to justice, though, and not summarily executed by bomb or missile or M-16. We don't need to create a martyr, and we do need to demonstrate to the rest of the world that it's justice, not revenge, that America is interested in. On that note, I think that the evidence we claim to have linking bin Laden and al Qaeda to the attacks needs to be shared, at least partially, with more of the world, if we want to allay criticism of our actions. While it certainly seems believable that he is responsible, can we blame democratic nations for wanting to see the same proof they and we would require to try a citizen? Let us not forget that the United States is still the model democracy, and we cannot afford to play a game of "do as I say, not as I do."

The current anthrax scare is unsettling. At the moment, we don't even know who's spreading it: it could be bin Laden, it could be Saddam Hussein (conceivably), it could even be another group, perhaps a domestic one, seizing an opportune moment. While I don't expect there will be many deaths due to anthrax, whoever is responsible is certainly achieving a terrorist's goal, which is spreading terror.

The United States still needs to understand where this hatred comes from. Is there blind religious fervor involved? Certainly. Is there resentment of a better lifestyle? Probably. But a big part of the problem is America's meddling in the affairs of the rest of the world, in the interests of the government or big business or both, as Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal so rightly mentioned. If Rudy Giuliani can't or won't concede that, well, that's his problem; a shame that he turned away money that the City badly needs, though. U.S. intervention has hardly been limited to Afghanistan and the Middle East, of course, and there are plenty of people in Central and South America and Asia who are no fans of the U.S. either. The difference is that the Muslims have justified violent struggle to themselves by turning it into a war of religions and cultures. The predominantly Christian West, and Jewish Israel, must take great pains to ensure that it doesn't become such a war. What we also need to do is ensure that we never again treat any peoples or nations as second-class (or 'Third World') again. Resentment breeds conflict. American colonists rose up successfully against the British Empire. Russians and Frenchmen tore down their respective monarchies. And while there is only a tiny group of radical Muslims right now who are itching to take on the West and their own governments, there are many more who are sympathetic to some of their causes. Let's not risk forcing them to take up arms as well.

Bosnia is allegedly a hotbed of former mujahideen, some of them quite possibly affiliated with al Qaeda. More mujahideen are fighting alongside the Chechens, and there are radical Muslim groups battling governments in the Philippines, Algeria, and elsewhere. While many of these groups may not consider themselves enemies of the West yet, in the current climate it may not take much to change their minds.

The bottom line is, it's going to take more than killing (or trying and sentencing) Osama bin Laden to end terrorism. It's going to take more than dismantling the Taliban regime and serving notice to the rest of the world that harboring (or condoning, or supporting) terrorism will no longer be tolerated. It's going to take more than freezing funds and keeping arms from reaching the 'wrong' hands. These steps will all help, but until the root of the problem is addressed, until we change the recipe, we will still be cooking up people ready to rise up in defiance and give their lives to make us suffer. I'm not justifying their behavior. No one deserves to die in a plane crash, or crushed under skyscraper rubble, or of anthrax, especially innocents far removed from the specific issues of greivance. But in the midst of all the zealotry and the insane hatred are a legitimate complaint or two. I hope we're all mature enough to accept and deal with that when the military action is over.

"An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind." - Mohandas Gandhi
  - A


April 2004 - The real final Vitriol, Howard Stern, Dubya, etc.
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March 2004 - Dining out with my baby, Virtual PC, and the end of Vitriol... or is it?
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February 2004 - Two weeks between jobs, three new songs, grabbing Panther by the tail
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January 2004 - Ice skating with Gina, sushi at my sister's wedding, war-riding, the pink slip
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December 2003 - Moving pains, goin' places with Gina, Christmas bells
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November 2003 - The looong month of October, finding an apartment, Ozzy's gone
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October 2003 - I'm in love with her and I feel fine, Boston, the Dalai Lama, apartment for rent?
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September 2003 - Andy, happy? it could happen!, taking time off from work, Ringo Starr, "Discworld," the blackout
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August 2003 - (W)here (M)ight (D)ose WMDs be?, gay marriages and the people who fear them, '80s metal bands, Computer Man to the rescue, Philadelphia freedom
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July 2003 - Boondocks.net is back!, rudeness on public transportation and elsewhere, "Hole in the Wall"
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June 2003 - Science fiction movies, where is Boondocks.net?, still no weapons of misconstruction...
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May 2003 - How 'bout them weapons of mass distraction, huh?, Def Leppard, Michael Palin, another Silva, wireless networking, and a damned good raspberry margarita
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April 2003 - They're still French fries, dammit!, a new guitar for Andy, music-music-music
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March 2003 - The buildup for, and the protesting against, war
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February 2003 - The destruction of the Columbia, the National Day of Poetry Against the War, hard and soft atheism, Pete Townshend, and the gift shop
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January 2003 - Christmas loot, "Swingin'," more war talk
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December 2002 - The year in review, moving again?!?, moving world leaders around, too
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November 2002 - "Scarlet's Walk" and Tori's penguin, jackasses, and killing in the name of...
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October 2002 - Boston, Aimee Mann, and Palpatine/Bush
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September 2002 - George Darius Bush and George Xerxes Bush
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August 2002 - Movin' out of Paisan-town, and far away from the Regal Beagle
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July 2002 - Church and state: you gotta keep 'em separated, Dubya still doesn't want to play nice with the rest of the world, John Entwistle's gone
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June 2002 - Movin' on from town to town, Dave Barry and the Rock Bottom Remainders
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May 2002 - Science fiction movies everywhere!, jail time for virus creators, Dubya finally learns to pronounce 'occupation,' Andy gets a promotion?!?
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April 2002 - Terrorism on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people who don't interact with me or the Web site, "For Dana" to be released on a compilation CD
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March 2002 - Chip implants, the children of God and the followers of Christ commit murder in His name, ultranationalism American style
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February 2002 - Dubya says, "These pretzels are making me- ack!" Sharon continues playing Napoleon, and... the return of Foogar?
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January 2002 - Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, and other Christmas-related items, stealin' cars, karaoke!
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December 2001 - George meets his sweet lord, terrorists EVERYwhere!, Tomb Raider II finished finally, and the Segway, finally!
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November 2001 - Anthrax (the band), WSOU rocks - but for how much longer? and a minute of silence?
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October 2001 - Osama bin Laden and anthrax and the women who love them
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September 2001 - Governments and armies and the assholes who love them, more misspellings, and a large lack of feedback
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August 2001 - Dubya's isolationism, the Macedonians and Albanians search for peace the Israeli/Palestinian way, 2004 Olympics in Beijing
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July 2001 - Not the Sexiest Geek Alive, war (what is it good for?), murdering citizens American-style
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June 2001 - A dead hitchhiker, the Taliban, and an independent Senator Jeffords
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May 2001 - Joey Ramone's dead, and "Joey Ramone's Dead"
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April 2001 - Brazil (not the Terry Gilliam film), Dubya and carbon dioxide, Yugoslavia begins coming to its senses, Israel and the Palestinians still haven't come to theirs...
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March 2001 - New look for the Web site, upcoming vacation in Brazil!, the pig-headed Taliban, "Hannibal"
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February 2001 - Tomb Raider II, Dubya plays with his new toys, nature plays with El Salvador and India, and the inevitable Chechnya and Israel/Palestinians references
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January 2001 - Snow, a new year/decade/century/millennium, screen resolutions
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December 2000 - The iBook, "The X-Files," the Grinch, the pathetic turn of events in the U.S. elections...
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November 2000 - Got the iBook! the Village Parade, trouble still brewin' in the Mideast, the upcoming U.S. elections...
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October 2000 - Andy turns 30, the Middle East, the anniversary of the invasion of Chechnya...
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September 2000 - A random act of kindness, Great Adventure, new music, new iBooks?
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August 2000 - Palestine and the Israelis, Milosevic, Speight, and breaking the speed of light!
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July 2000 - Israel & the Palestinians, the missile defense shield, and (who'da thunk it?) Chechnya
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June 2000 - Um, Chechnya again, gun-totin' Charlton Heston, misspellings, and xenophobes
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May 2000 - Communism on the last May Day of the twentieth century, and Andy's life ("Don't talk to me about life...")
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April 2000 - Hold on, it's more Chechnya rantin', and an appeal on behalf of a friend caught behind red tape
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March 2000 - Hey, hey, Pinochet, Russia and China won't go away, "The X-Files," the American presidential race, and a prelude to vacation
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February 2000 - Again with the Chechens, and Elián, Pinochet, mp3.com vs. the recording industry, and snow
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January 2000 - Made it through January 1st, Syria and Israel, public transportation, and, er, Chechnya
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December 1999 - Indonesia comes apart, Chechnya (no shit), Seattle's burning, 'n Happy Xmas
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November 1999 - Halloween, my bad knee, Russians? in Chechnya?!? Buchanan and the Reform Party, NIN
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October 1999 - Hurricane on the East Coast, earthquakes in Taiwan, Turkey, and Greece, and Apple Computers
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September 1999 - I'm not getting you down, am I? I'd hate to think I was getting you down...

- - - the Dark Ages (reprise) - - -

April 1999 - the return of Vitriol, Kosovo, a foreshadowing of the Russian invasion of Chechnya (!), and Libya

- - - the Dark Ages - - -

September-November 1995 - the Underground Press Conference, a co-worker bites the dust, Rabin really bites the dust, Remington Bond, Win95, and the Sex Pistols
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August 1995 - the death penalty, the V-chip and violence in pop culture, and "TV Nation"
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June 1995 - Oklahoma City, 'zines, "The X-Files" and "V.R.5"
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March 1995 - I'm sick!, the space program (ha), alt.zines, "Star Trek" and "Voyager"
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February 1995 - the very first Vitriol! Newt Gingrich, political correctness, media overkill, Howard Stern, the Apple goon squad?
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