Sunday, August 27, 2006


Over this week CNN, the station that I rarely watch, has been airing their Christine Amapour’s documentary “In The Footsteps of Osama Bin Laden”. The main anthem of that documentary was knowing your enemy. I happened to watch the documentary not because I had nothing else to watch but because I wanted to see whether things have changed since the last time I got myself glued on my couch to watch “cnn”. I guess we are still singing the same old song.

When I started watching this documentary I could not stop questioning the reasons why CNN decided to air it. To me the documentary was narrating the same story that their mainstream media have been telling them for almost over 15 years now. To millions of Americans, if not all of them, their enemy is Osama Bin Laden. I can’t blame them. That is what their president, their media headquarters (every television station and leading newspapers calls themselves headquarters of news), their senators, their congressmen and women keeps telling them, day and night long. On another hand, while American government wants the rest of the world to also believe in what they are telling us about who are enemies are, we just don’t want to end up “just believing” but also put a tough question on their face “WHY” is Osama bin Laden a number one enemy? Unfortunately, whoever questions that is automatically labeled “our enemy” too. Democracy seems to end only on ballot boxes not to expand in power of reasoning, democracy of owning our own psyches.

Psychologically, when somebody tells you something, same thing, for extended period of time, you tend to believe. Few months ago, a friend of mine was put on that psychological test. As soon as he walked in the office in one beautiful summer day we told him that he looked sick. Of course we had just made it up. However, before the day ended our friend was sick for real! Imagine that happened in a course of just one day. What if for over ten years someone keeps telling you “you are sick”?

The questions I want to ask now are twins, identical twins. What if Osama Bin Laden is not American’s number one enemy? What if instead their presidential institutions, from their president to the clerk at their investigation bureaus are their enemies? I know what answers are out there; “we have concrete intelligence” to prove that Osama is actually our enemy. Fine. I am not going to question all that although I have my preservations when “American intelligence” is the only reason. In America intelligence and politics seems to be inseparable twins.

Unfortunately, my questions are hard to most people. People who are not easily convinced but indefinitely convinced without leaving any room for further questions, further historical explanations of the caused of all the calamities, all the wars on terror movements etc. That is when I want to ask where is our own God given intelligence as people? What do we know about the reasons for terrorism? Do we just think someone is crazy or jealous of something as some politicians wants us to believe?

Without tiring you with questions I would like to challenge you to completely re-own your ability to put self-intelligence into work. Forget everything your politicians have told you; forget everything that your best news anchor or talk show host has told you. I had these thoughts and many more when I visited Niagara Falls last week. Accept the above photo of the falls.


Scout said...

well put, jeff. our education system doesn't promote or encourage 'thinking outside the envelope'. too bad, it's nice to escape the liimited paramaters....that's part of what freedom is all about.

Jeff Msangi said...

I agree with you Scout.I also think in other words,our school systems is a number one tool towards miseducation.

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