While far removed from the relative peace and security of Hood River, last Tuesday's tragic, devastating and contemptible terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, exposes the United States' vulnerability, and brings a long and continuous pattern of world-wide conflict, hositility and violence home to our shores and to our communities. As cruel and horrendous as these attacks are, and in the face of the sadness and desperation we all must feel, let's not forget that we, as a nation, have helped to define this kind of violence and terror by our policies and actions across the world. Must we be reminded that since the end of World War II, the United States has actively participated in the subversion and overthrow of more than 40 foreign governments, and has crushed and defeated over 30 national popular movements struggling against the injustices and oppression of ruthless military and political regimes? In this process, the U.S. has sponosored repression, violence, terror and warfare; contributing to the deaths of millions of people, and condemning milions more to lives of agony and despair. These policies and practices have not won us many friends, and clearly have not and do not serve our best interests as a nation. As we have often seen, and as we now must tragically witness -- we reap what we sow.
And while we all share in the sorrow of this ruthless act, let us hope that sanity, not hysteria, will prevail at this critical time in our nation's history, so that we may choose to follow a course toward peace and security, rather than retaliation and retribution, further violence and war.