Campus News

Cape Town Diary: October 3. By Paul Min, Bowdoin College 03

Story posted October 04, 2001

Cape Town Diary: October 3.

The words of the man himself, Marvin Gaye, still ring true today...

"Father, Father, we don't need to escalate, war is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate, you know we've got to find a way, to bring some lovin' here today... oh, what's going on, what's going on..." - What's Going On

Being here in South Africa is an eye-opening experience in terms of media. Sorry to break it to you people back in the states, but the U.S. media is as much a proponent of U.S. government propaganda as those people you see in the news cheering the terrorist attacks are a result of propaganda from their own respective governments. Not to say that what happened in NY and DC was in any way justified; any person in their right mind will tell you that innocent people dying is never right. What bothers me, however, is that many of those same people who condemn the attacks on America turn right around and call for blood. Since when does killing more innocent people, even in the hunt for those who are guilty, make the whole thing justifiable?

They say thousands; maybe millions are going to die from starvation in Afghanistan due to economic sanctions, cut off supplies, etc. These are people, human beings, just like the people who died in the World Trade Center and Pentagon were people. They are not merely statistics, they are people - who have other people who love them and care about them as well - they are not bad people who want to kill all Americans. They may be victims of propaganda, but in the end... still people.

Not to say that their dislike for America is not warranted. Ironic that U.S. foreign policy and the things that Daddy Bush wrought during his time have come back and bitten Dubya in the [behind]. There are reasons why people around the world do not like the us, not because they are "jealous" of our standards of living and the American dream, but because U.S. foreign policy around the world gets its fingers into everybody's business and is only geared towards its own self-benefit. Osama bin Laden is a direct result of U.S. Cold War foreign policy. Clinton, in an attempt to destroy a "weapons factory" supposedly linked to bin Laden, blew up an aspirin factory and killed innocent people. And you wonder why people don't like the U.S.?

I am definitely not as well informed about the news as I would like to be, but it doesn't take too much to see... I had hope that people in the U.S. could learn from this whole experience, see things from a different perspective, but all I can really see from here is an increase in sale for American flags.

Anyway, I'll get off my political pedestal, I don't know enough to make claims like that... just what was on my mind. I've been pretty tired lately, psychologically and physically, living here is pretty intense sometimes, and when you can't match the intensity, you tend to sink beneath it. The waves and waves of schoolwork keep hitting me, and sometimes I feel like my brain is fried and smoke should be coming out of my ears. But after all is said and done, I wouldn't give up this experience for the world, and I'd do it all over again if I had the chance. I've learned so much about myself, and I've learned a lot about other people, and I hope I'll come out a better person because of it. I just hope that something good will come out of the tragedies that happened, but I'm not too optimistic.

Love is the engine to the revolution, but I guess the revolution has stalled for now... Don't hate on Muslim people, or people of Arab descent, because they don't have anything to do with what happened... Like Talib Kweli said, you gotta have love in the face of hate... one love...

Paul Min, Bowdoin College '03

Additional information on the Cape Town program is at CBB Cape Town
Other Cape Town Diaries:
Cape Town Diary: July 3. By Julie McGee.
Cape Town Diary: July 14. By Julie McGee.
Cape Town Diary: July 27. By Kristen M. Heim.
Cape Town Diary: July 27. By Rachel Meiklejohn.
Cape Town Diary: August 6. By Paul Min.
Cape Town Diary: August 6. By Heather Finn.
Cape Town Diary: August 10. By Chris Reigeluth.
Cape Town Diary: August 13. By Kathryn Spirer.
Cape Town Diary: August 15. By Philip Drake.
Cape Town Diary: August 20. By Dana Kramer.
Cape Town Diary: August 20. By Noah Lambie.
Cape Town Diary: August 24. By Brendan Ferriter.
Cape Town Diary: August 27. By Katie Spirer.
Cape Town Diary: August 27. By Laura Bilodeau.
Cape Town Diary: August 31. By Kristen Heim.
Cape Town Diary: Sept. 1. By Samantha Dahan.
Cape Town Diary: Sept. 4. By Julie McGee.
Cape Town Diary: Sept. 14. By Claire Cuno.
Cape Town Diary: Sept. 25. By Laura Bilodeau.
Cape Town Diary: Sept. 28. By Noah Lambie.

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