A time to mourn, a time to heal — 2  

  Vol II : issue 5

  Pete Seeger
  S.K. Singh
  Vladislava Gordic
  N.S. Madhavan
Nida Fazli
  Vinay Lal

  Only in Print

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Pete Seeger

Earlier, you needed a whole army for a war, but today, just one man can bring about immense destruction. Terrorism is going to be the most common form of warfare in the next few years. I am convinced that using modern techniques, there will be more terrorism in many parts of the world, because a technological society doesnít know what to do with terrorism, really. And you can blow up a tunnel or a bridge or an aeroplane ó terrorism has become so much easier.

What happened in New York on September 11 was a horrible thing. I personally knew two people who died in the attacks. One was a boy from a choir I had founded here. The other was Jupiter Yamben, who was originally from Burma. He had fled Burma and was living in West Bengal, then he came and settled here. He got married and they had a fabulous Burmese ceremony here. Then they went back to West Bengal and had an even grander ceremony there! He was also killed that day.


I may be over-optimistic ó I often have been ó but I think the peace-loving people of the USA will be stronger than ever now. They donít want any kind of terrorism: whether itís with bombs, missiles, troops or aeroplanes. Every time there is war, there is terrorism. And I think people have had enough. They donít want it anymore.

On the other hand, this particular war is going to be mostly terrorism. As long as a person is willing to commit suicide like the kamikaze pilots of Japan in WW II, as long as they are willing to commit suicide in any way, they are capable of extraordinary acts of terrorism. And I think bin Laden and his people are now planning other things too. But what these are, nobody knows.

I think anybody with common sense knows that you canít fight terrorists by dropping a bomb on a country. You just create more angry people, literally ready to commit suicide. They see women and children killed, and they say: Iím going to get back to that country even if I am killed in the process. So I think the wiser heads, even among the establishment, are going to speak out. And you know the establishment is in a very bad state in America. The aeroplane industry, for example, is going into a crash, for people donít want to take aeroplanes now. And if thereís more bombing, theyíll be bombing bridges and tunnels, making it very, very difficult for cities to survive. So the establishment as a whole is going to tell the government: find a way to stop terrorism without dropping bombs ó it makes too many people angry. And willing to commit suicide.

I had been a normally optimistic person, saying that sooner or later, we will find a decent way to live. But ever since Hiroshima, I have felt, we may not have it in time,
we may not find a decent way to live, in time

But we are not always willing to admit things that are true. Most Christians arenít willing to admit what went on during the crusades. They killed as many Moslems as they could and they found as many Jews as they could and herded all the Jews into a synagogue and then burned it down. You go to church, but the church doesnít tell you this about Christianity. There is this denial also when it comes to American policies, whether itís Iraq or Kosovo, Somalia, Nicaragua, Chile or Colombia. I think this terrible bombing will stop peopleís support for terrorism. And theyíll realise, of course, that there never is a war which does not involve terrorism. And that terrorism by bombs will bring more terrorism of different kinds.

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Pete Seeger needs no introduction. At 82, he is still singing — with his grandson.
He lives in Beacon, New York state