|Every once in a while someone comes along and arranges the kaliedoscope we call reality into a framework that we can hang off of.
Metaphors of Terror
The reaction of the Bush administration is just what you would expect a conservative reaction to be—pure Strict Father morality: The world is a dangerous place. There is evil loose in the world. We must show our strength and wipe it out. Retribution and vengeance are called for. If there are "casualties" or "collateral damage," so be it.
The reaction from liberals and progressives has been far different: Justice is called for, not vengeance. Understanding and restraint are what is needed. The model for our actions should be the rescue workers and doctors—the healers—not the bombers. We should not be like them, we should not take innocent lives in bringing the perpetrators to justice. Massive bombing of Afghanistan—with the killing of innocents—will show that we are no better than they. But it has been the administration's conservative message that has dominated the media. The event has been framed in their terms. As Newt Gingrich put it on the Fox Network, "Retribution is justice."
We must reframe the discussion. I was reminded recently of Gandhi's words: Be the change you want. The words apply to governments as well as to individuals.
many thanks to Doc Searls