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Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey – article on US an terrorism RESPONSE

It's strange, in the aftermath of the latest terrorist attacks, to see Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey vent so much venom toward the United States.
Even Stalin (not a subtle thinker) knew there were times to try to forge alliances against common enemies.

Put aside strange omissions in Mr. Bancroft-Hinchey's analysis (e.g. yes, the United States helped to arm Afghan rebels in the1980s, but isn't the Soviet invasion worthy of equal blame?). What's more disturbing is his nihilistic suggestion that one man's "Terrorist" is another man's "Freedom fighter." Partisans fighting for noble causes *become* terrorists when they wantonly kill civilians or captives, sometimes with extraordinary barbarism (torture and beheading). If we
can't agree on that, we can't agree on anything, including the need to punish U.S. troops (and leaders) who condoned the unlawful killing and torture of Iraqi prisoners.

Isn't there a difference, Mr. Bancroft-Hinchey, between societies (usually with a free press) that unearth and condemn human rights abuses, and others that proudly broadcast them on websites?

Blind hatred of America is just as self-defeating as blind adoration. Of course we must criticize each other, holding each other accountable for the contrast between our stated ideals and practices. But there are also times (like the present) when we need to spend at least a few moments together as human beings, sharing our sense of loss and outrage at the horrible crime committed in Russia this week.

Our hearts are with all Russians today.

Gary Pavela
The University of Maryland
USA