My Novels

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Tonight I learned of The Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl's, death via the news. At first, I couldn't believe that any terrorist group would be so stupid as to kill a journalist. I mean, they could have used Daniel to get out their message; they could have tried to show him their side of the situation. Instead, they apparently brutalized, tortured and then killed him. And for once, I was totally outraged! For some time after hearing that his death had been video-taped, I felt so angry that I thought: "Kill them, just kill them all!" I don't think I was quite as angry as this even after 9/11...although maybe I was in shock, and later just sad for the awful loss of lives.

I have worked as a journalist, so perhaps that is why Pearl's death affects me so deeply. But again, I just cannot comprehend the savagery and brutality of killing someone who was seeking the truth...even willing to 'listen' to their complaints, do whatever it took (risking his own life) to find out what was actually going on over there. I can't understand those people, except that they are fanatically brainwashed by extremist religion, and have no intellectual capacity to reason and realize when they could use alternative peaceful methods to verbalize their cause.

Yet underneath all this, I still am afraid that with the advent of 9/11, we have seen a new battle between the 'haves and have-nots' inequality in the world of poverty and ultra-wealth reflected in the poorest countries like Afghanistan/Pakistan and us, the Americans and other such countries. Perhaps those people don't even understand or realize that they are FURIOUS at the countries that ignore their poverty...and have no other way of striking back, or releasing their rage. And this is what is so scary -- they will not stop, and no one is really safe, because their rage targets anyone they perceive is from a wealthier country and it doesn't matter WHO that individual is, or even if they could potentially be an ally in getting out their message.

I don't really know if that is what the deeper problem is -- but I do know that I am angry and sad about Daniel Pearl. He was just trying to be a good journalist and find out the truth. It's always been a dangerous position in wars, but never as seemingly difficult as now in the middle east where your source betrays you, and sets you up to be killed.

Sad, disgusting...a terrible tragedy and sickening example of humanity's lowest low.

Here's an article link/excerpt:

Journal Says That Kidnapped Reporter Is Dead -- Pearl's Murder Was Videotaped

The videotape delivered to the U.S. consulate in Karachi left no doubt that Pearl was indeed killed, according to the source. The videotape showed Pearl speaking with someone, almost as if he were conducting an interview, when suddenly an unseen assailant grabbed him and slit his throat, the source said. The videotape included no date, no audio and no faces other than Pearl's, the source said.

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