Magazine article New African

A Life in Stained Glass: Cameron Duodu Looks Back on His Long Years with New African and Picks the Article He Did after 9/11 as a Reminder of the Lessons the World Should Learn on the 9th Anniversary of That Tragedy in September 2001

Magazine article New African

A Life in Stained Glass: Cameron Duodu Looks Back on His Long Years with New African and Picks the Article He Did after 9/11 as a Reminder of the Lessons the World Should Learn on the 9th Anniversary of That Tragedy in September 2001

Article excerpt

WHEN THE EDITOR ASKED me to go through New African and reflect upon some of the pieces I had written, I found the task well nigh impossible. Journalism is supposed to be "ephemeral". But as I read some of the pieces, I was struck by the fact that without meaning to, I had been sketching out the history of our times, and the stuff, if I may say so, will be readable in the future.

I brought Obama to the notice of my readers pretty early on. And I also tried very hard to make the world economic near-meltdown make sense to all who cared to come with me on a journey through the complicated world of sub-prime mortgages, derivatives and banks without adequate capital.

Meanwhile, on the lighter side, I have sought to entertain readers with tales told from "Under the Neem Tree". I even told readers how the "lemons" of a young playmate produced an embarrassing reaction from the body of a young, naked boy! I can't go on--please save my blushes! So I shall go back with you in time--to what I had to say about "9/11" in the October 2001 issue of New African:

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"I am not ashamed to admit that as I watched the terrible pictures transmitted live from New York City on 11 September, 2001, I could not restrain my tears. I have visited the World Trade Centre and taken many a walk in the area surrounding it. I could therefore easily see myself amongst the thousands of office workers, tourists and other members of the public, who were caught in the most unbelievable of massacres ever to be imagined--two aircraft, full of passengers, used as travelling infernos--that brought death and destruction to early morning Manhattan.

"You ask yourself: What do these murderers want to prove? If they've got a problem with the US government, what has it got to do with the Ghanaian doctor who, a friend tells me, works in the World Trade Centre? Or the Ghanaian security guards and restaurant staff whose whereabouts folks are worrying about on the Internet?

"No, no, no. One would have thought that the bombing of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam had demonstrated beyond any doubt that the indiscriminate use of terrorism against civilian targets is absolutely self-defeating, because it ends up killing people who, for all the murderers know, are probably in sympathy with them ...

"Ordinary, hard-working individuals like you and I, with mortgages to pay or credit card debts to worry about, will have formed the overwhelming majority of the poor souls whose lives were cut short so unexpectedly on that horrible day.

"To the murderers, of course, the attack was 'spectacular' and eye-catching and therefore a political success. But why should their political objectives be achieved at the cost of so many innocent lives?

"In any case, why do they think that the loss of so many innocent lives will deter George W. Bush and his hawks--Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney-General John Ashcroft--from supporting Israel against the Palestinians, or from continuing to starve Iraqi children with economic sanctions?

"If we were in the best of all possible worlds, the American electorate would be so frightened by the harvest of hatred that is the consequence of their government's policies in the Middle East, and demand a change. But even if they could demand such a change, they wouldn't do it under duress. Again and again, as people were picked up from the streets and interviewed by television crews, they all demanded revenge. 'We are Americans and we don't lie down to be walked over,' someone said. …

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