September 11, 2001
A National Tragedy, but...
Was It a Horrendous Crime or an "Act of War?"

World Trade CenterPentagonFlight 93

Crimes Against America by a Group of Terrorists -- individuals who in no way represent their nation, culture or religion.

Will their crimes lead us to a war with only a shadowy enemy?

Will the USA surrender to darkness by emulating the terrorists?

"When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won.  There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible.  But in the end they always fall. Think of this always."
      -- Mahatma Gandhi

Why Not Turn to Reason?

We need justice, not vengeance, and definitely not the religious war that these extremists want.

Will we let the Bill of Rights be decimated by new laws brought on by fear?

We are very scared about what our government might wrongly do as a result of this crime.  Already many government agencies are going completely overboard in how they have reacted.  If our personal freedoms are eroded because of these disasters, the terrorists succeed!

Some personal opinions of ours (at the end, there's a link back to this spot)

Commentary from Many Sources


Background Facts

Humor with a Point

Destruction of the World Trade Center

Some personal opinions of ours

On September 11, 2001, America learned that it has many heroes.

Passengers on Flight 93 who, after hearing that the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon had been hit by airliners, realized that their hijacked flight was headed toward Washington, D.C.  They decided (with a vote -- the American way) that they had to wrest control of their plane from the hijackers.  Apparently they succeeded, even though they knew they would likely lose their lives, for that plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania, never reaching our nation's capital, killing all aboard but undoubtedly saving many, many more lives elsewhere.

In New York City, while everyone else fled from the carnage, hundreds of firefighters, policemen, paramedics, doctors, priests and other unknown heroes raced to the scene to rescue their fellow human beings.  They knew how much danger they would be in, but they knew that everyone else depended on them.  When the towers came crashing down, more than 250 firefighters, more than 50 policemen and many others that we'll never know about for sure, lost their lives serving their fellow man.

At the Pentagon, a similar scene played itself out with different heroes and victims.

Let us remember these heroes in our prayers.  Let us also remember in our prayers the thousands of other innocent victims of this slaughter, including not only the American victims, but citizens of 80 other countries who were victims as well.  Let us pray for the families and friends of the victims, heroes or not, that all of them may find peace.

Let us also remember to thank God (or Allah or Yahweh or whatever you call the higher power you believe in) for sparing the lives of tens of thousands of people who were able to escape from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Let us all give thanks that unintentionally the terrorists did something that we Democrats, Republicans, independents, and others were unable to do for ourselves -- they united us all as Americans.  In light of the crisis, Americans have put aside political party labels and come together.  For the first time since the Viet Nam War, when pro-war hawks began using our flag as their symbol, we felt proud to fly our flag without feeling that it meant something other than loving our country and honoring those who died.  Finally the flag belongs to all Americans again!

Let us not dishonor any of those who have died by resorting to blind rage and violence against the as yet unknown assailants, thereby lowering ourselves to their level.  America is the strongest nation in the World -- we don't need to prove it by answering violence with violence.  The reputation of the U.S. is being downgraded throughout the world by Bush's current foreign policy, since we are seen now as a bully in our warlike response to a terrorist action.

We can earn the complete and utter respect of other nations, of our fellow travelers on this fragile planet, by taking the time to learn without a doubt who was responsible, then bringing these criminals to justice through the criminal justice systems of both the USA and the World.

Nineteen terrorists, with an outlaw organization behind them, committed a horrible crime, but it was not an "act of war" as Bush and the Far Right would have us, in our grief, believe!  Now America's military-industrial complex will be enriched even further by additional taxpayer money, continuing to receive corporate welfare to manufacture weapons and provide supplies to fight a shadowy enemy that is not another nation.  Now more innocent civilians, this time from another nation, will be killed because of the Far Right's macho attitude unless every one of us stands up to them and declares that the cycle of violence has to stop here.

Let not our nation fall into the abyss of war simply because some among us attempt to falsely classify this horrendous crime as an "act of war."

Let not politicians play cowboy with the Bill of Rights as a way to "protect" us against a shadowy nemesis.

You don't "protect liberty" by taking some freedoms away.

Nothing could please the terrorist masterminds more than for us to let them, in this way, destroy the American way of life!

There isn't a terrorist around every corner -- don't let fear rule your life.

We have read and signed the CALL FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE petition.  We personally agree with the petition, and think you might, too.  Please take a look and consider signing it yourself.

The following statement, with which we agree, is extracted from a Sept. 14 column by Jon Carroll, San Francisco Chronicle columnist:

Now [in calling for WAR] the President is manipulating our grief.  "This is a cowardly act," he has said again and again, although "cowardly" is exactly the wrong adjective to describe the hijackers.  They were brave.  It would be good to understand what made them brave.  Self-sacrifice is always interesting, since it runs so contrary to our most basic instincts.  "Cowardly" would be a good word to describe our waging of the war in Kosovo, or our current bombing runs in Iraq.  I am a patriotic American, besotted with the Constitution, but I do not think our foreign policy is wise or just.

We should retain our privacy now, I think; work on a human scale; remember that a politician is most dangerous when he is announcing that something is "beyond politics."

We grieve for the many thousands of innocent lives that were lost on September 11th, but this tragedy was not an Act of War -- it was a gruesome crime, perpetrated by a group of xenophobic, religious fanatics who've used a narrow and rigid misinterpreation of Islam to justify the unjustifiable.

Finally, be aware that Islam is a peaceful religion and that the Koran exhorts tolerance, peace and forgiveness again and again.  A group of extremists have used Islam as a fig leaf for their evil deeds, but that is no different than when Hitler misused Christianity to support his goals, including the Halocaust.  Remember, too, that Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, called himself a Christian.

Now we as a nation are in danger of helping these terrorists accomplish their goal of starting a global religious war by our surrendering to the same base instincts which rule these them!  Let's not repeat, with a different group of people, the prejudices of a previous generation of Americans that led to the "internment" of all Japanese Americans in the Western U.S. during World War II.  In fighting the intolerance and hatred that spurred this and other acts of political violence, let us not surrender to the same brand of darkness.

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What you can do

WARNING!  Even in the midst of a crisis, there are scum who are trying to con people out of money in the guise of donations for this calamity's victims.  Before you donate anything through any website, please read Spammers Run Donation Scam (Network World Fusion, 09/13/01) or the American Red Cross Statement on Internet Fraud to be sure your donation goes where you intend it to go.


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This page was last updated June 19, 2010 at 0110 PDT
(cleaned up broken links -- no content changes since 10/26/01   BG)