television moratorium

This is what I’m doing on the fifth anniversary of the attacks: I’m refusing to watch anything on television that touches on the subject at all. No news, no talk shows, and absolutely no specials or so-called documentaries.

There are many things I admire about Quakers, but the one I’m borrowing just now has to do with silence and reflection. I prefer to spend some time today considering the families of the victims, how they’ve survived in spite of merciless media scrutiny and the contempt of people like Anne Coulter.

Here’s my question: do we really need to keep revisiting those images? My sense is that none of us who turned on the television that morning and watched things as they happened will ever forget what we saw. Going back to those pictures again and again strikes me as morbid. The worst kind of voyeurism.

Far more important, to me at least:

The way our government is busy overseas creating more generations of desperately poor and angry people. The kind who, driven to the wall we helped build, embrace extremism and violence.

The thousands and thousands of civilians who have died and will continue to die while we are busy imposing democracy on them. In order to save the village, we had to destroy it.

The thousands of young people we have sent to fight; the ones who come back in body bags and coffins. Those are images you don’t see, because the government doesn’t want you to.

The way this administration has dedicated itself to the steady chipping away of civil liberties.

These things that are happening. Right here. Right now.

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35 Replies to “television moratorium”

  1. those brave young men and women who defend our nation and those innocent victims need to be honored, not by the media who distort the story and hide the images, but by us. living our lives, using those civil liberties to express ourselves, and trying to make a difference. so my television stays off today, ill keep the music on low, and take a minute to send an email to those who are in charge, letting them know how i feel. i hope everyone will do the same.

  2. Makes me ill inside to think about Bush,(Sr., and Jr.)my heart goes out to all the americans touched by that tragedy, also the families of the victims worldwide. I don’t know how those two sleep at night.

  3. Your eloquence is appreciated. What we do in the name of freedom, democracy, apple pie, and family values. I can understand the Crusaders better than I understand us. They really wanted land and wealth. What do we want? We already have land and wealth.

  4. I must say that my heart dropped a little as I read the comments above. This day is not about right or left, democrat or republican it is about a very tragic event that happened on our soil. It is about the men and women who died simply because they were born American. Our people were attacked that day but the attack was on our way of life.

    I do not care how the media has chosen to remember this day. What I care about is how the indivudual has chosen to remember this day. We cannot forget the tradgey that occured on September 11, 2001, if we do it will happen again.

    President Bush was elected to make the hard decisions. Very few people want to decided what to have for dinner much less decide how to defend a country. I agree that we do not need to force democracy where it is not wanted. But does that mean that we need to destroy our way of life to appease the people who hate us?

    I have lived outside of the US and would not choose to settle anywhere else in the world. There are certain liberties you never fully understand unless they are taken from you. To know you can walk out the door and start your car without worring about a bomb going off is priceless.

    Walk tall and carry a BIG stick – great words to live by. Let Freedom Ring!

  5. I like the silence and reflection suggestion you make, Rosina. Thank you.
    I also like the support our troops ideas, and the continuation of a certain kind of freedom.
    I am sure that through the silent reflection today, I’ll be able to direct some energy towards those important ideas. Thanks for reminders to do that, too.

  6. Linda: to each her own, of course.

    Since I opened this discussion I now feel obliged to state that based on what I have read and researched, I don’t believe Bush was elected. Certainly not in 2000 and probably not in 2004. Thus I have no faith in him and feel no obligation to support him in any way at all. And if he had been elected, I don’t buy any of the rationalizations for this war. None of them.

    However. I respect your right to express yourself, and I’m glad you felt comfortable doing so here. You share your viewpoint and I share mine, and each of us might come away with a better understanding.

  7. Rosina,

    I agree to each her own – that is what makes this Country so great. No to mention the fact that you can write on an open forum that you do not view the President as legitimate and can live. Too bad all those that voiced the same about Saddam no longer have a voice.

    Just wondering if your guy would have won (rightfully elected and all) and went to war would you support his decision? He would have been given the same information that Bush was given.

  8. Wow. How quickly it changes from “not a republican or democrat issue” to “do you think your guy would have done the same.”

    Linda, the next time you are tempted to praise anything done by the military in the name of the Bush administration, think of this: the only plane that didn’t make it to its destination that day was brought down by civilians working together, not by soldiers “protecting” citizens.

    The next time you’re tempted to wave the effigy of Saddam as a boogeyman, consider this: George Bush recently admitted in a press conference that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with September 11, 2001.

    When you stop up your ears with slogans (like “Walk tall and carry a big stick” [sic]), when you let what is played over the airwaves by people who merely want you to swallow the status quo without question, you’re not acting as a freedom-supporting, responsible citizen. You are acting as a tool of the government, and you bear the responsibility for legitimizing what the government does — whether the ruling party is Democrat or Republican.

    “This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
    Benjamin Franklin

  9. It’s almost as raw a wound today as it was five years ago, isn’t it? In some ways, knowing that we should have known it was coming (but couldn’t manage to open our eyes to see it) perpetuates that feeling. We were so naive thinking that it wouldn’t happen to us. Looking back, it was lamentably obvious.

    I’m with you, Rosina, about the paranoid, deliberate erosion of our civil liberties in the name of national security. Ben Franklin once said: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”. It is a perversion of what this country stands for to purposely warp its basic tenets in an effort to preserve its existence. Paranoia helps create the kind of hatred that drives men like Osama bin Laden.

  10. As a nonAmerican, I’m not sure that I can wade into this debate except that of course, the actions of the American government have far reaching consequences for those of us who live elsewhere in the world. I agree with you, Rosina. I was watching this show, “Path to 9/11” and there didn’t seem to be any examination at all for the reasons behind the anger and hatred that the terrorists have for the west. I felt that this was important. How do we fight extreminism, if we don’t know or don’t explore what has created it in the first place. Surely, that is where we need to focus at least some of our energy in this war on terror. We need to look at issues of global poverty and inequality. But you are right, it should be a time of reflection for the people who lost their lives or who are still dealing with the personal tragedy of 9/11. Lest we forget.

  11. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing and I hope that none of us need a primer on why we have such a wonderful right in the first place.

    I didn’t watch a lot of the coverage today but I did watch some. Why? Not because I wanted to wallow in misery or bring back those horrible images but because I know, if one of my loved ones had been lost that day, I would want people to remember. I would want them to hear his or her name being called. I would never, ever want them to forget. I would want to make sure his or her life meant something. Self-imposed silence and remembrance is fine as long as it’s not about you.

    So, do we need to keep revisiting those images? Yes. For the above reason and because if we don’t, we will forget — and too much forgetting has happened already. And, this will happen again and someone else’s loved ones will die. And, you know what? Someone will be screaming that we didn’t do enough to protect them.

    Do you think the mess in the Middle East just happened during this administration? That one day it was okay, then the next, it wasn’t? This would have happened no matter who had been in office and for the very same reasons — reasons that have been in motion for years and years. And, it doesn’t matter what the US does — we will be condemned for what we do and condemned for what we do not do. We walk away, we are abandoning them. We stay, we are trying to force our will and our lifestyle on them. Funny, we are hated because we are the “haves” but it is just because of that that we are expected to “be there” whenever and wherever there is trouble.

    Every administration since Mr. Washington has had to make unpopular and horrible decisions. And there have always been those that disagree with those decisions and there always will be. As long as humans are in charge of the planet, awful things are going to happen. And, though there are those that wouldn’t want you to know it, a lot of good happens, as well. Every single day. We all have a tendency to forget that. And we all have a tendency to rant and fuss but offer no real solutions.

    In the end, there is no black and white. We live in shades of gray.

  12. Rosina,

    Was not really making it a democrat/republican issue. You said you had no faith in the current administration because you did not feel Bush won the election. Just asking if the guy you felt won … well you know the question. I take exception to the fact that you think I am acting as a tool for the government. I happen to be able to do my own research. I can think for myself and I am able to make informed opinions. As for the Saddam thing never said that we went there because of 9/11/01. Just stated that we did go there and that as a result people are free. Ask the people of Iraq if they think Saddam is the boogeyman. The only thing I am stating is that 9/11/01 happened. We cannot close our eyes to that fact. Our world has changed and we must learn to live in the new one. We are all soldiers in the fight to protect humanity Rosina, not just citizens. As for the wonderful quote by Franklin – he too signed the Declaration of Independence.

  13. Linda —

    If you look again you’ll see that some of the things you’re quoting weren’t said by me, but by other commenters. I’m not censoring anything here, and emotions are running high.

    To be very clear: I did not call you a tool or anything else. I thanked you for expressing your opinion. I didn’t suggest that you hadn’t done your own reading or research, either.

    I also didn’t answer your question about whether i would have supported Gore if he had taken the exact same path as Bush has taken. Hypotheticals are tricky, but if I look at the question literally, then my answer is: no. I wouldn’t support Gore or anybody else who followed such a course. And I am very sincere about that.

  14. Rosina,

    My apologies. I saw the posting and the name but it did not register. My last posting was in respose to the posting by murgatroyd. Thank you Rosina for pointing this out.

  15. I was watching this show, “Path to 9/11” and there didn’t seem to be any examination at all for the reasons behind the anger and hatred that the terrorists have for the west. I felt that this was important. How do we fight extreminism, if we don’t know or don’t explore what has created it in the first place. Surely, that is where we need to focus at least some of our energy in this war on terror. We need to look at issues of global poverty and inequality.

    Um… yeah. I don’t really agree with this position for two big reasons.

    First, I think it’s an insult to citizens of the global south to imply that the motives of terrorists who come from the global south are reasonable or understandable because of the poverty of developing countries in the neoliberal order. This is infuriatingly condescending and dehumanizing. It suggests we should not expect the ‘poor’ or globally exploited to behave in a civilized fashion, or to be capable of rational discourse; that terrorism should be understood because we can expect nothing better of the impoverished and discontented. Gandhi would have gotten a kick out of this, right before he gave you a gentle smile of pity.

    Secondly, to imply that there might be legitimate reasons for the killing of civilians is to take the first step down that dreaded slippery slope. By acknowledging there might be valid reasons underlying the decision to kill civilians, you start to undermine your own ethical position against the actions of the American government. Besides that, it’s just apologist nonsense. Many of the 9/11 hijackers were from VERY privileged Arab families: they were not the victims of poverty and global inequality. The only response I think someone in your position could make to this fact would be to say they were sensitive souls who felt their countrymen’s pain — which I don’t think you want to say about them, unless you’re also willing to say, for instance, that Hitler’s actions should be attributed to the fact that he was a sensitive soul who felt and wanted to redress the common German man’s pain after the Versailles Treaty. No. Hitler was a monster: one of his main goals was to rebuild the post-WWI German economy and redeem German honor, sure; but another of his goals was to exterminate non-Aryans. And that’s why he was a complete and irredeemable villain who could not be reasoned or bargained with — as history ultimately proved.

    Likewise, why don’t you actually listen to what Al Qaeda is saying in their videos. They talk about the injustices wreaked on Palestine, sure. And redressing those injustices is, they claim, one of their goals. Another main goal that they state, over and over, is the destruction of America, the death of American civilians (and, in the latest video, the imposition of Islam across the world. Do you think that’s going to happen? Of course not. Still think they’re reasonable? If not, how are you going to get them to settle for less?)

    Nevertheless, if you want to reason with people who boldly state that one of their main goals is your death and the destruction of your country, so be it. I’m just glad you’re not one of my political leaders. Not that I’m too fond of the ones I’ve got right now, but…

    PS Would you guess from this post that I am liberal? If not, you’ve imbibed one too many stereotypes. I’m liberal, and I’m also logical: I know we’ve made serious mistakes in the Middle East, and I also know that terrorists are the last people whose motives we should be examining in order to figure out how to do better over there!

  16. Emmaline — You’ve made some (il)logical jumps.

    If I want to understand how certain people come to behave in certain ways, it will require close and objective study of the history leading up to the actions. The wider history.

    This does not mean that I am looking for a reason to excuse or forgive the behavior in question. My interest is in figuring out the greater context. Period.

    Why do we study wars that ended dozens or hundreds or thousands of years ago? I can look at the treaties put in place after the first world war and recognize poor decisions that contributed, down the line, to Hitler’s rise to power. Why would I want to do that? certainly not to excuse Hitler’s behavior. I might want to understand what happened so that after the next war there’s some small chance of avoiding the same mistakes.

    I am perfectly aware of Al Qaeda’s goals. I find no merit in them, of any kind. On the other hand, I do not see any logic in the way this administration has gone about trying to stop Al Qaeda. What I see is a lot of death and destruction, but no progress in terms of our safety as a nation. Instead of invading Iraq, we could have spent those billions of dollars on things that might really make a difference: systematic and regular inspection of cargo containers that come in to our ports by the thousands every day, for example.

    I say: we should not be in Iraq, and never should have been there. I say that there is no excuse for the administration’s embrace of torture, or the cutting back of civil liberties. I say we bear responsibility as a nation for our mistakes.

    None of these statements can be taken to be a defense of Al Qaeda.

  17. Rosina, I was not responding to you but to Jacqui, who said, “There didn’t seem to be any examination at all for the reasons behind the anger and hatred that the terrorists have for the west. I felt that this was important. How do we fight extreminism, if we don’t know or don’t explore what has created it in the first place.”

    I don’t think I made any illogical leaps in responding to Jacqui. I do not believe that understanding the roots of various terrorist causes is a methodologically sound way to analyze a region or craft sound international policy. Terrorism is by definition an extremist phenomenon; fringe elements are poor places to look for productive insights about broad trends in societies.

    (Perhaps understanding why certain terrorists have large groups of sympathizers would be productive — because sympathizers identify those certain aspects of terrorists’ arguments which reverberate with the concerns of a larger segment of society. But this is not at all what Jacqui was suggesting.)

  18. Oops! One more thing. Obviously my main point was that there is little use in trying to understand sociopaths — and that’s what I think most Al Qaeda operatives would qualify as. Anyone who joins up for that operation isn’t going to be dissuaded by any American governmental action or policy.

    BTW, I don’t know what the Iraq war’s got to do with this (I suspect it has very little to do with it, despite our president’s claims — alas!), but I agree with you — we shouldn’t be there!

  19. Emmaline — should have been more clear in my response, sorry. I basically agree with Jacqui, so I was responding from that perspective.

    Here’s a question for you: are you sure there’s little use in trying to understand sociopaths? Is there nothing to be gained? No advantage in dealing with them? If we are talking about a group of sociopaths, that in itself is curious and deserving of some consideration, it seems to me. How does it happen that a hundred or two hundred or five hundred people bond together to such a degree that they share the same pathology? that doesn’t come out of thin air, I think it’s safe to say.

    In short: if you use a short cut label to dismiss a group of terrorists, you may pass over some crucial information. Not necessarily information that would allow you to reason with them, but perhaps to anticipate them.

  20. if you use a short cut label to dismiss a group of terrorists, you may pass over some crucial information. Not necessarily information that would allow you to reason with them, but perhaps to anticipate them.

    I agree with you on this. I’m all for criminal profiling. Trying to understand a killer’s mind — what led him to behave as he does, what motivates him consciously and unconsciously — is crucial to predicting his future plans and stopping him from bringing them to fruition. However, I would not try to understand his motives in order to guide my own ethical actions (or, in the larger scheme of things, to guide political decisions).

  21. However, I would not try to understand his motives in order to guide my own ethical actions (or, in the larger scheme of things, to guide political decisions).

    Wouldn’t that depend on what the profiling revealed?

  22. Wouldn’t that depend on what the profiling revealed?

    I guess I should rephrase in order to communicate my meaning with precision:

    Terrorists — or, let’s get specific. Al Qaeda is a pretty small group of people united by a cause that is constantly being redefined, but which always includes goals that cannot possibly be met by its ‘enemies’. It is therefore not an instrumental political organization. But shouldn’t this be obvious? Its fundamental activity is the murder of civilians. It admits this to be its prime strategy. It explicitly identifies this as its own MO.

    Understanding the way that members of this organization think is obviously invaluable to stopping their attempts to commit terror attacks, but to grant their thinking any higher political utility — to suggest that study of the organization’s ‘philosophy’ might help us reevaluate our foreign policies in general — is to credit it with a political legitimacy it does not possess, nor even attempts to claim. (If you consider its various public announcements, it really has no consistent philosophy. Every tape from Al Qaeda declares a new plan, and a new reason. Palestinians weren’t even mentioned by OBL until the last few years, when he realized it would be an expedient way to attract sympathizers). Thus they, their actions, their motives, and the injustices they perceive to have driven them to murder, should not inform our political policies in regard to foreign states, save in regard to those measures we take, in tandem with foreign states, to foil their attempts, win over their sympathizers, and crush their organization.

    Of course, the political ramifications of crushing it need to be managed thoughtfully and verrry carefully, since the group obviously has sympathizers in the Middle East who would never join it, but nevertheless find something intoxicating in various aspects of its many random messages. That’s another issue, though. The sympathizers aren’t necessarily violent extremists ready to blow up people; they also are attracted by the various political spewings which Al Qaeda adopts when it suits them (and abandons when it doesn’t). What I find so troubling about people who talk of AQ as though it reflects a legitimate political viewpoint is that it DOESN’T. It lacks any hallmarks of a concerted political agenda. Unlike some other terrorist organizations that do have concrete, tangible goal — for example, a separatist state for an ethnic minority — this one really does seem driven on reactionary hatred. Witness its grandiose declarations of what it will require before it stops killing — like the destruction of the USA, or a global mass conversion. It isn’t really striving for concrete political gains. Thus, due to its complete lack of political credibility and its morally reprehensible tactics, it should be treated as a discrete extremist curiosity to be managed, contained, and crushed. Period.

    Sympathizers, on the other hand, are drawn to it by certain issues which it doesn’t appear to really care about but which it trades on very cleverly in its propaganda. And because sympathizers are generally integrated into their societies, their opinions and beliefs can provide great and valuable insight into those societies, and therefore be of real use in formulating our foreign policies, in a way that extremist murderers cannot. Again, though: the sympathizers I refer to are not in themselves terrorists, so they are not what we’re discussing here.

    All my posts in this topic are in reaction to the implied suggestion that the very existence of terrorists opposed to X nation should be considered as cause for reassessment of X nation’s foreign policies in general, NOT in specific regard to X nation’s handling of terrorist elements.

    IMO, of course. :)

  23. I cannot begin to think what the families of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks must go through on the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centre. Personally I would hate to be reminded of it year after year with graphic film clips and photographs being spread over all forms of media. I think the families should be allowed to remember the day in quiet reflection. The pain will never go away or even ease when the families are reminded each year of what their loved ones went through. Media coverage in my opinion only serve to open the wounds of the victims families. By all means I think the world should stop and remember the events of that horrible day. New York should be allowed to hold memorial services but I think the media should be banned from broadcasting and printing graphic photographs and repeatedly showing the film clips of the planes hitting the buildings and the suffering of those watching the event live. At least this way those who want to attend the memorial service can and others who just want quiet reflection can do that knowing that they won’t be confronted by images on the news and in newspapers.

    Sept 11th will be a day I will never forget. I sat in disbelief as events unfolded on our television screens. I watched the second plane go through the building as it happened. Like many Australians I was in shock. The images I saw will be implanted in my brain for the rest of my life – I don’t need to watch them over and over again, they will never leave me. Simply saying the words 9/11 or Sept 11th makes me remember those who died that day – for me that’s enough. We must allow the families of the victims get on with their lives and try to heal the pain not constantly remind them of those horrible events.

    Dianne

  24. Hear,hear Dianne, 9/11 happened at a strange time in my life, I was waiting for a business associate at a bowling alley and happened to glance up at the T.V as the second plane hit. I was stunned, everything just slowed down, all the stress, complications in my own life just seemed meaningless in the face of that horrific image. The fact that it was the U.N building and people from all over the world were suffering as I watched made my own problems seem foolish. Today it makes my blood boil to think of the people that used this trajedy for there own personel gains. It sickens me that these same people have done little to prevent it from happennig again. I think it’s an insult to our intellegence for them to say otherwise.

  25. Well, first off good morning all. This string certainly has evolved since the last time I weighed in. I do not believe that if we found the root of the hatred we would solve the hatred. Al Qaeda is a hate group no different than the KKK. They hate us simply because of who we are. How do you reason with that? I do not think you can. While we are interviewing and researching the root of their anger and hatred; they are plotting their next plan of attack. We talk, they attack. Then we attack each other. This Country is so divided on this issue that families are being torn apart, does the War of Northern Aggression come to mind? Al Qaeda has done their research on us. It is not hard to do. It is our right to question authority and do so as often as we breathe. We do not do it behind closed doors we do it in the most public of forums. They know we are divided, they know we are attacking each other. They are just sitting back and watching with careful eyes, waiting for the right time. Waiting for the cracks to become deeper and clearer in the words THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Then they will make their deadliest of moves and accomplish their goal, and we as a Nation will not be able to stop them because we will no longer be One Nation Under God With Liberty and Justice For All. With two small children I am saddened by this thought. There is a quote that says something along these lines, let there be war in my lifetime so that there will be peace in my children’s. I am for whatever it takes to make this possible.

  26. Again, though: the sympathizers I refer to are not in themselves terrorists, so they are not what we’re discussing here.

    This is where we part company. This distinction strikes me as artificial. Terrorists groups exist within the context of their communities, and with the support of some portion of that community. A malignant tumor can’t be successfully treated without taking the whole organism into consideration .

    Linda — To start with, we are not “one nation under God”. The pledge was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, and did not include the ‘under God’ bit — despite the fact that he was a Baptist minister. He was a historian first, and understood a lot about the intentions of the men who wrote the Declaration and the Bill of Rights.

    The God bit was added in 1956 at the height of the Red Scare when McCarthy and his cronies were busy trying to turn us into a police state. Generally scoundrels like to appeal to religion so people don’t dare question them too closely. And I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about people in high places who try to stop debate and forestall criticism by claiming a special connection to their God.

    In my view, religion has nothing to contribute to a functional, efficient democratic government. We are guaranteed freedom not only of religion, but from religion.

    I think you and I will just have to agree to disagree on the nature of the real threat to the nation.

  27. This is where we part company. This distinction strikes me as artificial. Terrorists groups exist within the context of their communities, and with the support of some portion of that community. A malignant tumor can’t be successfully treated without taking the whole organism into consideration .

    I don’t think we should forget the fact that we’re not discussing terror groups in general, we’re discussing Al Qaeda. In light of that, how can you say AQ has strong ties to the communities in which it functions? The very efficacy of Al Qaeda is dependent on the fact that it is NOT rooted in a particular place. It ghosts around the world; its operations have worked out of Africa, Spain, Germany, etc., and in none of these places did it contact, construct, orneed the help of some broader community (which is one of the reasons it’s so hard to catch). It is a group of mostly Arab, and increasingly Pakistani, terrorists, but its most recent stronghold was Afghanistan, where it holed up before to 9/11 to fight against indigenous Afghans (ie Northern Alliance). Even Taliban members who worked with it resented the imposition of Arab command, but needed UBL’s financing too much to resist. How would you call AQ an organic outgrowth of the Afghan community?

    Anyway, you appear to be arguing in the realm of pure theory rather than the realm of fact. So this dialog is actually very likely a waste of time.

  28. Emmaline — There is more than one kind of community, no? There are ethnic communities without a fixed homeland (the Kurds, for example). And there are religious communities.

    But you’re probably right, this discussion isn’t going anywhere, though I do appreciate your posts. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

  29. And you me! It’s actually quite invigorating to debate with such a thoughtful and thought-provoking ‘opponent.’ ;)

    Mal

  30. This is the first time I’ve looked back at this topic since I last posted so thought I should clarify somethings. I’m sorry if I offended anyone by my earlier words. I never meant to say that I felt anything excused the terible events of 9/11 (or July 7 2005 or the Bali Bombings or Madrid). There is no excuse for the murder of innocent people.

    I’m reflecting now on the terrorists acts that have happened over the last few years since 9/11.
    While most of the terrorists involved in 9/11 were educated and from well to do backgrounds, I do feel that many of the supporters of AQ and their affiliates (thinking here of the Indonesian bombings) are not. And I think that the support of supposedly ordinary civilians for terrorist organisations is something to be considered in the way the west (by this I mean western/first world nations and not just America) deals with Islamic communities both within and outside their borders. I agree that AQ does not seem to have a specific or consistent politic agenda (except as already mentioned, their crazy pronouncements to convert the entire world to Islam and to destroy America and the west) but what is it that draws its supporters to it? Is there nothing we can do to make the alternatives more attractive than being part of some crazy, zealous and violent organisation? What can Western nations do to reduce this deep hatred? What can Muslim communities do to reduce the influence of extremisim in their youth? Do we just say that the family man who hands over money regularly to AQ affiliated organisations at the local mosque every Friday is evil and be done with it? Or do we need to ask him why he is doing this? I guess I have no answers but am just asking these questions. Maybe, Emmaline, you are right and none of this is worth anything in stopping the rise Islamic terrorists. But I grew up in an Islamic country and I would hate to think that the country of my birth was heading down that path without some thought and discussion about how this could happen.

    Again, I wanted to reiterate that I do not feel that any explanation excuses the actions of terrorists or diminishes the tragedy and pain of 9/11

  31. Rosina,

    I have thought about your position on God in the government.In my opinion God is not an issue to be debated about – discussed yes. I It is too personal and emotions run high with this topic. With that said I will leave with a quote by
    Secretary Chase written on November 20, 1861 to James Pollock the Director of the Mint at Philadelphia.
    Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.

    Perhaps our Founding Fathers did not leave God out of our governing documents as a symbol of separation of church and state, but because it never occured to them that God would ever be left out of our Government.

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