First Published Complete October 17, 2001
Our hearts go out to all the families, friends and colleagues of
those who perished in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001,
including those who were on the planes. We pray daily that you will
be comforted in your grief, and that you will find inner peace and
the strength to move forward, to recover and rebuild.
To the people of the United States of America and the rest of the
free world: we must continue to live our lives without fear, but
with vigilance. Our faith and hope must remain strong. Better times
will lie ahead, when our efforts to squash global terrorism and to
build cultural understanding and peace have been successful.
To the men and women who are on the front lines, fighting the war:
Have faith; be strong and confident. Unlike some other wars in our
history, this one has a clear purpose and goal.
Success is not final;
Failure is not fatal;
It is the courage to continue that counts.
- Winston Churchill
I saw this quote on a T-shirt - one that didn't pertain to war or
the recent attacks on the U.S. But I couldn't help thinking that
this should be our motto for the war against terrorism. President
Bush warned us that it would be a long, tough battle.
About words: some people don't like to hear the word "evil" used in
reference to terrorism. Evil, as defined by the dictionary, can
mean immoral, cruel or very unpleasant. Even a smell or the weather
can be evil. Get over it.
What about the word "war"? The terrorist attacks were termed "an
act of war" by a few key figures. We all know what they meant.
By definition, war consists of armed fighting between two or more
countries or groups. Well, in this case, the U.S. is a country, and
a terrorist group attacked us. Good enough. Now we're bombing targets
in a foreign country, so we're at war, whether Congress has declared
it or not.
(Definitions courtesy of Cambridge Dictionaries
Hats off to our government leaders, including President Bush,
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani.
They and many others have "bent over backwards" to encourage the
American people and coordinate the counter-terrorism efforts.
Hats off to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been quite
vocal in expressing his country's unbridled support for the U.S.
led coalition. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is very brave to
support us, when factions within his own country support the Taliban
and Osama bin Laden. The leaders of other supporting nations are to be
commended as well, including those listed below:
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
French President Jacques Chirac
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres
Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit
We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!
The United States' involvement in the war on terrorism began
similar to its involvement in World War II - with a brutal
attack on American soil. Those who remember Pearl Harbor
experienced a sort of déjà vu
upon viewing the footage of the terrorist attacks. But the current
situation differs from World War II in this respect: in 1941,
we knew exactly who the enemy was. Congress could declare war.
By contrast, in 2001, we're not sure who to declare war against;
we have to go and hunt the enemy down.
To those who live in fear of anthrax letters or other
types of terrorist attacks:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,
and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
The terrorists want us to live in fear, but God does not.
And we must consider that only a few high profile offices
have been targeted with anthrax so far, and only a small
percentage of those targeted have contracted the disease.
The probability of you or I getting anthrax from bioterrorism
is extremely slim.
To those who oppose military action in Afghanistan:
You have the right to voice your opinions, and as an American,
I respect that right. I wish I could agree with you.
I am not a strong proponent of war in general. Often it
does nothing but claim many lives (often innocent ones)
and foster hatred and bitterness between warring nations
But this war is necessary. There's a growing
global terrorist threat, and the enemy has proven that they are
a danger by killing thousands of innocent people without cause.
Actions like those taken by the hijackers on September 11, 2001,
MUST BE STOPPED at any and all cost!
A few people are complaining about the Christian overtones
surrounding the war on terrorism. The song, "God Bless America"
has become more popular than the national anthem; it was sung by
many people in New York and Washington in the first few days after
the attacks on September 11. Faith is important, even vital, to
most of us at times like this. If you're a Christian, a Jew,
a Muslim, or something different, you still need faith in a higher
power to carry you through the grief and give you the strength
to move on. If you're an atheist, you're entitled to that too;
just give the rest of us a break.
The cruel treatment of Arabs and Middle Easterners by some Americans
is detestable. To distrust an entire race of people because of the
abominable acts of a few of them, is entirely wrong and unfair.
In our war on terrorism, we are not targeting Arabs in general, nor
are we targeting the religion of Islam. We are aiming at the radical
groups who are continuing to perpetrate deadly crimes against
To the people of Afghanistan: you are not the target either,
for you did nothing to offend us. We want to help you with food
and try to assist you in this time of global crisis. The Taliban
regime has not only provided safe harbor for the terrorists,
but it has also been overly restrictive upon the citizens of your
country. Elsewhere in the world (not only in the U.S.), people can
listen to music (which soothes the soul), and women have certain
freedoms which are denied in your country by the Taliban.
To the Taliban I say: Heed the words of Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair,
who demanded that you surrender the terrorists or suffer their
fate. - To those in the al-Qaida terrorist network: our military
has done its homework, and they're coming to snuff you out. - To
other terrorist groups worldwide: You're next. - To Osama bin Laden:
Nothing. I refuse to waste words on him.
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