9-11: Readers Comment on the Day of Infamy

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Once we have discovered who is responsible for this cowardly attack, its time to unleash the FULL arsenal of the US military on him, and any country that is hiding them.We are the strongest nation is the history of the world, its time to put it to use! The whole world is behind us, nobody wants to be on the other side. The world knows our power and how weve been restraint until now. It's time to unleash the beast!

Clay Jordan
Kingfisher okla


The President, who has brought into the White House a Cold War mentality and a Cold War approach to world issues, showed himself at his worst in today’s speech. In this morning’s address, President Bush suggested that freedom and democracy are under attack and that all freedom-loving people and all of the world’s democracies have been assailed. This was rhetoric borrowed from the Cold War. It is also patently untrue.

We, as a nation, know that the USA was attacked with tactical accuracy and with acute symbolism. We realize that thousands of people lost their lives through no fault of their own and we regret and mourn their ultimate sacrifice. But as historians in the role of framing events in context, it is our job to pont out that these terrible acts have little to do with democracy under siege -- they have more to do with past policies, opposing cultures and unilateral action.

In the world-wide struggle against Marxism, past US administrations considered it expedient to support Islamic fundamentalism, with the rationale that religion was a reliable bulwark against communist secularism. This was a risky undertaking in a region of the world that was coming to grips with issues that shook Europe centuries ago: the defiance of absolutism, freedom of thought, and the transition of largely agricultural societies dependent upon the extended family into industrial societies of individuals dependent on societal institutions and government agencies. Through the retroscope, the secularization of Afghanistan, Algeria, Libya, and Iraq -- although each of these nations were supported by the Soviet Union -- were maybe not so bad, because, if nothing else, they promoted reason over irrationality. Now we are witness to what our short-sighted manipulation and financing of religious zealots has wrought: the rise of a well-financed radical Islamist movement whose broad influence has diverted the Arab world from progress and has brought havoc to our shores.

This afternoon’s statement by Colin Powell that the United States will be attempting to force NATO to invoke the provisions of Article 5, the mutual defense clause which states that the alliance will go to war in the defense of one of its members, is an appalling irony. This after decades of de facto unilateralism, and decades of turning a deaf ear to the international community on war crimes, land mines, and Palestine.

Observers have warned for years that unless NATO were revised to address new geopolitical realities, the alliance, designed to face a now defunct cold war entity, would propel all of Europe into conflicts emanating from the Middle East. This in turn threatens not only to commit NATO into unwanted, long-term military action but could completely fracture the alliance.

Secretary Powell also made it clear this afternoon that the US will adopt assassination politics. This abandonment of the rule of law by the US is a tremendous act of destabilization of the international order. We are sorry to see our nation, for so long after WWII committed to a just and lasting peace, revert to remedies which are purely midieval.

In the aftermath of WWII, the United States made a moral commitment to the maintenance of peace, to fostering justice and equity, and to nurturing, in countries outside our culture, the liberal principles on which our country was founded. Although our policy planners and politicians have often and successfully derailed these commitments in favor of selfish, insular or irrational concerns, at this point the greatest evil we face, as a nation, is the potential abandonment of our ideals in the face of a formless yet devastating enemy.

Sally Quinn
Rochester, NY


I was a schoolboy in Brooklyn, visiting a cousin on that Sunday afternoon of Pearl Harbor. And I remember when I went to school the following day, when rumors were flying that the Japanese were heading for the beaches of California and that even New York was in danger, I felt a schoolboy's fear, shivering in the boy's bathroom of my elementary school, PS 225. Then we gathered in the auditorium to listen to our president, Franklin Roosevelt, the only president I had really known, speaking of the"day that will live in infamy." It's hard to believe even now, but by that night I was no longer shaking with fear and I had learned that speech to the Congress by heart and have not forgotten it. I thought of that the other night, the night of September 11. But alas, I cannot say that this president, like my president, had given the nation reason to stop shaking.

Saul Friedman
Edgewater, MD


9-12-01 Eric Foner's comments on the radio have been far more appropriate than anything I've heard from George W.

PEARL 9-12-01




Managing the violent conflict associated with terrorism requires a presidential strategy which may be unpopular with other countries. It requires a strength and courage to exact a cost from terrorists which will make these actions less likely.

Israel knows very well that one cannot live peacefully with neighbors who will not reciprocate that same good will. The objective of an effective anti-terrorism strategy requires a deterrence that may not be considered a popular response by some. Anti-terrorism requires a special, extraordinary resolve. If terrorists do not care enough about their own lives then the point must be driven home that their families will also be the target of our response to terror. Their homes will be the target of our response just as Israel also targets the homes of families of terrorists. This is a correct policy.

We must have a policy which includes exacting a very high cost. Deterrence must be of the type which will escalate in order to achieve a very quick and decisive victory against terrorism.


While we cannot completely eliminate terrorism, we can curtail it. The president must act presidential and must hunt down and destroy all threats against U.S. citizens by terrorist organizations and must do it now.


Israel can reoccupy the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which would permit Israel to collect most weapons and to arrest a large number of the perpetrators of terrorist acts.


As a Human Being, I have the deepest sympathy for the victims and their families. I grieve for each and every one of them as if they were my own child.

As a Retired Firefighter injured in the line-of-duty, I have the deepest sympathy for all the rescuers who were killed or injured and their families. The bravery they demonstrated to place their safety on hold in order to help those truly in need in such a situation qualifies them for the highest respect from all people. No words can ever approach the praise these courageous people deserve. They are truly Heroes. They are the embodiment of the best humanity has to offer this world. I grieve for each and every one of them as if they were my brother or my sister, because they were.

As a U.S. Navy Veteran during the Viet Nam war, I support all troops who will surely be placed in harm's way to ensure our security and bring justice to the cowardly criminals who slithered from Hell's Sewer to commit these cowardly acts.

But as an American citizen, I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Bush Crime Family for having disengaged from the peace process in order to rattle their petty sabers for no other reason than enriching themselves personally. They have given the world the finger, and that action is now bearing its poisonous fruit.

May their miserable souls burn in Hell for a thousand eternities.


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Steven Carlson - 9/14/2001

Approximately 2 years ago Clinton declared a war on terrorism. Shame on me, he fooled me again. I thought he meant it.
Steven Carlson

David J. Ledermann - 9/14/2001

At a worship service today, President Bush announced that the U.S., far and away the biggest arms merchant in the history of humankind and abettor to oppressive regimes around the globe, will undertake to "rid the world of evil." All I can say is -- God Bless America!!!

David J. Ledermann
Bloomfield Twp., MI U.S.