Reactions to the attack on America
I tallied Monday's responses. I counted 13 responses backing America's new stance against terrorism, but 20 were very critical of the United States while 15 expressed sorrow but no strong political opinion (again, by my count). Which is good news - it shows that a majority of people commenting here are sober, clear-thinking individuals who think before acting. I hope these comments will make their way swiftly to the eyes and ears of our political leaders.
Eye for an eye? Wouldn't that make us blind?
I fear the memory of the brutal deaths of so many good and ordinary people will endure further insult if world leaders do not handle events well over the next several months. There are no innocents here. Sept. 11 was just another day when history demanded payment for man's desire to live indifferently. There are more such days in our future because the course is not altered.
Mike Bell, Kingston, Ont.
Sept. 11 is a very important date. It has brought to us a unique opportunity: We can choose to step into the next level of our development as a race or remain as we have been. My prayer is that we choose the road to becoming more highly evolved human beings.
Ken Shannon, Powell River, B.C.
Please take this seriously. For the past two days I have had the same dream. As well, in the daytime I keep getting the sensory images. In the dreams there are between 12 to 20 survivors still alive in the rubble of the World Trade Centre. They are near the basement, just above the parkade in the second building that was hit. They are near the far left back corner in a fairly large triangle-shaped hole. In the dream there are some large broken metal (maybe wood?) beams sticking up on an angle, and a large V-shaped reddish orange pile of rubble, maybe brick. Dig under the reddish orange rubble. I know this sounds crazy, but my sensing and imagery are so strong that I feel I must pass it on.
Julie, Victoria, B. C.
I think it is a sign that we have to put a stop to terrorism and racism because racism equals terrorism. One innocent life lost is too many; this is the foundation of all spiritual belief.
At a time like this, we can all finally sympathize with the many victims of the United States. The United States may be the world power, but its arrogance has gained it many enemies. This should be the point when the world unites and abolishes war and the killing of innocent human beings. The United States has suffered the same fate it has made many other nations suffer. We cannot forget, though, that innocent people are living in the Middle East. Two wrongs don't make a right. The perpetrators should be punished but innocent people should not.
My family and I are Canadian citizens that have been living, working and attending school in Atlanta for the past 3 years. From the moment that the first airplane was diverted from U.S. airspace to land in Canada, we have witnessed the true colors of the Canadian spirit. We are exceptionally proud of our fellow Canadians, and wanted to say thanks.
Denise Schleppe-Herbert, Atlanta
Can we please start going back to some sense of normality now? We have all been shocked. We have expressed our grief. People need to check back in to some sort of everyday life again. But the media are prolonging the communal agony with the endless sifting rehashing and over-coverage of the events. Go back to normal schedules. Tell us what else is happening in the world.
U.S. President George W. Bush has pledged to wipe out terrorism in every corner of the planet for all time. Was it any wonder that British Prime Minister Tony Blair was his first and most dedicated supporter? Of course not. Hasn't Britain been fighting an unwinnable war on terrorism for a century now? Doesn't Mr. Bush's promise commit the United States to war on the Irish Republican Army? And what about Ireland itself, where the IRA has its sanctuary? Air strikes on Dublin, anyone?
Robert W. Dresser, Parksville, B.C.
So. We are the civilized ones, are we? We are the rational ones, the thinkers, and the "good guys"? This incident has done nothing but prove how our supposed advanced culture can revert back to caveman mentality in the blink of an eye. It's disgusting to listen to people talk of the "evil" that has befallen the United States and how the "bad guys" should be nuked.
Following is a letter my son sent to the U.S President:
Dear President George W. Bush: My name is Bubba and I am 12 years old. I live in Ontario. I am very disturbed by the actions of the unknown cowards that invaded your country .I believe that a person should be held responsible for their actions. I feel that you should take whatever actions necessary to insure the safety of your people and United States. I would like to apologize to all the victims and their families for this senseless loss of lives and the pain they must be feeling. After watching the news I feel that in this situation I would want to be able to feel safe again and not to worry about when the next attack is going to happen. I realize that in order for this to happen you must take action using the same amount of force that was used against you. You must make those responsible feel the fear that our nation was forced to experience. We must pull together and show the world that we will not be conquered by the actions of cowards. I hope that as a result of these actions all countries around the world will unite and try to stop such senseless acts of violence.
Sincerely Yours, Bubba
I expect the federal government to promote and insist on a pictured citizenship card for all Canadians. Although the attack was on U.S. soil, it sure does not mean that Canada can't be next.
The attack was part of the price we as North Americans have to pay to maintain the rights and freedoms we take for granted. As strong and powerful as we are for being so free and open, we are also as vulnerable and sensitive. Such is the price of freedom.
The London Times has been reporting the numbers of missing individuals from 50 countries that are missing or presumed dead in the terrorist attack Sept. 11. Have I overlooked this information in The Globe and Mail? The attack has touched more than the United States and Canada and the losses are personal, national and international.
Thousands of lives have been lost. But attacking Afghanistan will not bring them back. How many more people will have to die before we finally comprehend that?
Frederique Gabrielle Marais
I wonder where the public outcry was when the U.S. Government was involved in the funding of military equipment to back terrorist organizations and governments in Central America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The idea that the United States is safe against all despite its atrocities against civilians around the world is now over.
Is killing more people going to solve anything or just perpetuate the cycle of violence? Can we see past the sorrow and the anger in some sort of clear and compassionate way? I understand that the true jihad, or holy war, was meant to be waged against the inner enemy, the demons inside, the greed and the hatred and the ignorance, and not against innocent people. The way I see it, we need to find peace and compassion in our own back yards and hearts, we need to be humans first and races and nations second.
We are hard pressed on all sides but not crushed, we are perplexed but not in despair, we are persecuted but not abandoned, we are struck down but not destroyed. The world has always been a mess. It's up to the people with free will to make it a better place. Not an easy task, and now it will be harder than ever.
The most effective way to win the battle against terrorism is to deprive terrorists of their bank accounts and financial resources. Make the bankers and financial institutions that make terrorist activities possible accountable for their actions.
Terrorists have complete contempt for Western achievements, ideas and progress. It will take cunning, diplomacy and a lot of police work, and unfortunately some battles of a military kind in which we must strive not to harm the innocent.
I am a Canadian living in New York City. My husband and I awoke Tuesday morning to the news that there had been a plane crash at the World Trade Center. From our Brooklyn apartment we could see the flames raging from the buildings. I can't tell you how my heart sank when we saw the twin towers collapse or how frustrated we were that we could do nothing for the victims. Smoke pours from downtown, there is the stench in the air, subways remain closed, there are checkpoints around the city, we have 24-hour news coverage from the one station that still has a transmitter and phone lines are down. These inconveniences are constant reminders of the horror we feel.
Caroline Falby-Melia, New York
The word Islam means peace. Islam teaches that no one has the right to take a life. That right belongs only to God. Let us all hope and pray that there is peace in the world for all nations and all peoples and that the " civilized world" undertakes a measured civilized response to the attacks, a response that does not escalate violence in the world. As Ernest Hemingway said: "Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. Therefore do not ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."
Aisha Kanita Chaudry, Richmond Hill, Ont.