Reactions to the attack on America
After watching the news last night, my girlfriend sadly commented on how depressing all the anthrax talk was getting. My immediate answer to her was, "Well, we're at war." It felt incredibly strange uttering those words. Strange because this is a war like no other. Strange because as a 40 year-old Canadian living in Montréal, I find myself on the front lines. Strange because the only way I can fight this war is to act as though nothing is going on, all the while keeping an eye on low-flying aircraft, lumpy mail and folks who don't "look right." Strangest of all is the certainty that when I said, "We're at war," I knew those words to be true.
Jérôme M. Tremblay,Montréal
The United States claims to have dropped 70,000 aid packages on Afghanistan on Monday. Hooray for them. But with millions of starving people on the run, this is no more than an insult.
Haven't we learned that we never can win these types of battles? After the Gulf War, more than 600,000 Iraqi children died of malnutrition and disease because of devastation and sanctions. And Saddam Hussein is still in power. What did we really accomplish? Only one thing and that was protecting our oil.
Your latest poll on the government's new anti-terrorism law gave only three of what should have been four possible choices. You should have included: "Will not be effective."
The United States is doing precisely what Osama bin Laden wants it to do, which is to create a highly polarized situation in which he can gain more support from throughout the Islamic world. Meanwhile, in North America, a police state with incredibly wide-ranging powers is being created to stifle dissent and erode the freedoms that are supposed to define us.
The longer the campaign lasts, the more politicized Muslims will become. Most will settle for an anti-Western position because that is the dogma they receive from their spiritual leaders. Many remain illiterate, so they have the world interpreted for them by others, notably the clergy who, for their own interests, hate the West. Democracy is not a value for them because it would undermine their privileged position in society. I speak from first-hand experience, not from the confines of an ivory tower.
I have never thought of any human equal to God in judgment. To assume that any person is capable to decide whether one person should end another's life is arrogance in its purest form.
An eye for an eye, and we all go blind.
Bombing Afghanistan serves no greater purpose than U.S. lust for revenge. Period.
There are no innocent people when a country chooses to harbour and help terrorists.
The United States should concentrate on supporting the families of the victims in the United States, not create more victims in Afghanistan.
The bombing of Afghanistan is a reaction based on fear and ignorance and a presidential need for glory and votes. It is a tactic for George W. Bush to get some money, control and power around the world.
Tom Regehr, Brampton
Someone has to protect what is left of capitalism. Thank God for the United States.
On Tuesday I awoke to the ominous sound of helicopters, and went out to see three of them in holding patterns over the downtown core, and two small planes continually circling the area. My first thought was one of panic that an attack was coming. Soon after I learned that an anti-poverty group had planned a demonstration and this was the government's response. This was also an overreaction by the government based on the fallout of fear that we are all feeling from the war crisis.
I fully agree that terrorism must be stopped, but aren't the air strikes continuing the spiral of violence? Won't this in turn drive more moderate Arabs into the hands of the extremists and enable them to launch more terrorist attacks in the future?
U.S. President George W. Bush has every right to seek and destroy the malevolent factions that are responsible for the death of nearly 7,000 innocent people in their workplaces, while performing their daily tasks, to keep their families fed, housed and clothed.
There is no evidence that the current U.S. military action is other than as advertised, a limited action to destroy the infrastructure, members, and supporters of the terrorists in Afghanistan. This action has the support of the United Nations, an organization not always receptive to what many would say are U.S. interests. No one seeks the death of innocent Afghans and those that have occurred are not, as some portray, "collateral damage." Many are concerned.
Bill Patterson, Raleigh, N.C.
I am more frightened now that we are bombing. I am frightened of what we have become. We are blindly nationalistic, caring more for the intangible country than the touchable humans we share this planet with.
Will the West help to rebuild Afghanistan after yet another round of destruction by outside forces?
My late father was a Catholic and my mother is Islamic. We were taught to educate ourselves in all religions. This has taught us to be tolerant and that people should not be suppressed in any way, as they are in Arab countries.
I think they should stop bombing until they figure out how to hit a specific target.
Why must it be that whenever the United States has a bone to pick with someone, they feel it necessary to drag everyone in the free world along for the ride?
U.S. President George W. Bush has been placed into a horrible situation. This is a true clashing of the cultures, and we have to try to keep it as friendly as possible.
If there is any good to come of this, it is that the world governments are finally waking up to the fact that they cannot tolerate international terrorism.
The strongest fighting with the weak: Does it have to be this way? Is there a difference when 5,000 or more die in the United States versus 5,000 or more in Afghanistan? Do they offset or do they aggregate? Would the dead come back and anti-U.S. sentiment stop if more Afghan lives are lost? Are we humans doing God's job?
K.C., Hong Kong
The government of Canada has not genuflected or tugged its forelock so vigorously toward the United States since Brian Mulroney was in power. One must support a "war on terrorism" as one must a "war on drugs" or a "war on crime." But the attacks on Afghanistan by the United States (to which we have agreed to tag along on) are no more legitimate that the attacks on Sept. 11.
Barry W Cook
We cannot be intimidated and controlled by such dreadful monsters. Our democratic freedoms and values are being threatened by a band of insane illiterates.
The people fighting the globalization process got more support than they asked from Osama Bin Laden.
This group of terrorists is not a whole lot different from Hitler's armies in late thirties. Now is the time to destroy them.
There can be no stronger case for a country to be strong and financially prudent than the threat of outside intervention.
Richard S. Soley