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Wa·r Feels Like a Good Idea, But Wait. Please Wait.
y. we have cha•1gcd. lt seems as if it \WS only yes·
terday w.: were all worked up overall those li ttle
*'cookies" tracing our every virtual movement. And
what gall, ticketing via hidden camera- catching
us without our knowledge; isn't that in·
vasion of privacy?
Yes. we're different than we were before Sept. I J
<hanged our way of life, and ended the lives of so
many American mothe" and children and hus·
bands and fathers and friends. I feel sadder and oi··
dcr, .,...,iser. yet WOI'SC. I feci I can't face another sun-
<"'"-vn, when the smoke an<l steam stili rising from
the wreckage of the towers is set in relief against the
darkness. It was an abomination against humanity,
perpetrated by monstrous killers who must face our
But w!tat is our justice?
We're waging a \Var against Terrorism; crossing
the borders of up to 60 countries where they are har·
bored, including ·our own, according to Defense
Secretary Donald 1\umsfeld.
The president hasn't provided many specifics.
He's said the road would. be long and hard and
Americans will be caUcd upon to make sacrifices if
we want our way of life to preside. With no end date.
Proudly, we acceded. America Stands United.
Whatever it takes. Wire taps? Searches and sei·
zures? Assassinations? Anything,· so long as we
smoke out the bastards who did this.
Anything. That's what we offered. That's what
·The authorized to use all necessary
and appropriate force against those nations, organi·
zations or persons he determines planned, autho-
rized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that
occuncd on Sept. II . 200 I, or harbored such 6r·
ganizations or persons."
The Anything. Anyplace, Anylxxly resolu1ion is
merely the nrst of many.
.. Necessary and appiopri.atc fowe."
necessary and appropriate? Wnatever the
president says it is.
I Uke this president.
I don't like his priori ties I despise many of
h)s deeds., but he is awa.re of his limits to
to surround himself with the brightest and best, a
man humble enough to rake good advicelwhen
they_give it- if they_give it.
I've been dead wrong on occasion, as everyone is
sometimes. including the brightesl advisors and the
finest of presidents. .
.... want justice," said G.W. "There's an old poster
out West, as (recall, that said, Wanted. Dead or
Alive'' • Another &sh-ism. Had to be! Dead or
Alive? That's how you threaten suicide t>ombcrs?
That's Osama bin Laden's greatest dream'
Having baited the West for a decade, bin Laden
has hit the red button to launch his Great Holy War.
So far as he's concerned, the more deaths, the bet·
Ler, Americans. Muslims - anybody's but hi.s.
This guy has $300 ll)illion and many Iunny bun·
kers dug within mountainsides, supposedly.
Trained terrorist ceJls, much like the ones that ignit
ed New York and Washington, are readyallovcr the
world, awaiting our provocation.
On Fri day, Sept. 14, the 1upremc leader of Af-
ghanistan, Mullah Mohammed Omar, gave an ad-
dre$S over TaJiban Voice of Shariat. which was
monitored by the BBC: "'Yqu should know that .this
is not only the issue of Osama, it is opposition to Is·
lam . .. . \oVhether America will launch cruise mis·
siles or drop bombs or create aggression or whate\·cr
it does is ahead of us. We c-annot save our skins by
cowardice .. ...
Bin Laden's writings and the Taliban's dictates
arc as gross a perversion of true Islam as that metal
9 . 23 . 2001 NORTHEAST .MAGAZINE
and glass carnage is a fair representation or our be·
loved World Trade Center. A Muslim who murd""
is not just no longer a Muslim, he's also "beyond the
. paleofciviliution ... as one Islamic leader put it. Vio-
lence is as much a sin against Islam as it is to Chris·
tianity and Judaism.
I've yet tO hear a rescue worker or family member
of somebody missing speak about rc1•enge. The
bomb that just hit them is so incomprehensible, an·
other one's the last thing they want to ponder.
A CBS poll found 66 percent of Americans say
the U.S. should rakemiliraryactionagainstthose rc-
. sponsibk, even if it means the !lcaths of innocent
people; 20 percent disagreed.
No margin of error could account for such folly.
Can there' be 1hat many Americans 'who ha"-c al·
ready forgotten what happened here? Did the poll
have to spell out TillS-COULD-MEAN-YOURS
for them to get it? ·
And what about the soldiers? Most will be young
men of color who bit for the educatioO carrot and
may OO\V bitC a bullet, dyirtg upon terrain where, for
wer a Russian soldiers fell and failed to
You can't win a war against terrorism an)' more
than you can win a war againsl drugs. You can lOll a
miUion terrorists, Jock up every drug dealer. But if
you don·t change ·the conditions that created them,
as ma.nyclr more will replace them.
Bin Laden knows nothing of tniC Islam but he's
· perfectly lucid when it comes to articulating dec·
adcs of suffering and visited upon Mus·
lims by First \VorkJ nations. Muslim.'> comprise up-
ward of 19 percent of the world's population. If he
incites only a tiny fraction of them, he can recreate
9/1 1 in citiCs all over America and Europe. .
Most of the NATO alliance is rather tepid, to
it kindly. EL_Jropcans arc acquainted with terrorists
on their 0\'ln turf and they'd rather have fewer than
more. thank you very much. Some of the smaiJer na·
tions, having promised the president, 'We're 100
percent behind you." have elaboratt>d for the media
thai ihe support they offer is .. moral"' or "spiritual."
And what about the Afghanis? Were behaving as
if they democratically elected the Taliban -which
our government fund<.--d and supported as an attrac-
tive altcrnati .. ,c to communism. They're as likely to
from starvation as they arc from soldiers' bullets
More people have fled from Afgharustan than
from any oLher country in the world. l ran- already
home to about 2 million Afghan refugees, says it
.cannot accommodate any more. What able peas
ants.remain have been pouring C'IVCr Lhe border into
PakistaJl, despite the Tali ban's vow to wage war
there if Pakistan keeps il< pledge tQ provide U.S.
troops air and land acces.o;;.
And just because CaJifornia Congresswoman
Barbara Lee was the sole "no"' vote agair1st tl1c war
resolution doesn't necessarily mean she's wrong.
Only two senators voted against going into Vietnam;
it cost both of them their careers,
''I am convinced that military action will not pre
vent further acts of international terrorism in the
United States;· said Lee, whogrcw up an Army brat.
But don't worry - Senate and the House
have stipulated that after the first military action
President Bush has to bring the war back for reap·
proval. Within eight months.
Eight months' It took the World Trade Center
exactly 104 minutes to get to where it is: now: This
great American city lost thousands of
citi7.C'!S in less than two houJ"$.
It's: a new world and yes it is time for new rules of
Wars are )-csterdays news. Or should be. 0