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September 11, 2001

Day of Hatred:
Comments

The following emails are commenting on the article September 11, 2001: Day of Hatred. The e-mailers comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.


>Hi,

Friday (9/14/01) has been declared the day of mourning and is officially a bank-holiday here in Ireland where most businesses is closed out of respect of the terrible tragedy that has taken place.

The LDS (Mormon) has taken the unusual step of encouraging the LDS missionaries to play on peoples sympathies and they will be witnessing door to door since this morning to dusk.

Met a pair of this missionaries yesterday that proudly informed me that the Irish people is much more friendly and sympathetic since the tragedy and that they will be witnessing with joy tomorrow (which is today).

It makes me very sad to see people taking advantage of the tragedy instead of praying for the survivors and the relatives of those who died.

Kind Regards,
C.S.
9/14/01<

It is disheartening to hear this.


>Gary,

I read your article on the NY attacks. I can tell you that this has been mammoth news all around the world. In Australia, where I come from, 4 of the 5 free-to-air TV networks all suspended regular programming to instead show live satellite feeds (CNN etc) from NY. Everyone has been discussing why it happened and who may be responsible.

I have no hard facts, rather just a few hunches. I don't actually think it was Osama Bin Laden. As extremely well-planned as this attack was, if someone was hell-bent on inflicting carnage on the United States, an even greater attack could have been planned. Why stop at two planes into the WTC and a third into the Pentagon? A well-orchestrated attack could have gone even further: after the planes, they could have hit the US with a completely different second strike and again a totally different third strike in quick succession (e.g. gas attack in NY Subway, poisoning the water supply of a large city ...).

Everyone seems to be saying how well-orchestrated this attack was. It certainly was, but I think (unfortunately) it could have been even worse. For these reasons, I think it more likely to be "splinter group". In Ireland, there is a breakaway movement from the IRA called the "Real IRA" who thinks the actual IRA is too soft. This attack smacks of something that such a splinter group would do. Within the "mainstream" (if I can use such a word!) Terrorist groups there would be even more fanatical factions upset with the "soft line" taken by the terrorist leadership.

The other possibility I have heard is that this was the work of a "coalition" of terrorists. A variation on this theme would be that while it may be Muslim Terrorists who carried out the attacks, they were only the paid agents. They could have been contracted by South American Drug Lords or some other enemy of the US. The US financed Crop-Spraying in Colombia must be upsetting the drug barons!

Furthermore, if it was a completely unsuspected group, they know they could get away with this attack with absolute impunity as retaliatory efforts would be focused on others. Everyone would naturally suspect a Muslim terrorist group to have committed this heinous act. Yet that is perfect cover for a non-Muslim group (e.g. South American drug producers) to use Arab contractors for the job. The focus would never be on the real perpetrators in such a scenario.

In any event I'll leave it to the buffoons in the CIA and FBI [and I know you can read this, guys!] to work out who is responsible, but my fear is that since no-one has actually owned-up to this hideous attack we may never know conclusively who did it. Yet despite the lack of conclusive evidence the US will want to strike back (based on their suspicions). What if the US concludes it was Bin Laden and strikes Afghanistan, when in actual fact Bin Laden or Afghanistan had nothing to do with the attack? That would be a travesty of justice for the Afghani people. Moreover it would be a public relations disaster for the US and would do America's reputation in the Muslim World no favours! Finally, as the Soviets so amply demonstrated (and the British a century before them), winning a war in Afghanistan (if it comes to that) is nigh impossible. The terrain is quite difficult and the US has very little useful intelligence on winning a war in Afghanistan.

My prayers and those of Christians all over the world are with the American people (particularly those bereaved). Let us pray for the return of the Lord Jesus who alone can bring peace and justice to this fallen world.

Your Brother in Christ,
David Tomkins.

PS did you see the footage of the special memorial service held in St Paul's Cathedral in London?

http://www.itn.co.uk/news/20010914/britain/05stpauls.shtml 

I found it really moving to hear the thousands in the (British) congregation singing the American National Anthem. It reminds me of Churchill and FDR with British and American Servicemen singing "Onward Christian Soldiers" in 1941.
9/17/01

Thank you for your comments. I am sure that President Bush will be sure he has some hard evidence of who was behind the attacks before proceeding. Right now point he is putting together an international coalition, just as his father did for the Persian Gulf War. But to get the international coalition to act, it will need some hard evidence as to who is responsible, and I am confident we will get that evidence.

Note: As it turned out, the US did wait quite some time before starting the attack in Afghanistan. And although the Taliban were saying there was not enough evidence that Osama Bin Laden was involved in the attack on America, not other nation has complained about a lack of evidence for the US's actions in Afghanistan.


>Dear Mr. Zeolla

I am sorry to hear of your recent illness. Though I don't know anything about Fibromyalgia myself, I hope that your new support group will be of assistance both to yourself and others.

I, like many others, am shocked and saddened at the terrible outrage that has occurred in New York, Washington DC and Pittsburgh. I am old enough to remember the IRA bombing at the Grand Hotel in my own city of Brighton, but still find it hard to comprehend the degree of hatred that was expressed last Tuesday, or to understand the terrible grief that many around the world must be feeling.

I was heartened to read your article 'Day of Hatred' and would wholeheartedly agree that while it is clearly right to seek justice for this atrocity, indiscriminate revenge or violence, whether against Arabs, Afghans or Muslims in general, is wholly unacceptable. If we become like Bin Laden, or whoever may be responsible, in our hatred, then we have lost, whatever military victories we may achieve.

I have an Afghan colleague at the University where I work who, in response to calls that Afghanistan be bombed "back to the stone age" has commented that this is not necessary as, sadly, the Soviet Union and the Taliban have already reduced ordinary Afghans to this state. I am certain that many Afghans, like him, oppose the Taliban regime and the criminals that they harbour, and for them to be killed in any military response would certainly achieve nothing to solve the problem of international terrorism against the West.

In addition, my own church movement (NFI) has contact with at least one church near Islamabad in Pakistan who have contacted us to say that they are feeling very exposed and vulnerable at this time and for whom a war between the West and the Muslim world would not be welcome news. I hope that they, and other churches, would continue to be able to be a witness to Muslims at this time.

On a more personal note, you said that you could not understand racial prejudice and bigotry. Unfortunately I can, and I know that it comes largely from fear. However I can also testify that racism and prejudice can be dealt with by the grace of Jesus Christ. I can only hope and pray that many, through Him, would find reconciliation with God and with each other.

May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

Yours sincerely,
Edward
9/18/01<

Thank you for your comments. I just have one comment. As regards Pakistan, I was discussing this very issue with a friend yesterday. I said Pakistan must feel like it is "caught in the middle" and has some tough decisions to make. So my prayers go out to their leaders that they act in an appropriate manner, both to help us to get Osama Bin Labin or whoever was responsible and to act in a such a way as to not put Pakistan at risk of terrorist reprisals. That's a tough order I know, so I pray it can be done.

Ethics, Spirituality, Christian Life
September 11, 2001: Ethics, Spirituality, Christian Life

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