- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
New "NEW YORK aerial view"
An aerial view of the World Trade Center area released by the New York City Office of Emergency Management
Wednesday, September 19, 2001
From: Gaylon Ross <email@example.com>
As per usual, my thoughts seem
to be a bit like a kaleidoscope's images, constantly changing. I
cry for the dead and dying and rejoice
in the knowledge that many were spared. Sometimes my thoughts go back to Thanatopsis, the poem by William Cullen Bryant.
I don't have a copy, but, if my memory of some fifty years ago is still intact, this is the portion which I remember. If I did disremember portions, please excuse my far from perfect memory. Perhaps you too can recall it from your days in English literature 101.
"So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious real, Where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
'Thou go not like the quarry slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
Bu an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
For reasons which I have never understood, I have
always remembered this segment. In a way, perhaps even morbidly,
been with me and, to some extent, is my credo. I can hope that all of those whose lives were so needlessly snuffed out did so live.
Yet, I dearly hope that those 19 men and all of those men or women who assisted them, those who were responsible for the horrible massacre of innocents, may suffer for all eternity. No matter their fanatical devotion to the evil side of mankind, I have no
compassion for them.
One of my granddaughters works in New York, not too far from the WTC. I was pleased to learn that she is alive. She says
that there is the smell of death in the air. I remember hearing some of those who were in the midst of battles and the aftermath of
battles say that the smell of death was much worse than the battles themselves. A couple of days there appeared a picture and
a write-up in the Sun News of a son of a friend of ours. He was a local captain in the fire department and he immediately went
to NY upon hearing the news. His father raised him well. There are so many faces in this tragedy. I am particularly sorry for the
unjust treatment that some of our citizenry have endured lately, those patriotic citizens who were also Muslims. If we must hate,
then we must learn to hate only individuals whose actions who are such a discredit to their faiths. It is sometimes difficult for
me to fathom the distinction between deeds of evil done for good and deeds of evil done for bad. By now you have all read
the stirring remarks made by the Canadian citizen regarding the United States of America. Apparently they were penned in or
about 1978, but they are certainly as timely as then. Here is also a copy of a letter from another of our citizens. I have not
traced it back to the source, but, regardless, it should be read and understood by all of us.
"I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on
KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing
to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage.
What else can we do?"
Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly
"And I thought about
the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan,
I speak as one who hates
the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these
But the Taliban and Ben
Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan.
Some say, why don't the
Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved,
There are millions of
widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves.
New bombs would only
stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban?
So what else is there? What can be done,
then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The
Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of
Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim
A sailor says a tearful goodbye to his wife before the deployment of the USS Theodore Roosevelt at Norfolk Naval Base
Wednesday morning, in Norfolk, Va. Wednesday, September 19, 2001
As I said, I am not certain
of the origin but the author's point of view is well worth considering.
First in Viet Nam and then during the Gulf War we heard the term "collateral damage".
I don't think that I understood the gruesome meaning until I heard Timothy McVey use the term
to describe and justify the wanton killing of innocents. I fear that evil begets evil no matter how
"noble" the cause.
I received a forwarded email from a friend of mine. It was a reminder that, for expediency,
all governments have at times had strange bedfellows. We sponsor violence in other countries
without sometimes considering the fallout at later dates. This was even true for us in Afghanistan.
Alliances at the governmental level are like my kaleidoscopic images, constantly forming, changing
Anyway, we can all hope that it is indeed possible to eradicate terrorism worldwide knowing that in some
instances it is even impossible to define the meaning of the word. Some governments and even religions
attempt to define the world as either black or white. Would that it be so, but, mostly, the real world is
described in shades of gray.
So, we move onward, hopefully to a better world. Pray for all of those who have suffered and who
have died so needlessly and keep those flags flying proudly and the candles burning in the night. I am
including a couple of attachments even they do not reflect on the
horrible tragedy of 911.
Supporters of the fundamentalist, pro-Taliban party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam shout slogans during an anti-U.S. rally in Karachi
protesting the possibility of U.S. attacks on Afghanistan. Thousands took to the streets in across Pakistan to protest against the U.S.
Thursday, September 20, 2001
The following is from Maureen Dowd of the New
York Times. If one strips Ms. Dowd's distrust of the present administration,
admonition regarding the Trojan Horse is a reasonable one. The continued support of the Bush's policy against international terrorism
will require diplomatic aplomb unheard of in the past. It is a mine field of contradictions between the nations of the world. We can
only wish them well, but the task is a daunting one. Hopefully we can achieve, at least to a limited extent, the eradication of terrorism
as an individualistic or nationalistic policy. In that respect we are indeed at a crossroads, a war against dark forces that would hope
to destroy us and our ideals. I hope that we can achieve national security, internal as abroad, without sacrificing any of the liberties
on which this country was founded. Freedom is so difficult to achieve, but, unfortunately, so easily lost, let's hope that we don't
throw out the baby with the wash water.
"OLD RUSES, NEW BARBARIANS"
By MAUREEN DOWD
The most famous story of the Western world, the
prototype of all tales of human conflict, Barbara Tuchman writes in
Despite repeated warnings, the Trojans relaxed their guard and let their fortress be breached.
After the Trojans feasted and fell asleep, the
hidden Greeks emerged. "Mad with murder," Homer
The moral: Invaders can also win by cunning, deception and their adversaries' complacency and trust.
We are chilled as we learn more about how the
Middle East terrorists mad with murder breached our walls
Last spring, when the president was letting Dick
Cheney run the country, he also put him in charge of
On "Meet the Press" Sunday, the vice president
conceded that the unspeakable air attack had caught the
It's hard to know why our government was so clueless.
The tactics of warriors in the mountains of the
treacherous Khyber Pass, where we may soon send
But the guileful guerrilla methods of Central
Asian warriors have stayed the same since the 13th century.
Old ruses, long used in tribal warfare, enabled
them to rout greatly superior numbers at negligible loss to
Why were we so blind? Osama bin Laden recently
made threats in the London press. Islamic zealots have
The F.B.I., C.I.A. and I.N.S. knew some of the
terrorists were in the country, but their turf battles helped
This week, when Bush diplomats should have been
riveted on the hard work of building an alliance against
As long as they cling so tenaciously to their
cold war theology, it will be hard for the Bush crowd to engender
The man who during the campaign mistook the Taliban
for a band and could not identify the leader of Pakistan
Speaking to senators last Thursday, Mr. Bush asked,
What's the sense of sending a $2 million missile to hit a $10 tent
One might also ask: What's the sense of rushing to create a $60 billion defense shield to protect against a Trojan horse?"
I have been listening to Dick Estelle? on the
PBS Radio Reader. At the present time he is reading from a book authored
by our former president, Jimmy Carter, in which Mr. Carter describes his
early years. He talks about finding indian arrowheads and pottery
in the fields of his father's farm in Georgia. When I was growing up on the Eastern Shores of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware I still
remember being able to go out and find such artifacts. Such items can date back thousands of years. They are reminders of
civilizations which are now almost forgotten. These civilizations must have had much that was good, but there are few written records remaining. We, the immigrants, in our religious zeal, labeled these races as savages and hence gave excuse for our zealous eradication
of them. Whenever I hear someone talk about getting rid of "them" or "sending them back to the land from which they came", I am
reminded of FDR's (former president Franklin D Roosevelt) salutation to a group of DAR convened for their annual meeting: "Fellow
immigrants, ---". This simple statement should have caused some of the audience to reflect. The three religions faiths of Jews,
Christians and Muslims, all with a common heritage, attempt to create a brotherhood of all mankind. At the same time zealous
members of each have wallowed in the self glory of extermination, all too frequently justifying this madness with religion quotataions.
The successful eradication of terrorism is a small, but necessary, first step in this brotherhood of mankind. Let's hope that from the
madness of the WTC bombings, we can like the Phoenix, build from the ashes, not just a better USA but a better world.
Like the rest of the nation, we are looking at the happenings in the stock market. Our government is concerned about the problems
with transportation, particularly air transportation and, rightly, the Congress will use a portion of our nation's wealth to help the airlines
survive. It may not happen, but it would be nice if the widely espoused "trickle down theory" will extend into the fabric of the little guy,
the smaller shop keepers, the families of the fallen heroes (not just the heroic firemen and the policemen who are no longer with us
but all of those whose lives are forever scarred by this harrowing experience.Again, keep the faith and do good deeds.
New York firefighters continue to battle blazes at the World Trade Center more than a week after the attack
Wednesday, September 18, 2001
The smell of death in the air
" September 12, 2001
Dear Osama Bin Laden,
Yasser Arafat, and Sadam
Since this game is
a winner-take-all, we unfortunately are
While we will admit
that you are off to an impressive lead, it
By the way, we will be playing on your court now.
Sincerely, The 270,000,000
citizens of the United States
Imagine the un-imaginable!!!
Equal Time for Hitler?
By WILLIAM SAFIRE
WASHINGTON -- The primary source of information
for the average Afghan is
Why is there no Radio Free Afghanistan broadcasting
the truth about the consequences
Why are Afghans not told that their rulers'
decision to hide Osama bin Laden is the direct
Why are the voices of revered, mainstream Muslim
clerics not broadcast denouncing
Before a single bomb is dropped on a suspected
training camp, the U.S. should be doing
We are failing to make life more difficult
for the terrorists in their caves because the
Which U.S. government broadcaster should be
charged with stirring anger among
But evenhanded journalists at the V.O.A., backed
by political holdovers on the
The V.O.A. broadcasts to Afghanistan with fine
impartiality in the Dari, Pashto,
In the squabble over a measly $15 million in
expansion money, here is why
On the day after the twin towers catastrophe,
a V.O.A. reporter in London
Listeners were not informed that this terrorist
group killed 58 foreign tourists and 4
Stung by criticism of this broadcast, Andre
de Nesnera, the V.O.A.'s news director,
After a call from Jesse Helm's office protesting
"equal time for Hitler," the bureaucrat
The nation is on a kind of war footing.
Even in peacetime, news credibility does not flow
That's why we need an American signal in Afghanistan's
five languages with a clear, truthful message: Bin Laden and his gang are
the cause of present and future misery, and the
And for the Pentagon's choosers of "targets
of value": consider, in the first strike, the score
we don't have the option, any of us, of "stop the world, I want to get
We can only hope that our leaders will lead us to a better world.!!!!!!!!
Scuggs, Childrens' Author and Illustrator
U down in Uville liked U.S. a lot,
the reason, his heart or his turban,
he knew, all the U's and the S's,
they'd do something he liked least of all,
stop that singing," Binch said with a smirk,
cocked his ear as they woke from their sleeping,
down at Uville, not trusting his eyes,
circle the sites where our heroes did fall,
means a bit more than tall towers,
By: Rob Scuggs, Childrens' Author
The more I read and think about the events starting
with 911, the less certain I am of my true feelings. As of now there have
approximately 300 persons who might have been connected with tuesday's bombing. These terrorists are mostly in our own country,
but they do include others throughout the world. Last tuesday over seven thousand completely innocent people died because of the fanaticism of a few madmen. Nineteen of these gave their lives for their cause, whatever it may have been. We have all read about the inability of our federal and local law personnel to capture just a few of our own home grown criminals. Now we are engaged in a world wide search for all international and national terrorists. Let's hope that the posse is successful, but it is a bit like hunting for needles in
many haystacks, without knowing where these haystacks may be. It is probably true that all of these fanatical individuals together total
less than that seven thousand. There are many, many more thousands in countries throughout the world who demonstrate against the
United States. Ironically, most of these are poor souls whose fears are fanned by, again, a few madmen.
Ironically on "both sides" they, and we, are beseeching God to be on our side in a just cause. God must be very confused at this point.
No, I am certain that he has "taken sides", but His confusion must relate to how mankind can so easily be deluded by those
fundamentalists, both religious and secular, who do bad deeds in His name. No, the world is not black and white. I wish it were,
since then choices would be so easy to make. We, our country, will embark upon a just crusade to eradicate terrorism from the face
of this planet and in the process, almost certainly, many more thousands of innocent people will be killed or injured. It is sort of like the
dead rabbit. It makes not a damn to him that he was killed in a sporting fashion while running or killed while sitting. He is no less dead. Although the cause may be true and just, there is really little likelihood that it can ever really be successful. Terrorism, whether within
or without, is a fact of life. We may kill, or at least bring to justice, all of the principles of this current dastardly deed, but irrational hatred
is such that it is self perpetuating. It is a phoenix; it smolders for a while and then erupts again, sometimes when it is least expected. It is unfortunate that the human race isn't as good at espousing brotherhood for all as it is good at waging war. Maybe, like the lemmings and their apparent desire to commit suicide, self destruction is our fatal flaw. Why is it so much easier to pull a trigger than it is to embrace
As is always true, some of our finest young men and women will die in this current process of saving the world. I wonder how many
times that rallying cry has been used, and we are still trying. Yes, this time it is a bit different. We have had destruction rained down
upon us, on our home soil. In other wars we have known families who have lost loved ones, and we have sorrowed by the loss, but,
mostly these were those lost in direct combat and our homes were not attacked. Last tuesday there was a difference. Those who lost
their lives were just going about their daily routines. They became heroes and martyrs, not of their own choosing. It was a destine thrust
upon them. Yes, there was a decided difference and we have a right to be outraged. We all hope that our administration will be able to make us feel more secure again and that the guilty will be punished. What is different, this time, is that we don't really know the face of
the enemy, but we certainly do know him from his deeds. I just pray that we will have at least a modicum of success and that our losses
will not be excessive.
I just finished listening to our President and
cabinet members I am more happy with the current rhetoric than the
"dead or alive"
of a previous speech. I fear that I am barbaric enough in my thinking so that I would not be too disturbed if those responsible
for the planning of the bombing of the WTC and the Pentagon were eliminated. However, GW's analogy of the old west
"dead or alive" poster reminded me of the posse organization as depicted in most of the western movies, where a hastily
"legalized" band of citizenry raced out to catch the mangy varmint and hang him at the nearest cottonwood tree.
Today, the President outlined a plan wherein they they would attack the fiscal roots of terrorism. This is a good first step.
The following is a bit of newsprint which I came across. I think that it is authentic although I haven't checked completely.
Afghanistan Is Like Nothing You've Ever Seen,
Soviet Vets Say <<...OLE_Obj...>> Strategy: Soldiers who fought there
warn the U.S. to expect daily deliveries of coffins and few targets other than villages.
I fear that there no
good can result, whatsoever, in evil, regardless of whether it is designated
for good or not. I hope that our
administration has gotten over the "we will bomb them back to the stone age" mentality. If one accepts the somewhat questionable
premise that most humans, regardless of their past despicable acts, can be "saved", then somehow we must be willing to at least try
the carrot approach rather than the stick. I find myself being more certain than ever that we have the good fortune to have Colin
Powell as our Secretary of State. Even though of military background, I think that he, more than most saber rattling civilians,
understands the healing power of diplomacy. In this day and age, countries, as well as individuals, have strange bedfellows. For
some it is not so much a question of "what have you done for us" but "what have you done for us lately". Even though I "know"
that we are the salt of the earth, I can understand some of the feelings of distrust, even hatred, which exists in the Middle East.
When we take sides for expediency without considering the inevitable consequences of an uneven handed approach, we must
expect that type of reaction. In other words, for every action there is a reaction, so we must be careful that we aren't the ones
to start an avalanche. Yes, bring to justice those responsible for wrong doing, but be careful that one doesn't bring more evil to
the innocent, including those without hope.
Cathedral of Hope Prayer Ministry
Devotion for Wednesday, September 26, 2001 written
by Rabbi Moshe
Waldoks, Temple Beth Zion, Brookline, Mass.
Why not try this?
An interesting proposal for responding to the attack of last week:
A military response, particularly an attack on
Afghanistan, is exactly what the terrorists want. It will strengthen and
swell their small
but fanatical ranks.
Instead, bomb Afghanistan with butter, with rice,
bread, clothing and medicine. It will cost less than conventional arms,
poses no threat
of US casualties and just might get the populace thinking that maybe the Taliban don't have the answers. After three years of drought and with starvation looming, let's offer the Afghani people the vision of a new future. One that includes full stomachs.
Bomb them with information. Video players and
cassettes of world leaders, particularly Islamic leaders, condemning terrorism.
the country with magazines and newspapers showing the horror of terrorism committed by their "guest". Blitz them with laptop computers and DVD players filled with a perspective that is denied them by their government. Saturation bombing with hope will mean that some
of it gets through. Send so much that the Taliban can't collect and hide it all. The Taliban are telling their people to prepare for Jihad.
Instead, let's give the Afghani people their first good meal in years. Seeing your family fully fed and the prospect of stability in terms
of food and a future is a powerful deterrent to martyrdom. All we ask in return is that they, as a people, agree to enter the civilized world. That includes handing over terrorists in their midst.
In responding to terrorism we need to do something
different. Something unexpected. Something that addresses the root of the
We need to take away the well of despair, ignorance and brutality from which the Osama bin Laden's of the world water their gardens
Prayer: God, today make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. And where there's doubt, true faith in You. Amen.
PRAY FOR PEACE - Prepare for War!!!!!!
Last edited 12-29-2001