US attacks: your views

September 25, 2001

Nitrous oxide... and the shadows cast by cowards
Dale Lowdermilk
[ ]
Saturday 22 September 2001 04:19 BST

Would a gun in the cockpit have saved 5 lives....10 lives....5,0000 lives?

Any pilot, who already holds every passengers life in his hands, should be given the choice of having a weapon at his or her disposal.  If you don’t trust that your  pilot will make the right decision during a hijacking attempt, perhaps you should consider taking a train or bus. (Many bus drivers
carry guns!)

Armed sky-marshals will be just as vulnerable to 3 or 4 suicidal hijackers using the jagged edges of spoons,  broken faucet spigots from the restroom, a fractured plastic plate or the neck of a glass wine bottle as any unarmed passenger... If we are going to prevent all hazards, let’s be sure to
include those extra-long fingernails (fake or natural) which could be used to gouge out an eye or cut an artery. The mentality of "disarming" everyone for perceived safety, is as naieve as it gets and will only create more victims. It doesn’t make sense to take a pocket knife or nail file away from
a passenger, when any terrorist can tape a nonmetallic dagger to his leg and put fear into the heart of a nation.

In 1987, following a rash of hijackings, several members of our organization suggested that passenger safety would improve if everyone were required to fly naked, if only one aircraft a time was permitted in the air or if planes simply taxied to their destination. One proposal, so "radical" that even I found it ridiculous, was that a small video camera be installed in the cockpit. If the pilot senses trouble, he pushes a button and a cannister of nitrous oxide instantly put everyone to sleep. (What an absurd idea!!)

Sure, installing  bulletproof doors will help, but giving passengers an opportunity to defend themselves and giving pilots a weapon of last resort,  is even better. It is our prediction that, within 3 years, all US citizens will be required to have a National Identification Card (including fingerprints and genetic material) whether they have criminal records or not.

Contrary to the carnage predicted by gun control advocates, states which have passed "right to carry" laws (allowing non-felons to carry concealed weapons) have experienced a dramatic decrease in violent crimes, especially in highly populated metropolitan areas. This is no coincidence and the idea of giving passengers a choice to fly on "weapon’s optional" or "clothing optional" flights is at least worth considering.

Militarily speaking, if we know that 600 Islamic "fundamentalist" Elders are meeting in Afghanistan to declare a "Holy War", why not launch a couple dozen Cruise missiles towards that specific destination?  By having the rockets impact within a few minutes after their final votes have been cast, we could help these religious zealots reach their ultimate "heavenly" (?) destination... prematurely.

Finally, let’s remember that last line of our national anthem is a question. If we can stop jumping at all the giant shadows cast by cowards, the answer will continue to be "yes".

If it’s worth doing right, it’s worth OVER-doing.

Dale Lowdermilk
Founder, NOT-SAFE 
Retired Air Traffic Controller 

The civilization to be defended
Grenville Wall
[ ]
Friday 21 September 2001, 06: BST 

One of the very earliest jewels in the civilization the West wants to defend against terrorism is The Oresteia by Aeschylus, first performed in 5th century BC Athens. The action of this tragedy presents us with two arguments. The first is that if we respond to terror and cruel injustice
with terror and "private" retaliation, the ensuing cycles of vengeance threaten the whole community with destruction. The second is that this destruction can only be averted if the determination and administration of justice are taken out of private hands and made the responsibility of the city as a whole. Aeschylus speaks to us even more urgently now that we live in a global city in which we are all interdependent.

Waking a giant
Brian Stucker
[ ]
Wednesday 19 September 2001, 22:30 BST

Bin Laden has made a crucial error. He believes the United States military is weak and has no heart to fight him. Well, brace yourselves. Here we come. And we are pissed off.

We damn the terrorism of the millenium
Turkish Mothers' Association [ ]
Tuesday 18 September 2001, 08:09 BST

As the mothers knowing too much about the terrorism disaster and having lost their 35 thousand children in terrorism, we sincerely share the sorrow and pain of the people of the USA. In the name of humanity, we condemn the brutal attack with great hatred and believe that the terrorists who committed crimes against humanity will be punished as soon as possible.

We are the ones who can best understand the grief of the USA having lost thousands of its people in terrorism in New York and Washington on September 11th. Because, 40 thousand of our people have been killed and thousands of them have been disabled as a result of the activities of the terrorist organizations of the PKK, Hizballah, DHKP/C and ASALA. 

As the mothers having suffered from terrorism and believing in democracy, human rights and the rule of law, we took every opportunity on every platform to say, "Don't do that. Don't tolerate terrorism and terrorists. Those tolerating terrorism are at least as guilty as terrorists. Definitely, those supporting terrorism will, one day, be the victims of terrorism. It is not right to say my terrorist is good. Anyone making way for terrorism or supporting or having sympathy for it is not loyal to humanity. Terrorist organizations, which killed thousands of our people without distinguishing between children, women or elderly people and disabled thousands of others, are an international trouble. Let's fight together against terrorism. Terrorism is not a regional but an
international problem". But, we could not explain that. I wish we were wrong...

We hope that all the humanity will take important lessons from the terrorist brutality experienced by the USA.

The necessity for the whole world opinion to understand that terrorism cannot be a tool for the political aims of various groups of people has been made clear in the recent terrorist activity.

Terrorism is a devil standing against the contemporary world. All the leading democracies of the world should come together and struggle against this big enemy together. No matter where it is, poisonous branches of the terrorism tree can reach every part of the world.

Recalling the fact that the biggest obstacle on the way to human rights and peace is terrorism, we call the international public opinion to struggle together with terrorist organizations.

We support the proposal to commemorate September 11th as the "Day for World Struggle Against Terrorism and Commemorating the Victims of Terrorism".

Yours faithfully,

Turkish Mothers' Association

(This message was sent to multiple recipients including The THES.)

Letter to THES
Mike Hulme
[ ]
Monday 17 September 2001 15:10 BST

Globalisation continues its advance.  The human emotions of terror and bereavement are now added to the list of globalised commodities and social and environmental phenomena.  For the connected global village the enemy is indeed now within - a 'war' against terrorism is a 'war' against ourselves, a civil war.  Individual nation states are as impotent in this regard as they are in the fight to slow global warming.  The USA will discover both of these truths, unfortunately one sooner than the other.

Dr Mike Hulme
University of East Anglia

[no subject]
Shamim Hanif [ ]
Monday 17 September 2001, 11:47 BST

I am a 25 yr old Muslim. I was watching t.v. news on my day off, what I saw unfold in front of me on Tuesday was something I would never have dreamed could occur to a nation that leads the 'free world'. I went on holiday to Kashmir last year, and there I witnessed atrocities that people live with day in day out. I talked to people who experienced terror everyday of there lives. Only 7% of Americans own passports, many of them holiday within America. Technology allows westerners to see what the world is really like, myself included, yet we have never seen the horrendous mass murders in Kashmir ever televised. Yet when such an abhorrent act happens to America it is on our t.v screens 24hrs a day. I was appalled to see Tuesday's events. I have lots of friends in New York and I pray everyday for the safety of the firemen working around the rubble, what was once the Trade Centres. Islam teaches us to live in peace with one another, to look after your neighbours, no religion teaches terrorism it is some sick people who bring extremism to their lives and the innocent have to live with it.

Terror Shall Not Win!
Afsar Urut
[ ]
Saturday 15 September 2001, 21:09 BST

Nameless, faceless cowards played God on September 11. They took the lives of thousands of people in one big swoop. Our sorrow, shock, and disgust knows no ends.

I hope this tragedy finally brings to a screeching halt all kinds of power plays in the media, academia, and politics, that may be considered even remotely supportive of any terrorist act, whether by Armenian ASALA, Kurdish PKK, Arab HAMAS, or others!

When Armenian terrorists were planting and exploding bombs at Turkish embassies, Turkish Airlines ticket offices, Turkish businesses in America in 1970s and 1980s, some right here in Los Angeles, most in the media turned a sympathetic ear to the Armenian supporters of those terrorist acts. The victims were mostly Turks and most of us looked the other way... Some American politicians even appeared in the Armenian circles known for raising legal defense funds for those terrorists (some still do)... To those fund raisers and contributors, as well as some American politicians, those terrorists were "good terrorists".

We, Turkish-Americans, have suffered too much and too long at the hands of international Armenian terrorists in the past 30 years, international Kurdish PKK terrorists in the last 20 years, and the Hizbullah religious terrorists in the last 10 years, when the media was almost always turning a deaf ear to our pleas of stopping international terrorism. We understand all too well the extreme shock, disgust, and sadness the families of victims will feel deep in their hearts for much of the rest of their lives... We have been there... Many times!

Whatever the outcomes of this still unfolding tragedy will be, one is certain: Terror shall not win! We can not, should not, and shall not let it win!

Best Regards
Afsar Urut

Our Prize Pupil
Mary Harris
[ ]
Saturday 15 September 2001, 05:11 BST

Yes, sadly enough, it was our own CIA who taught Osama bin Laden all he knows.  But they didn't teach him all that THEY know. 
We shall put a stop to this madness.  Forgive us for the language and the tactics which we'll be using.  And thank you for your love and support!
Mary Harris
Oklahoma City, OK (USA)

Re: Anti violence
John Beggs
[ ]
Friday 14 September 2001, 23:59 BST

What was there intention? Terror? What was there message? To show their
hate?  Message taken.  What will this accomplish?

The message to Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yugoslavia, and others: you are entitled to your freedoms and beliefs, as well as your sovereignty, until your collective behaviors threaten the life and freedoms of many other peoples and sovereign nations.  Collateral damage would have occurred in this context if people or objects are unintentionally destroyed while removing a cancer to democracy and tolerance.  Yes, there are times when to preserve tolerance, that defensive aggression must be meted to the perpetrators of evil intent.  There was no collateral damage in NYC or the District of Columbia area, because the intention was to inflict pain and terror alone.  There were only victims.

New world philosophy
Jim Wood
[ ]
Friday 14 September 2001, 14:39 BST

An old/new philosophy for a new world order: "Everyone equal under one god."

This embodies accurate empathy, understanding, respect, co-operation, mutual benefit, aspiration.

This challenges American foreign policy that has valued one of ours more than one/many of theirs.

This challenges religious fundamentalism to question the hypocricy of our god being better than their god.

Jim Wood
Tyneside & Northumberland Students into Schools Project Manager

September 11th
Michael Rowson
[ ]
Friday 14 September 2001, 07:23 BST

I am a disabled veteran, I have a son serving in the U.S, Army's Special Forces. He is in an advanced special school dealing with anti terrorist tactics.He hasn't been put into operation yet, I worry about him more than I can describe here. He was put on alert when this happened, but wiser heads have prevailed and want him to finish honing his deadly craft. I to was a soldier in Viet Nam, and my son server under my protests. I am so proud of him and so worried about him. He is my only son and I love him dearly, but I expect him to do his duty with diligence and honor. I have never so outraged in my life. If these monsters had any political cause at all it already lost. I have seen new exports of people in the middle east rejoicing in our sorry. I speak only as a humble cab driver in Anchorage Alaska. I caution these people to beware, because they my my find that sulfur and ash will be the only thing to absorb their tears on their faces.

my say in the crisis
Lyndon Morant [ ]
Thursday 13 September 2001, 12:43 BST

i am a 17 year old, sensitive and analytical student from trinity school of john whitgift, croydon. my original intention was to write a poem about what happenned on tuesday. though it would seem that no words can express how bad i feel: the sorrow, the pitty and the anguish. i feel ashamed to be considered part of a race of individuals that can perform such heart-rendering acts of violence towards eachother. there should NEVER be an insident when the life of a human being is taken
without due cause (not taking into account that the opinion of those terrorists whom carried out the attack as "due cause"). i cried and i cried, my heart bled at the loss. war is hell. may my condolences heal some of the pain. there is nothing i can do but grieve. thanku for reading this email and taking my humble opinion to heart.

Attack on WTC
Stephen Dickinson [ ]
Wednesday 12 September 2001, 22:57 BST

Funny, I haven't heard or read a single reference to the tragedy in New York as 'collateral damage'.  Perhaps it is only the slaughter of civilians in countries such as Palestine and Iraq which qualify for use of the term!

Anti Violence 


Academics interviewed by The THES and agencies

It could happen again
Lawrence Freedman,
professor of war studies, Kings College London

That there could be terrorist attacks against New York isn’t news. That it could involve planes isn’t news. The surprise is the complexity of the operation and scale of what resulted. It is certainly an act of war. Warfare doesn’t mean very much if it doesn’t include acts such as this. It could happen again and America has to work out what it does to respond to such a challenge.

Missile shield is futile
Veronique Pin-Fat,
lecturer in international relations, Manchester University

The United States is going to become far more inward-looking and it is going to start concentrating more on its own security issues rather than any others it has been involved in before. This has implications for Europe, as for at least the next few months the US is going to be quite disengaged from situations such as the Balkans and Macedonia.

In the long term, this will have an impact on America’s Son of Star Wars project, as the rationale behind that is rogue states launching a nuclear attack on the US. These events show that any nuclear defence system is futile because it cannot protect the US against this sort of attack.
(Press Association)

This has changed the rules
Jerry Hart,
lecturer in security management, Scarman Centre, University of Leicester

The events in the US yesterday have changed the rules. Security experts compare the probability of an event with its severity - they would normally deal with the mundane such as parcel bombs and threats to infrastructure. But now these conversations are going to be different. We now know people can hijack planes, but what about the possibility of chemical warfare and the weird and wonderful things people said were so unlikely as to be not worth contemplating?

Expect tougher security, more surveillance
David Wilson,
professor of criminology, Department of Public Policy, University of Central England

In the US there will be a far greater consideration being given to security on internal flights, and in the UK it will be the same. We will see tougher action and more security consciousness. There is clearly also a failure of intelligence. Given how closely the US and Britain work, this is partly about the ability of our own intelligence system to understand an emerging opposition to the US in non-traditional terms. There will probably also be a great deal more surveillance of certain Middle Eastern organisations. London is known for having certain Middle Eastern connections, as a home of people, and I imagine that surveillance will be stepped up slightly.

Lockerbie raised UK awareness

Tim Newburn, 
professor of urban social policy, Public Policy Research Unit, Goldsmiths College

My first reaction was that there probably weren’t going to be huge knock-on effects in the UK. We are already pretty well geared up against terrorism, particularly in the City of London. But there will be, for some time, a sense of heightened security or concern. The area in which there will be some review immediately is air safety, but again we are already fairly secure by international standards, because of previous accidents and terrorism - Lockerbie particularly.

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