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The best I've seen about this tragedy

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marty D 12 Sep 01 - 11:24 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Sep 01 - 11:33 PM
Lepus Rex 12 Sep 01 - 11:41 PM
katlaughing 12 Sep 01 - 11:50 PM
Murray MacLeod 13 Sep 01 - 12:07 AM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 01 - 12:18 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 01 - 12:23 AM
Troll 13 Sep 01 - 01:31 AM
Melani 13 Sep 01 - 01:58 AM
DougR 13 Sep 01 - 02:22 AM
marty D 13 Sep 01 - 02:26 AM
kendall 13 Sep 01 - 07:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Sep 01 - 08:46 AM
Dharmabum 13 Sep 01 - 10:01 AM
Mrrzy 13 Sep 01 - 10:17 AM
Willie-O 13 Sep 01 - 10:31 AM
flattop 13 Sep 01 - 10:44 AM
Burke 13 Sep 01 - 10:46 AM
Charley Noble 13 Sep 01 - 11:15 AM
Charley Noble 13 Sep 01 - 11:35 AM
katlaughing 13 Sep 01 - 11:48 AM
Kim C 13 Sep 01 - 01:08 PM
Melani 13 Sep 01 - 01:42 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 01 - 01:49 PM
Jim the Bart 13 Sep 01 - 03:25 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 01 - 03:46 PM
katlaughing 13 Sep 01 - 04:19 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 01 - 05:38 PM
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Subject: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: marty D
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:24 PM

I guess like everyone here, I've been in a combination stupor/rage since seeing the first awful images on TV. Maybe it's even more difficult to absorb,if you're an expat Yank living in a foreign country. I don't know. I've had nothing to add on the Cat that hasn't been said better by others, so I've just read the threads, done my work and picked a little guitar. Besides, the last time I had something to say about politics (I started a thread decrying extremists of ALL stripes") two of the moral gatekeepers implied I was 'flaming'. I figured to hell with it, I'll stick to fingerpicking discussions. But;

My next door neighbor -who's the guy who got me into Mudcat in the first place- sent me this article, and says it's been circulating to SOME catters during the day.

We're both HUGE fans of Michael Moore, and often consider him a sane voice in the wilderness. How he managed to get 'Roger and Me' and his two TV series' out there still amazes me, PLUS, he's got the balls of a burgler when he goes against popular opinion. I waited to see if anyone else might post it, and since they haven't, I will. I guess some will see it as crap, and some, as a voice of reason.

Michael Moore said:

"Dear Friends

I was supposed to fly today on the 4:30 PM American Airlines flight from LAX to JFK. But tonight I find myself stuck in L.A. with an incredible range of emotions over what has happened on the island where I work and live in New York City.

My wife and I spent the first hours of the day -- after being awakened by phone calls from our parents at 6:40am PT -- trying to contact our daughter at school in New York and our friend JoAnn who works near the World Trade Center.

I called JoAnn at her office. As someone picked up, the first tower imploded, and the person answering the phone screamed and ran out, leaving me no clue as to whether or not she or JoAnn would live.It was a sick, horrible, frightening day.

On December 27, 1985, I found myself caught in the middle of a terrorist incident at the Vienna airport -- which left 30 people dead, both there and at the Rome airport. (The machine-gunning of passengers in each city was timed to occur at the same moment.)

I do not feel like discussing that event tonight because it still brings up too much despair and confusion as to how and why I got to live. A fluke, a mistake, a few feet on the tarmac, and I am still here, there but for the grace of.

Safe. Secure. I'm an American, living in America. I like my illusions. I walk through a metal detector, I put my carry-ons through an x-ray machine, and I know all will be well. Here's a short list of my experiences lately with airport security:

At the Newark Airport, the plane is late at boarding everyone. The counter can't find my seat. So I am told to just "go ahead and get on" -- without a ticket!

At Detroit Metro Airport, I don't want to put the lunch I just bought at the deli through the x-ray machine so, as I pass through the metal detector, I hand the sack to the guard through the space between the detector and the x-ray machine. I tell him "It's just a sandwich." He believes me and doesn't bother to check. The sack has gone through neither security device.

At La Guardia in New York, I check a piece of luggage, but decide to catch a later plane. The first plane leaves without me, but with my bag - no one knowing what is in it.

Back in Detroit, I take my time getting off the commuter plane. By the time I have come down its stairs, the bus that takes the passengers to the terminal has left -- without me. I am alone on the tarmac, free to wander wherever I want. So I do. Eventually, I flag down a pick-up truck and an airplane mechanic gives me a ride the rest of the way to the terminal.

I have brought knives, razors; and once, my traveling companion brought a hammer and chisel. No one stopped us.

Of course, I have gotten away with all of this because the airlines consider my safety SO important, they pay rent-a-cops $5.75 an hour to make sure the bad guys don't get on my plane. That is what my life is worth --less than the cost of an oil change.

Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on American Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives around $15,000 a year in annual pay.

That's right -- $15,000 for the person who has your life in his hands. Until recently, Continental Express paid a little over $13,000 a year. There was one guy, an American Eagle pilot, who had four kids so he went down to the welfare office and applied for food stamps -- and he was eligible!

Someone on welfare is flying my plane? Is this for real? Yes, it is. So spare me the talk about all the precautions the airlines and the FAA is taking. They, like all businesses, are concerned about one thing - the bottom line and the profit margin. Four teams of 3-5 people were all able to penetrate airport security on the same morning at 3 different airports and pull off this heinous act? My only response is -- that's all?

Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the "terrorist threat" and today's scariest dude on planet earth -- Osama bin Laden. Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something just doesn't add up.

Am I being asked to believe that this guy, who sleeps in a tent in a desert, has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated jumbo jets with such pinpoint accuracy that they are able to hit these three targets without anyone wondering why these planes were so far off path? Or, am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED to want to kill themselves today? Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause - but FOUR? Ok, maybe you can -- I don't know.

What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this bin Laden guy except this one fact -- WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!

Don't take my word for it -- I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that laid it all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use those same techniques against us.

We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing.

We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me. Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers!

We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt our day one single bit.

We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised when those orphans grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have helped cause.

Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted by a guy from the desert, but rather by our own citizens: a couple of ex-military guys who hated the federal government.

From the first minutes of today's events, I never heard that possibility suggested. Why is that? Maybe it's because the A-rabs are much better foils. A key ingredient in getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new enemy is the all-important race card. It's much easier to get us to hate when the object of our hatred doesn't look like us.

Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for the military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn't want to hear any more talk about more money for education or health care -- we should have only one priority: our self-defense.

Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes?

In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again. He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you name it, and Baby Bush has blown it all. The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous version of "God Bless America." They're not a bad group of singers!

Yes, God, please do bless us.

Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!

Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity.

Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate let's examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.

It doesn't have to be like this."


Michael Moore

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:33 PM

Michael Moore ain't that smart if he really thinks that ex-US military dissidemts are going to fly suicide missions.


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:41 PM

Good stuff. Thanks, Marty. (and Michael)

---Lepus Rex

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:50 PM

Marty, thank you very much. I love Michael's shows and his writing. He's got the biggest set of b*..., well more chutzpah than anyone else in journalism and the government combined.

If he'd been reading the Mudcat, he would have found a few references to it maybe not being Bin Laden and maybe being domestic. I am so skeptical of all things government, these days, I want to see a lot more proof and even then, realise the CIA or other of their ilk could very easily have set the whole thing up to look the way it does, esp. with cooperation of some of the media.

Thanks, again,


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 12:07 AM

Kat, so what are you saying, the evidence about the "pilots" having all been trained in flying school in Florida are falsified ? No Islamic involvement whatever?

Stretching credulity a bit far, I would have thought ?


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 12:18 AM

"We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing."


- LH

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 12:23 AM

In other threads I have pointed to the frustration that has built up over the situation in the Middle East. I repeat myself, but Marty D encourages me to comment further. There are over two million refugees, most still in camps and shack towns. With numbers like that disposessed and able to find only the most menial of jobs, revenge takes over the thought processes, the field is ripe for the development of the worst sort of terrorists, those with just one thought in mind, to wreak havoc on a people who support the destruction wrought by an invading people, not natives of the area but from all the countries of Europe and even America. Everyday more of their area (they are in the UN but it can hardly be called a country) is taken over by new settlers and a growing population of old ones. They are on the verge of losing Jerusalem completely, a holy city to Muslims. Is it any wonder that the most primitive of fundamentalists rise to power and incite religious war? The point has been reached where only armed separation of the opposing forces by the UN can begin to bring some stability, but we will face terrorist attacks for a long time to come. Of course, the terrorist cells must be neutralized, but they are a symptom only; like hydra, cutting of one head only leads to more unless the underlying causes of the frustration are treated.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Troll
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 01:31 AM

Dicho, do you know WHY the refugees are in the camps?
Check out the history of the 1948 war if you want to know. The fact is, there have always been Jews in Palestine so the foreign invasion idea is not totally accurate.
The Israelis have done some very stupid and arrogant things, especially with regard to the West Bank and they have pushed Palestinian Arabs off their land to build more settlements. This is wrong and must be stopped.
The problem of Jerusalem is a beautifully simple one. Declare it an International City under the control of the UN and move the UN there.
So everyone will have a homeland and no one will have Jerusalem and the UN will be out of the US. That should make everybody happy.


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Melani
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 01:58 AM

Today I showed my pocket knife, which I keep very sharp, to several people and commented that I routinely carry it in my pocket aboard airplanes. Turns out that blades under 4 inches don't count. Maybe the terrorists didn't even have to hide them. What HAS been questioned while going through the X-ray machine pennywhistle. "What's that long thin metal thing in your bag?" When I told them it was a whistle, they never bothered to look. "Take this plane to New York, or I'll PLAY!"

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: DougR
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 02:22 AM

kat: are you suggesting that the U. S. government, in some way, may be responsible for what happened in D. C. and NYC?


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: marty D
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 02:26 AM

I have to agree with you Murray (about the pilots) but Michael hits dead on with all the rest of his points in my opinion. Erasing half of Afghanistan is sure not going to make US safer.

It's his style though isn't it? When he was making 'Roger and Me' (about what General Motors did to Flint Michigan) he kept that constantly bemused almost 'unbelieving' look on his face, even when I'm sure he wanted to punch Roger Smith in the face. Same with the TV shows. He merely turns on the camera and the mikes and lets the real crazies completely expose themselves.

For what it's worth, I'd want my pilots to be making a LOT of money. Air controllers and ESPECIALLY security goons as well. Shit, I want MY pilot to be John Wayne.

I know this much, I'll be very sad on the inside for a long long time.


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: kendall
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 07:20 AM

...and, why were the hijackers speaking perfect English?

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 08:46 AM

Michael Moore ain't that smart if he really thinks that ex-US military dissidemts are going to fly suicide missions

And in effect wasn't that exactly what the veteran Timothy McVeigh did, except that he used a truck instead of a plane? Didn't even make any serious attempt to get away. Refused to appeal. Dying was part of it for him.

Whoever was responsible this time, the possibility of it being a home-grown effort next time had better be kept in mind by whoever they put in charge of security arrangements.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Dharmabum
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:01 AM

I also am a huge fan of Michael Moore,& I'm the first to admit that I don't always agree with the policies of my American government.Nor do I agree with all of Michaels observations,although,he makes some valid points. But I will say this: "We The People"Of America ,do show what we're made of when the chips are down. To anyone who wants to pass judgment on the American people,take a good look at us right now. Take a look at the lines of Americans waiting to donate blood. Take a look at the Doctors,Nurses,Firemen,Police Officers,EMT's & the average "Joe",behind the controls of the construction equipment,all putting in,12,16,24 hour days,trying their best to rescue the few people that may have survived this tradgedy. Then,the months of clearing the debris & locating our dead,because ,even in death,we have a deep respect for human life.

Maybe our government has "pissed off" a lot of people.

Maybe our government does do a lot of things "Under our noses" or "Behind our backs".

Lord knows,governments aren't perfect,ours or any other nations.


And when the anger subsides,& our dead are properly buried.I'd like to think that most Americans will bear that in mind. Don't get me wrong,I'm angry as hell right now. I want the motherfuckers responsable for this, found & brought to justice. Let's just make sure we hang the right motherfuckers.

Here's someone else who thinks we're not such a bad lot.


Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes.

Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at.

Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.

They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America!

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:17 AM

I just got that canadian thing and was about to post it, glad someone else got there first. And BULLY for the passengers and crew of the Pittsburgh plane! Now THAT is heroism.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Willie-O
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:31 AM

Can't believe you're bringing Gordon Sinclair out of the grave--he's been dead for, fifteen-twenty years. I met him once on the street in Toronto, he was an outspoken eccentric--frankly, a looney. (AKA an AM radio commentator). Accosted us because of our hippie clothing and started going on about how Canada had just become a communist country due to some decision or other that had been made in the House of Commons about the energy crisis. This was '73 or '74. Looked like an ice-cream vendor with his bow-tie.

Ah, what's the point, this is ancient history. Let's move forward. If you don't believe anyone wants to help the people in the U.S, take a look around the world today.


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: flattop
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:44 AM

The best I've seen about this tragedy is that some missing people are turning up. I know from messages one person sent me that hearing from a missing friend can be a great joy and an ending to great fears.

Most of us survived this tragedy, relatively untouched except by the television coverage, to live another day. What are we going to do about it?

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Burke
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:46 AM

I haven't seen or heard this Christian Science Monitor article mentioned elsewhere.

I can understand Moore's thoughts about the hijackers based on what he knew when he was writing. Based on this article the FAA & government knew a hijacking was going on before the first crash, what they did not know was what was planned. Frantic Cell phone calls from the planes did give information about who the hijackers were. Moore & we did not know all this, but the government did. The early fingering of Bin Ladin does not seem, in retrospect, to have been inappropriate.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 11:15 AM

Marty D - Thanks for posting Michael Moore's piece which I also received from friends by e-mail. It's really worth reading through and thinking about. I look forward to what he'll write next.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 11:35 AM

Thanks, Burke, for providing the link to the Christain Science Monitor article. I'd rather know details, I suppose, even if I'm likely to be haunted by them later.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 11:48 AM

I am not suggesting anything. I am viewing what our government and the media tells us with what I consider a healthy bit of skepticism. At the moment it all sounds a little too easy and convenient, investigation-wise. I hope I am wrong.

Maybe I should of have been born in Missouri, the "Show Me" state.:-)


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Kim C
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 01:08 PM

News conferences this morning report that all of the suspected hijackers were of Middle Eastern descent. Wealthy Middle Easterners have, for many years, sent their children to Europe and the US to be educated, so of course their English would be perfect.

I do not think this act was perpetrated by any US citizen. Anyone can go to flight school. I do think there is the possibility, however, that airline employees could have been involved.

As for the knife issue - I have always assumed that no knives of any kind were allowed on your person in an aircraft. Whenever I have been to the airport I have made sure to remove my Swiss army knife from my handbag. I have also heard of people not being allowed to take knitting needles on a plane. I am sure security probably varies from airport to airport.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Melani
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 01:42 PM

My pocket knife was never questioned in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago (O'Hare), Philadelphia, Baltimore, or New York (Kennedy).

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 01:49 PM

Yes, Troll, there were Jews in Palestine, only 66,000 in 1922, but rapidly rising; 400,000 Jews entered Palestine 1922-1944, mostly from Poland. The creation of Israel in 1949 stripped the Arab areas of all important coastal areas and the large area from Jerusalem to Beersheba, including much of the area bordering the Dead Sea. There were about 5 million Jews in Israel by 1995. Neighboring Lebanon was a peaceful country, half-Christian and half-Moslem, now it barely functions and the southern part is occupied by Israel. The country has lost many of its Christians, who have dropped from 52% to less than 30%. I have focused on the Israeli problem, but Arabs are rebelling over 250 years of domination by the West. Michael Binyon, of the Times of London, writes: "Islamic radicalism draws its strength from a burning sense of injustice. ... since Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, barely a decade has passed without some Muslim area in Asia and Africa being lost to the Western Christian powers, or Muslims fighting against the encroachments of these powers. The campaigns of the past century in Central Asia, East Indies, North Africa and India and more recent interventions in Iran, Turkey and the Arab world add up to more than 250 years of combat. Muslims see them as wars of religion, not only in defence of territory but also of Islam. ...if we think about the havoc the West has caused in the Muslim world, we think of what we have ...and the western way of life. We do not think of what we took away, what we destroyed...: Koranic education, a sense of community, social coherence, the old religious legal system; above all, respect for Muslim culture and values. ...The crisis has been gathering pace and bitterness. ...The result can be a zeal bred in the alleyways of Gaza or the slums of Teheran that sees hope only in the elimination of the enemy, the crushing of the "Great Satan."

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 03:25 PM

Dicho – The voracious "Muslim culture" tried it's best to overrun Europe and came close to succeeding before it's "encroachment" was ended at the Gates of Vienna by a European army under the leadership of Jan Sobieski in 1683; this cultural conflict is deeply rooted and long standing. There are no innocent victims.

So let us all admit to the share of the guilt that is rightly ascribed to our culture and move forward from there. Realities must be faced and peaceful accommodation must be found. Isreal is not going away. The interests of the West and the Middle East will always be entwined. It's hard to consider America to be guilty of causing the impoverished state of the majority of the people in the Arab countries as long as guys like bin Laden himself are worth "billions" (according to the reports I have read and heard).

And here are a few more realities:

There is no Satan; the only real hell is the one that we create. And whether or not bin Laden is directly responsible for 9-11-1, his words and deeds helped bring that bit of hell to this earth.

There is no "Holy War". The Fatwa, which has been used by terrorists to justify suicidal acts like those of the hijackers on Tuesday is just murder in the name of the Lord. Remember that Osama bin Laden had a large hand in bringing about the declaration of Fatwa.

The war that is about to come to the terrorists is no more holy than the one they have been waging against us. But, even so, it is necessary. No one in any country can feel safe and secure as long as those who advocate terror feel they can act with impunity. Actions have consequences; for the guilty and innocent on all sides.

It's just a coincidence, of course, but the decisive battle that ended the Siege of Vienna and broke the power of the Turk over the West began on September 12th.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 03:46 PM

The siege of Vienna may have stopped the Turks, but large areas in Europe- the Balkans- are still riven by conflict and death and UN occupation must continue for many years. The fundamentalists are gaining strength in Pakistan, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt and even Malaysia and Indonesia. Must we occupy half the world to protect ourselves? Osama bin Laden is a symptom, not a cause. No one wants to see him neutralized any more than I do, but like Hydra, many more are likely to rise in his place. Yes, the only hell is the one on earth and we are helping to create it by our blithe ignorance of what is happening.

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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 04:19 PM

This was sent me by my niece. The writer is a friend who was also her mentor in college. I've removed the names as promised when I asked permission to post this. I think it is worth sharing with all of you:

Dear Friends,

This letter started out as a letter to my oldest son, J*****. I decided to copy my friends in because I believe that many voices raised in unison are better than one.

The reason for the letter will be obvious if you know how yesterday's events led me to write it.

Late yesterday afternoon I met with my ******** class. Over half of the students had opted to skip the class so I followed the advice of university administrators and asked if they wanted to talk about the horrors of the day. Much to my surprise, they did.

I don't know if I said anything that helped them but there is one thing that I said which proved to be highly accurate. I told the students that for many of them their emotional involvment would change from detachment, to sorrow and maybe to anger or hatred. I told them that the switch would come if or when the tragedy turned personal, when someone that they know became one of the targets.

Approximately 1 hour later the events of yesterday were personalized for me when I received an e-mail from my daughter-in-law, A****. A****'s e-mail was short and to the point: J***** was in New York today attending a conference at the World Trade Center. I haven't heard from him.

I cannot describe to you the depth and breadth of my emotions.My son was at ground zero. Is he OK? Where is he? How could anyone do such a terrible thing? Those goddamned animals! Not knowing was awful. Is he hurt? Is he dead? The TV didn't help. The news was all bad. Planes being flown by madmen into the sides of tall> buildings, fires, explosions, people jumping to their death to avoid being burned to death. Is one of those people my son?

I had thoughts, many thoughts. I was so damned mad at those *&%*!!! Arabs!!!! The TV had shown pictures of Palestinians celebrating over the attacks in MY country. And those attacks may have hurt or killed MY son. I was ready to retaliate, to hurt, maim or destroy. I was delighted when I heard President Bush indicate that we would track these monsters down and if anyone got in the way, no matter how innocent, we would not be deterred from extracting our revenge. I was filled with hate towards Arabs, all of them.

I sat on a chair in my back yard and fumed and fussed and cried. Shortly after 9:00 last night the phone rang. I was afraid to answer it. Je****** answered and announced that A***** was on the line. Her first words were: J**** is OK! I sobbed. I'm still crying this morning.

J***** could only talk to her for a few minutes before his cell phone went dead. He was in his hotel room (Marriott) which was right across the street from the World Trade Center and apparently saw the first plane crash into the World Trade Center.

I have no details and I'm certain that what I'm about to tell you will have errors, but... He stood and watched for a while. He apparently witnessed many horrors. He saw people burning, people leaping from the tower to their death. He eventually realized that he was in danger and started to leave his hotel. The halls were filled with smoke and dust and noxious gases. A fireman found him, provided him with a gas mask and led him out onto the street. J***** found himself on a street that was littered with debris, horrible things like body parts. He said that the last time he saw the fireman he was helping others on the street. This was a few minutes before the tower collapsed and covered the street with debris many feet deep. I have been worrying all night that the man who saved my son may be one of the many firemen who died yesterday in New York.

My son eventually found his way to a ferry that took him to Hoboken New Jersey. He called A***** last night to tell her that a kind man from New Jersey had taken him home. J***** stayed with the man and his family last night and is trying to make his way home to join his family today.

Parenthetically, J***** is an Assistant Professor of Economics at (a university). He is full of himself (he gets this trait from his father, I suspect) and he is convinced that closing the tremendous gap between the rich and the poor (i.e economic solutions) is the way to rid our world of the monsters who committed the heinous crimes in New York and Washington yesterday. The meeting that he was attending dealt with this general issue.

The following is the letter that I wrote to my son:

Dear J****,

A***** sent Je***** an e-mail yesterday that said: "J***** is in New York attending a conference at the World Trade Center and I haven't heard from him." That e-mail evoked a feeling of terror that far exceeds anything that I've ever experienced. The TV blasted out news that was terrifying. It was sobering news when the people involved were people that I didn't know, but when I found out that you were there, right there, my reaction turned dramatically. I cannot describe the feelings: the fear, the sorrow, the anger, the terrible, terrible anger. I was so damned mad at those monsters, those ARABS! I could have killed one, any one, because THEY had killed my son, or so I thought.

When I found myself screaming this outrage, this hatred I was mortified. As you are aware, I am a man who has prejudices and that I'm terribly ashamed that I've had these prejudices. I tried very hard to teach you and your brother that people should not be categorized on the basis of race or creed or ...... and I had succeeded. Your friends are the Rainbow Coalition; your very best friend is black, one of your first girl friends is Japanese, and M***** is Hispanic. You aren't filled with hate or prejudice that is based on someting stupid like skin color or religion. You are so much better than I have ever been.

I was so very concerned that you may have been killed in a horrible act committed by hate-filled monsters, people who were intent on killing any and all Americans because we support the Israelis who kill the Palestinians who kill the Israelis who kill the Palestinians. During those dark hours while we waited for news I found myself condemning ALL Arabs. I found myself applauding President Bush when he said that we >would hunt the monsters down and destroy them. I also applauded when he said that anyone who harbors them would also be destroyed. I applauded this Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth philosophy.

Then I remembered a conversation that you and I had several months ago about the mideast situation. I remembered how you had argued forcefully that the maniacs were found on both sides and that the solution to the problem was to stop the killing, all of the killing. You argued that many of these maniacs were young men who had been terrorized by death. A maniac from "the other side" had killed their father or brother or mother or.. and that they had been taught from the time that they were very young that extracting revenge was the right thing to do. You also argued that there are good people of all races and creeds.

As I thought about this conversation, I found myself thinking about A** E*** B*****, the man who saved me from terrible acid burns when chromic acid cleaning solution exploded in my face when I was an undergraduate student, and I**** D***. He is a young man about your age who is a very kind man who is vitally interested in science. He is truly a good, honest man who would never, ever condone the insanity that happened in New York and Washington yesterday.

I write this to you today because you were right when you told me that we should not commit the sin of labelling paople based on something that is beyond their control. You have suffered through things that I have never suffered through. You have seen death and carnage. Please, please, please don't be like your father. Don't let this tragedy make you develop hatreds and prejudices based on trivialities. Don't let this terrible experience change you. Please continue to be the man who doesn't judge people on the basis of color or ancestry or religion. Please continue to be an equal opportunity employer. I, and others of my generation, have failed to eliminate the hatreds and prejudices. Things are better than they were, but much needs to be done. I love you, son, for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is you have not allowed hate and prejudice to devour you. Hate and prejudice almost killed you yesterday, but please don't let that brush with death change you from the man who I love and admire so very much.


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Subject: RE: The best I've seen about this tragedy
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 05:38 PM

Well worth printing, KatL. The hate in the world must be alleviated or the terror will continue.

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Mudcat time: 13 August 5:31 PM EDT

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