An open letter to Terrorists

Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies, to take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America.

Why? Because of something you guys will never understand. America isn't about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers, America isn't about a place, America isn't even about a bunch of bodies.

America is about an IDEA. An idea, that you can go someplace where you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part, like you envisioned living, and pursue Happiness. (No guarantees that you'll reach it, but you can sure try!)

Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany: "If you cannot see my point, then feel my pain." This concept is alien to Americans. We live in a country where we don't have to see your point. But you're free to have one. We don't have to listen to your speech. But you're free to say one. Don't know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree with you.

There's a spirit that tends to take over people who come to this country, looking for opportunity, looking for liberty, looking for freedom. Even if they misuse it. You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in America, America lives in US! American Spirit is what it's called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million
of us, won't change it. Most of the time, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of Spirit. Until we're crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind of Spirit. Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit, this time. Sleep tight, if you can. We're coming.

Author Unknown
A good statement about America and Americans. Thanks for the post Jeff. Craig.

You have no clue what is truly great about the USA.
If you understood this greatness,
You would not dare attack us.
You would admire us.
You would be in awe of us.
You do not understand us.

In the USA, we are tolerant. This tollerance allows people to voice dissenting views about ANYTHING in this country. These dissenting views make us GREAT. I know you cannot grasp this notion. If you did, you would not be trying to terrorize us. We are a country where any view can be expressed and violence does not ensue. Look at our last Presidential election... Many other countries would have been in civil war. Us Americans, were tollerant. We were cool, calm, and collective. We sorted it out the best we could. And not one person was killed in the process.

Why does dissenting oppinion make America great? Think about this... Is life always black and white? Do you reason out ideas in your head? Or do you only hear one voice? People who only hear one voice are insane. Rational thought is done by considering all options. This is the same with Nations. Nations where no dissenting view is tolerated are not nearly as strong as nations that have open dissention. The conflict between Majority opinion and Minority opinion makes the USA the greatest nation on the planet.

By bombing us you have achieved something pretty scary. You have united us in ways I have never seen. However, there is still some dissent here (as there should be) for as stated before dissent makes the USA stronger. However, you have penetrated through our tolerance and tapped into a lot of repressed hostility that most Americans have in being so tolerant. Just because we are tolerant does not mean we do not harbor secret hostility within us. You only need to drive our roadways to see some of this anger surfacing on a day to day basis.

Basically, you have given us a good justifiable reason for Americans to go to war. We have not had a reason so convincing since WWII. Ask youself what happened in WWII? Was your cause helped by that war?

But of coarse, you do not care. You only hear one voice. There is no dissent in your life to make you rational. You think this is some sort of religious war. You think we have invaded your sacred soild by positioning troups in Saudi Arabia. Never did you consider that if we had let Iraq roll over Kuwait they may have rolled over the rest of the countries in the regios causing vast global instability.

My last comment is this... Terrorists, you only hear one voice, put on your Nike shoes and sweat suits, drink the purple cool aide, you have arisen a sleeping giant who's military is itching to test out it's latest toys. You have united the American people in such a way that most would do military service to fight against you. Even our women.

So go ahead, drink the purple cool aide.

It will be much better than the fate that awaits you.

Craig, even though I'm Canadian this tradgedy has certainly effected me. I drove by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa yesterday; I was overwhelmed with the notes, flowers, etc. adorning the fence around the embassy. I travel extensively in the U.S. and have always enjoyed my time in your country. Throughout my 20-year career in semiconductors I've ended up with quite a few American friends, from Raleigh to San Diego and all points inbetween. I stumbled across this, and thought it really captured the spirit of the people. Don't let the bastards get you down....and yes, payback is a bitch. ATB, Jeff
right on Jeff, well put. That being said, once the anger is contained and some time is taken to think, we must realize that we don't understand our middle east and far east advesaries either. The terrorists are just an unrational responce to the frustrations that a lot of people may have with us. We should take some time to see things from other's point of view, as alien as it may be. If we aviod making the masses of the word angry through ignorant actions they will see the good in america and terrorists will lose their support. I initially felt that kicking some arab butt was the order of the day. Now I personally fear a war with the islamic nation, as much as i think they deserve it, not because i think we would loose rather because of the potential for an infinite stream of terroist actions in this country. We can't kill them all. The only way to completely prevent terrosim in this country is to sacrifice the freedoms that make it such a great place. If we do that they have won. A friend of mine had an interesting idea....send them food. That would mess with their minds. peace
It would be truly sad for this to turn into WW3.

It very well may. And if it does so be it.

We have tolerated other countries policies of hating us. People who think we are Satan. People who burn our flag. People who are working hard to develop biological and nuclear weapons.

All it takes is for a country who hates us to develop or obtain a nuclear device. They smuggle the device into the US. Detonate it in a major city. What then folks? What do we do? What sort of investigation will there be? Not much evidence is left after a nuclear explosion. There will be no way of telling who did it to us. With no evidence, we will be in quite a delimna. A biological attack would yield more evidence... but could be potentially more devistating to human life.

All I have to say is that I am really scared. At least during the Cold War, we did not have USSR spies doing suicide bombing missions on us. We knew who the enemy was and how they would attack. And Russia had some very cool and sane leaders. It really never occurred to us that they would smuggle in a nuclear device. We seemd to live by a Treaty called the Geneva Convention which layed out some sort of rules of war.

Today, we are dealing with people who will suicide themselves for their cause. This takes total conviction. They hate the US so much (and are brainwashed by their religion) that they will suicide themselves to hurt us. If they are willing to do this on such a grand scale like we saw last week, I think the US is justified in going to war with any country that effectively hates us and/or harbors/supports terrorists. If we wait for these countries/organizations to develop weapons of mass destruction, we will all perish in WW3.

Consider again... Washington gets nuked. What do we do? Do we then nuke/goto war with these countries? What do we do?
Do we cave in to whatever demands these terrorist want?

Folks, the only reason Israel has not gone on a full all out war with these guys is that it is a very small country and to decisively win it would have to use nuclear devices. And where would that get them? They would be nuking their neighbors.

We on the other hand, have the capability to fight a two front war. Given the choice of having say 5+ million innocent Americans die in a nuclear attack by terrorist, and say 200,000+ of our trained military personel die in a war to eliminate countries that support terrorists and {and to wipe out} their nuclear capabilities... I think the choice is clear.

If there is no conventional war now... Our future may hold a vast nuclear one ahead. One that may kill us all. Do we want to take this chance?

I give you one last scenario. Suppose a country like Iraq does develop a nuclear device. And we know they are working on it. Iraq then sends a picture and detailed schematics of the bomb to the Pentagon with some demands. What do we do? Countries that hate us and do not participate in the Geneva Convention, should be reguarded as terrorists states. We cannot put up with this madness.

I hate to be negative. I wish we could develop a foreign policy that could get every country to like us. But some terrorists just killed over 5,000 innocent Americans last week. We have tolerated terrorists suicide bombing our friends in Israel for far too long. They just did it to us on a far grander scale. And it hurts. They achieved their desired goal, and it is quite upsetting.

Nuff said.

Peace (I hope)

Fellow 'files-
I received this email today (friend of a friend, etc.). No idea about the original source, but it bears reading and thinking about.

Dear Friends,
The following was sent to me by my friend Tamim Ansary. Tamim is an Afghani-American writer. He is also one of the most brilliant people I know in this life. When he writes, I read. When he talks, I listen. Here is his take on Afghanistan and the whole mess we are in.
* Gary T.

Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread:
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 to do what must be done." And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who
will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters. But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not
only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country. Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering.
A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan-a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban. We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their
hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that. New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away
and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making
common cause with the Taliban-by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill
as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a
holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but
ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?

Tamim Ansary

As I said, just think about this a little. And remember that revenge is dish best served cold.
piezo has the only comments that make complete sense, imo. anyone clamoring for war should remember what einstein said: i dunno about www-lll, but ww-iv will be fought w/sticks.

and, i'm also really sick of palestinians in israel suiciding themselves, being compared to the terrible act visited upon the usa last week. the palestinians are at war, fighting for a homeland, w/the only means awailable to them. if the usa really wants to put a stop to terrorism - and this is yust the beginning, not the end - it wood do well to "urge" israel to make a real land-for-peace offer - one that yasser arafat can accept w/o fear of assassination. jews, of all people, should be able to understand the importance of a people having their own homeland - i should know - i, too, am a jew.

the palestinians and israelis making peace, w/the palestinians having a homeland of their own, wood go a long way towards helping take the wind out of the sails of those who support the kinds of terrorist acts that took place in the usa on 11 sept 2001. this is the reality, folks...

dug seed in

ps - personally, i tink a good way to solve the israel/palestine land-for-peace sticking point - that of the old city of jerusalem - wood be to not let either palestine *or* israel have it. instead, kick the u.n. outta nyc - the usa doesn't deserve to have it here anyway - and let the u.n. set-up & take over east jerusalem - make it an open city for the entire world...
Some very interesting and valid points in the above posts. I'm a bit of a pessimist, so this should be considered in light of my following comments.

First, let me state that in no way do I support or tolerate any act of harassment or violence against Americans who follow the teachings of Islam. It disgusts me to see ignorant, stupid Americans acting out against others simply because of their appearance or religious beliefs. If I saw or had knowledge of such acts and their perpetrators, I would inform the police and demand prosecution.

America, through some less than sterling foreign policy decisions over the last 50 years combined with being the nation at the top of the heap so to speak, has become the primary target of the Muslim fundamentalist extremists. Regrettably, it is the moderate Muslims which have no desire to wage terrorist activities that must stand up and start taking responsibility for policing their extremist groups.

I know this may raise some eyebrows. However, for there to be any hope of avoiding a future "holy war" of Muslim vs. the West, the Muslim faith as a whole must be willing to act against these violent extremist cells to protect their faith, and improve and preserve the world opinion of their religion.

The Muslim faith is the fastest growing religion in the world. Their faith is based on peace, just as Judeo-Christian beliefs. However, their extremist's embrace of suicide attacks has tainted their entire religion. They are increasingly distrusted and feared because of the propensity for violence from the extremist elements.

Nearly all religions have extremists and some of them tend to violence against non-believers, other ethnic groups or governments. Even America's own Neo-Nazi and KKK use religion to help justify their twisted beliefs and violence. Violence from religious extremists isn't new. The early Christians were horribly violent as displayed during the Crusades. However, in general, the Christian faiths have grown beyond their narrow fanaticism and understood the need to include and not exclude, as well as tolerate to some degree, those of differing opinions.

It is time that the Muslim faith speak as one concerning denouncing all violent extremists within their belief structure, and ACT against these groups. If they wish to be perceived by the world as a truly great religion, worthy of respect rather than fear and distrust, then they must change how they tolerate and even condone the violent acts of their fanatics.

America hasn't faced an enemy which we couldn't "understand" since the time of the French-Indian Wars. It took the frontier settlers to become more violent and horrific than their enemy in order to survive.

Unfortunately, I believe we are in a similar situation. We must not think that our enemy is motivated by reason or rational considerations. Nor should we be misguided to think that we should "occupy" any targetted area. We don't want another Vietnam, or from the Soviet's perspective, another Afghanistan. We are quite simply on a search and destroy mission.

Though Afghanistan is the primary focus currently, it is Pakistan which put the Taliban in power and supplies them with intelligence, arms and cooperation. It is the extreme religious schools in Pakistan that warped the minds of the young soldiers of the Taliban and continue to create human timebombs.

This may be the beginnning of what could lead to the next world war. Attempting to hit "hot spots" throughout a dozen countries could provide the catalyst for a Muslim "jihad" unless the moderate Muslim world acts in cooperation with the West, or more preferrably, acts in their own best interests to weed out these groups.

America won't disappear and we certainly won't go down without a fight. Unfortunately, we are dealing with countries that have been in war or conflict for generations. There is no fear of conventional weapons. Ask the Soviets how effective their conventional weapons were to the Afghanistan campaign. From a world history perspective, only Japan has experienced the total annihilation and devastation of atomic weapons. Regrettably, if that is what is necessary to provide the incentive to the many countries involved with producing, training, supplying and harboring terrorists that this will no longer be tolerated, then use them now before more lives, including American lives, are lost.

There are no easy answers in war. Make no mistake, we are at war for our very way of life. The fundamentalist extremists will not stop. They will continue to target America until they fear the retribution of their own people. What will produce the necessary change in the Muslim dominated countries other than the demonstrated resolve of total annihilation? Can we survive as a nation for the next 100 or 200 years under continued terrorist assault until the Muslim countries as a whole have "matured" to the point where they are willing to police their own fanatics? At present, I hear words of condolence, but see no substantive action to support any other course of action.

As always, just one man's opinion.

Jcbtubes, the Muslim faith is based on peace. God bless every peace loving Muslim, such as Muhammed Ali (nee Cassius Clay) speaking today in NYC. History is replete with examples of evil doers invoking one of the names of God to justify their inhuman acts. Don't judge Islam by the acts of maniacs who invoke that faith any more than you would judge Christianity by the acts of the Ku Klux Klan, Falwell or any of a number of recent Republican ideologs. There is a simple commandment: don't use the name of the Lord for your own purpose, to curry favor or win votes, or justify killing people (God is not offended by dirty words).

Doug: what a great idea. Jerusalem as the seat of the United Nations.
Lots of emotion expressed. And justly so. I, for one, can identify with Doug's words. Maybe because I know where he's coming from.

What if the West sent "terrorist vulnerable" muslim countries the fleet carrying $10 bill. of food & medical supplies and $10 bill. in active military equip. What do you think say, Afghans (they, too, are humans), whould choose? Where would gung-ho extremists get popular support from then (assuming they actually do get support now)?
Greg, the Afghan people would take the food and medicine. The Taliban would choose the guns.
Paulwp- I agree with you Paul, as I state in my diatribe. What I'm suggesting is that it is time for the vast majority of moderate Muslims, especially their clerics, to disavow the violent acts of their fanatical brothers and become active in controlling these counter-productive elements within their faith. As Westerners, we will never be allowed close to these fanatics. Only their own country men will have contact. These fanatics must find pressure from those around them of their own faith if there is to be hope that these types of terrorist attacks ever will cease. Both Saudi and Sudan pressured bin Laden out of their countries because of his extremist beliefs were beyond their tolerance! These governments may not participate overtly in his terrorists acts, but they certainly don't lift a finger to stop him either.

Regrettably, I see the only other possible approach will be to provide fear on such a scale that even the terrorists will fear the reprisal of their fellow country men. I hope that I'm wrong.
I've been in the military for 14 yrs. I would hate to goto war. But at this time we have no choice. If we sit back, they have won. They will come again and next time may even be worse. We must destroy terrorism or eventually it will destroy us. This will take along time, but I believe if we can get the support of the UN, fully and they actually do there part, we will eventually terminate the people who believe in terrorism. By sitting back they only get stronger and eventually find other was to disrupt us. They won't stop until we stop them. First and most important we need to clean out the ones that are already here. No, not the ones that lead normal life; the ones I'm talking about are the ones that been put here as sleepers and if you watch the news you will see we are turning over many stones. If all of the UN cleans there back yard first, then we will be able to goto the terrorist backyard with little threat to us. I realize this sounds ugly, but if we don't do this, I fear we will live in fear and continually be open to attacks in our homeland. The terrorist feel that Americans are evil and we must all be destroyed and we will be if we don't ACT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! They will keep coming, really. There was no reasoning behind the latest bombing and had we not close the airlines when we did, I know there would have been more. I can't tell you how I know, my job does not allow it. But attacks were coming. So stop panicking we are doing the right thing. They leave us no choice.
this is interesting and informative news site, please check it out:
Thanks, eldragon, for the tip. is very informative and thought-provoking, even if it is Israeli-biased, and sometimes reads like conspiracy-theory. Are there any other good news sites on the www to rescue us from disinformation and propaganda?
You better arm your nuclear power stations to the hilt.
Better yet, shut them down if feasible.
Next time these psychos're gonna ram a plane or truck full of explosives into one.