How can we thank the people from other countries who have expressed sympathy for our tragedy?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
So many people from so many nations have expressed very emotional feelings for the victims here. I saw in the news tonight many heartfelt services or gatherings in Europe, to name just one area, where multitudes of people were crying, holding American flags or lighting candles. In Jordan, I just heard, a thousand or more people signed a book of condolence, and many more people in many other countries, including those whose political views have generally been at odds with ours. I didn't know anyone who has died or who is missing, but I was very touched, and I wish there were some way we could thank them as a nation.
I think an e-mail with a list of 50 people would be pathetic. I am envisioning (and this may be naive to the point of absurd) something signed or personalized somehow by a million people. I have no idea how this may be accomplished, but I would at least be interested in whether or not anyone else feels the same way.
-- Leslie A. (email@example.com), September 16, 2001
By the way, I have no intention of showing anyone up by way of "numbers"; I just wish to express our gratitude in a meaningful way.
-- Leslie A. (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 16, 2001.
Come to think of it, it's shameful that I would think of such a thing for foreigners when it hasn't even been done for the firefighters and policemen and other rescue workers who have been working all day and all night, every day and every night, at personal risk, to see if maybe, possibly there might be someone alive after all this time and in such a devastating situation.
Everything is due to these people --my original intention, though was to point out the fact that the rest of the world has responded in supportive and non-political ways, and because I haven't heard any response of gratitude to that, I believe a huge one is in order.
-- Leslie A. (email@example.com), September 16, 2001.
Leslie, I was thinking the same thing. While watching tv, I couldn't believe the kindness of other countries. Not that I previously thought bad of them, it's just that it's so new to see. Did you see that huge British flag hanging beside the American one at the WTC site. They were hanging on a tall building. I heard maybe at least 500 Brits and 100 Japanese lost their lives in this tragedy also. My heart goes out to these countries also.
-- Annie (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 16, 2001.
Actually the fire stations here[ calif] are collecting for the families of the killed rescue personnel. We went down to one and donated some money.
-- kathy h (email@example.com), September 16, 2001.
I think we should also pay attention to the countries that offer more than lip service. Will you actually help the U.S. get rid of the terrorists? Will you band with us? Or will you be saying that the U.S. can take care of itself? (Sure we could, but we could do it better with everyone getting rid of terrorists.) Maybe I am off on this, I don't know. I feel really emotional, as I am sure many Americans are. Just heard that a certain country may not get involved since we are so capable. I won't say which one, since that may be a false report.
-- notnow (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 16, 2001.
Perhaps we can best thanks the world by acting in a reasonable and rational manner??? I offer this up as a little different point of view.
Yesterday I heard a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ron Owens, on KGO Talk Radio 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," and he asked, "What else can we do? What is your suggestion?" Minutes later I heard a TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done." And I thought about these issues 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 been going on over there. So I want to share a few thoughts with anyone who will listen.
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 fervently wish to see those monsters punished. 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 captured Afghanistan in 1997 and have been holding the country in bondage ever since.
Bin Laden is a political criminal with a master 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 love for someone to eliminate the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country. I guarantee it.
Some say, if that's the case, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban themselves? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, damaged, and incapacitated. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan-a country with no economy, no food. Millions of Afghans are widows of the approximately two million men killed during the war with the Soviets. And the Taliban has been executing these women for being women and has buried some of their opponents alive in mass graves. The soil of Afghanistan is littered with land mines and almost all the farms have been destroyed.
The Afghan people have tried to overthrow the Taliban. They haven't been able to. We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble with that scheme is, it's already been done. The Soviets took care of it. 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? There is no infrastructure. Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that. New bombs would only land in 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. (They have already, I hear.) 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 be making common cause with the Taliban-by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time
So what else 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. I think that when people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" many of them are thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. They are thinking about overcoming moral qualms about killing innocent people. But it's the belly to die not kill that's actually on the table. Americans will die in a land war to get Bin Laden. 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.
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. The invasion approach is a flirtation with global war between Islam and the West. And that is Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants and why he did this thing. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there.
At the moment, of course, "Islam" as such does not exist. There are Muslims and there are Muslim countries, but no such political entity as Islam. Bin Laden believes that if he can get a war started, he can constitute this entity and he'd be running it. 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 Muslim lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong about winning, in the end the west would probably overcome-whatever that would mean in such a war; but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden yes, but anyone else?
I don't have a solution. But I do believe that suffering and poverty are the soil in which terrorism grows. Bin Laden and his cohorts want to bait us into creating more such soil, so they and their kind can flourish. We can't let him do that. That's my humble opinion.
I do not share this mans hatred of Ben Lauden, because I refuse to surrender to hatred which is against everything my Savior tells me to do. I want him stopped, if in fact he is truly responsible, but I think we can accomplish it with the help of the rest of the world if we don't rush off in vengence seeking without respect for the rest of the world.
-- diane (email@example.com), September 16, 2001.
diane- Thank you for writing such an informative post. I printed it out and my husband is reading it now. I'll take it to work tomorrow so everyone there can read it also.
-- debra in ks (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 16, 2001.
I live in Italy- let me just confirm to you all that the italians are suffering with you. On Thursday most of the factories closed down for an hour of silence and on Friday at 12:00 we also had 3 minutes of silence, everything shutdown- t.v. , internet, radio, everything. A lot of my italian friends have been crying and share your pain 100%. I think that most countries are ready to help.
-- kelly (email@example.com), September 17, 2001.
Thanks Diane for the post. Things aren't ever as simple as they appear, huh? Since our Government, has not yet, just gone over and bombed Afghanistan, I'm hopefully thinking they have other plans to get rid of these terrorists. Usually bombing a country right off is the first thing we do in retaliation, but not this time. It appears we are really thinking this through. Kelly, please tell the Italian people thanks, I had heard they were flying their flags at half staff. I hope other countries are such good friends through this.
-- Annie (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 17, 2001.
Thank you for posting this question, Leslie; it is very good to discuss this question.
How we can re pay the worlds foreign countries is too not let them down with our response to it. They realize that if the U.S. was bombed yesterday, their time could come today! Let us be just with our response (as we seem to be so far) and punish the guilty.
Like it or not, the U. S. seems to be the world's cop for now. We can be considered the hero or the villain with our response.
-- j. r. guerra (email@example.com), September 17, 2001.