9-11: How Should the U.S. Respond?

I was in the subway – here in Montreal – and a woman from the Middle East was wearing a veil. This piece of clothing indicated her Muslim faith, and the other passengers saw that she was of Islamic origin. They were staring, nay, glaring at her. Do I really need to draw you a picture? You know what this scene means. I had heard about a similar story a few hours before seeing this.

The attacks on the United States have shaken the world, and many have already concluded that the perpetrators were Islamic. Never mind justice and the investigation requirements that democracies stand for – people want a guilty party and draw their own conclusions. For that reason, they are ready to assault or persecute a local ethnic community that may not endorse the acts that have been committed.

What should we think about the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington? Where should we start?

The first and most crucial aspect of the issue is to remember not to jump to conclusions. The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing has demonstrated the importance of carrying out an investigation before singling out a suspect. Unfortunately, many people’s call for war and desire for simple solutions tarnish reasonable approaches.

The simple solution mentality is our common enemy. It leads many U.S. citizens to want war against an unidentified adversary; it pushes for what terrorists actually want! Fanatics want a holy war – bloodshed, large scale massacres, and damage. They are ready to die for the “cause”, killing thousands of innocent civilians on their way to hell. Reacting violently without concluding a complete investigation is just what they want the United States to do. They want the U.S. to fight blindly instead of targeting terrorists. Will the U.S. swallow the bait?

Terrorism is a threat; it should be stopped. It is everybody’s fight, not just the United States’ fight. When terrorists attack the United States, they attack us, Canadians. They attacked Germany, England, France, Russia, NATO, and everything that stands for democracy and freedom. By attacking the most powerful nation in the world, they attacked the success and achievement that Western democracy’s level of civilization has brought to our world.

Terrorism is a strong, resourceful enemy. Look at the New York and Washington attacks. These people knew what they were doing. They were skilled pilots who knew where to aim to knock the Twin Towers down and orchestrate a crash into the Pentagon. They picked their flights carefully. East coast to west coast flights carry more fuel than shorter flights, therefore they cause bigger explosions when hijacked planes hit targets. Moreover, these people fooled all the layers of security and intelligence that protect a country that is fully aware of its “popularity” with terrorists.

If the U.S. could not fully prevent terrorism from hitting them, can you presume that the countries where terrorists reside can stop them? Not necessarily. Of course, any country that voluntarily shelters and trains terrorists should be the target of international, economical, and perhaps military measures. On the other hand, there are states that do not have the ability to rid themselves of terrorism. Not everybody has the resources and peaceful environment that we have in the West. Before the United States reacts, they have to take into account the fact that some countries do not approve of terrorist actions but do not have the resources to stop these people.

I believe that, in this issue, the people who have perpetrated this attack must be punished. But terrorism itself is what should be fought against.

To further explain my viewpoint, say that the United States’ investigation finds elements of evidence proving that terrorists entered the U.S. through the Canadian border after the terrorists spent a few weeks in Canada to organize their plot. Should Canada be punished as a criminal state? Of course not; we fight against terrorism! In this spirit, retaliation against a country should be considered only if the country in question has done something to help terrorists.

What do I suggest?

  1. Find who did this and respond appropriately to punish them while making sure that evidence is solid before acting. You do not want to add innocent victims to the body count; the list is already too long.
  2. Strengthen the United States’ security measures against terrorism. This includes intelligence resources. No plan is good enough to stop everything, but vigilance is obligatory. Questions such as “what do pilots get to defend themselves against hijackers?” deserve an answer. Had the planes not been hijacked, would thousands of innocents be dead or injured today?
  3. Launch a counterattack against terrorism. Not only in the light of recent events, but also as the perpetual battle against an affliction that all of us have to deal with.
  4. Help the countries that do not have enough governmental power to get rid of terrorism by themselves, and ask for help from abroad. Countries such as Canada, England, Germany, France and others will fully support the United States in their efforts against terrorism. It is our fight, too.

Every U.S. citizen should remember this message from us outsiders: You have our support. I walked in downtown Montreal yesterday, and the recent attacks were in the back of my mind. I looked at the towers, and I thought, “It could have happened here. We are allies of the United States, after all.” There are a couple of towers being built in Montreal. Watching workers bringing the structures up on a beautiful day and thinking of New York’s Twin Towers at the same time is disturbing.

Hopefully the people who perpetrated acts of terror against the United States will pay for what they accomplished. The free world will stand by the United States’ with the goal of bringing those who perpetrate these horrible acts to their knees.

Keywords: #911 #sept11 #september11

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