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11 September 2001 Forum

11 September 2001 Forum


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Name:
Date: //2001-09-12 17:08:10 :
Link to this Comment: 101

Paul, et al.,

You and I must be about the same age. I felt like I lost innocence at two points in my adolescence--the day that JFK was shot and during the Cuban missle crisis.

The day that JFK was shot, I was in eighth grade history class and--like everyone else who experienced that--I remember very clearly all the details. What my teacher was saying in between sobbing and putting her head down on her desk, what she was wearing. We didn't know what to do. Should we stay in class, should we cry, should we go home? Could we be safe anywhere if even the President of the United States couldn't be safe?

During the Cuban Missle Crisis, we practiced all those air raids, got under our desks, and half the town was building air raid shelters in their back yards. My parents weren't very political people and sort of dismissed the danger, but I felt that it was very real, and I worried that we would all die if something did happen. We didn't even put together the trunk of canned goods that was recommended, not that it would have done any good. I remember having dreams about being kidnapped by Russians and taken away somewhere.

Yesterday I felt those same fears and emotions. Can we be safe anywhere? What should we do? Go to class? Go home? Cry? Take a tranquilizer? Call our family and friends in NY or leave the phone lines open? When I got home, I felt like I had to do something physical, so I cleaned house (which I never do!). I could not do nothing.

We will all remember exactly where we were and who we were with when this horrific thing happened, just like our generation remembers the day that JFK was shot.

Maybe the reason for reading, writing, and retelling our fairy tales over and over--including all the violence and blood and gore--is a way of working through our demons without actually experiencing the violence on a personal level and without actually applying those demonic labels to other peoples. We can imagine violence rather than experience it.

Bryn Mawr is an international community--a perfect place to practice getting it less wrong. I wanted to hug those Muslim students who had been insulted yesterday.

Love and peace to all.

Carol Field


Serenity
Name: Earl W. Re
Date: //2001-09-12 18:26:50 :
Link to this Comment: 102

September 12, 2001

The sun rose today over the eastern coast of the United States, and life goes on.

Following yesterday's tragic events, the emotions of anger, resentment, frustration, and desire for revenge seem entirely justified. Many people feel violated and might like to see a strong retaliatory attack. This is understandable, especially for those whose friends and loved ones were among the thousands killed or wounded.

In the wake of yesterday's tragedy, I've been pondering the application of the "serenity prayer" to my experience of these events.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."

Acceptance does not mean approval of the evil actions of others nor condoning inhumane behavior. It only means that what has happened has happened, and it cannot be "unhappened." The tragic events of September 11, 2001, "will live in infamy" (as Franklin Roosevelt said of December 7, 1941). But they live as objective facts to be taken into account in the present and in the future, not as events that can be relived and somehow changed in the act of reliving. Since we cannot change them, recriminations about what we could've done or should've done are futile. So we need the serenity to accept those things that we cannot change.

In praying for courage to change the things I can, I am asking for guidance about the choices that are open to me in the present and my responsibilities toward myself and others. And the "wisdom to know the difference" implies that I should devote myself to constructive activities with a positive thrust toward the future rather than allowing myself to get caught up in lamenting the past and wishing for recrimination or revenge.

Many things will change over the next few weeks and months, but life will go on. Let us hope that in our own experience the changes will be life-affirming and life-enhancing rather than negative and destructive.


thanks
Name: Alice Lesnick
Date: //2001-09-12 20:54:23 :
Link to this Comment: 103

Thank you, Paul, for creating this space and for your words about the significance of estrangement. I am helped by your call that we as human beings continue seeking ways to know one another, including our differences, without estrangement and demonization. It is good to be together with others at this time, and good to try to find words that help us go on with a sense of possible meaning.

Sincerely,
Alice Lesnick



Name: megg dever
Date: //2001-09-12 21:10:10 :
Link to this Comment: 104

My daughter is a freshman at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville NY. She has an old dog who is devoted to her. Now that she has gone off he sleeps next to my bed. On the night before 9/11 he was up all night, gagging as dogs do with that sound of half hawking, half choking, and pacing the floor or panting loudly. I left for BMC at 8 am. For what I assumed would be a quiet if stimulating day. When I returned home at 11:30 or so and turned on the television for the rest of the day, he became even more agitated. Whining, barking, pacing, going in and out. He calmed down a bit after we had checked in with my daughter and son who is also out of town but in the Boston area. Did this loyal old dog know what was happening beforehand? Did he understand what was happening? He’s calmer today.

I am inspired by the incredible acts of courage and generosity this international tragedy has brought to life amidst so much despair and devastation. And am curious to see how all this becomes part of our moral, psychological, sociological and political heritage.

My daughter was told that at her college she must be aware that Caucasians are at risk. I am saddened that Muslims have been singled out for blame when fanatics can be of any ethnic or racial or religious group. Maybe we are all missing one of the major tenants of the great religions and ethical beliefs,to love and honor and respect our brothers and sisters..


BMC and insensitivity
Name: Kyle Y. Fa
Date: //2001-09-12 22:32:38 :
Link to this Comment: 105

I just wanted to share the sentiment that I don't believe BMC has handled this international outrage well at all!!! I find it unbelievable that the College did not close on Tuesday and that we did not have a day of mourning. The academic life at BMC has continued as though nothing has happened. Today (Wednesday) the greatest education one could have existed in the text of newspapers and on t.v. C-Span was covering the house and senate and students could not watch what their leaders had to say or how our country was reacting beyond Pres. Bush. Not only did we have class (which some just didn't attend), but lecture continued as usual with only a brief mention about what was happening. I didn't see the college pooling its resources and having day of mouring with different faculty available to lead discussion, ie. hostorians and psychology profs. This seems to be what other Colleges are doing. In the midst of this horror, we have the chance to learn from eachother, to comfort eachother, and to see the democratic process as I hope we never see it again. One of the great benifits of being in an academic environment is the opportunity to expand your horizons and learn form people who are diverse both in politic and nationality. We did not honor our diversity or use its strength! Instead, we have expected to focus on subject matter that could just as well be taught tomorrow or the next day or even the next. So, maybe we lose a day or two. Is it not the goal of education to learn flexibility and critical thinking? I don't think a lack of respect and a lack of communication is what we all want as our model.
When I called BMC Tuesday to ask if the College was still in session, the operator told me, " Yes, we are in no danger."
This response misses the point!!! Students, including myself, were searching frantically for their loved ones. I did not hear until today that my step-father who works in the pentagon was evacuated!!!!! Many of my friends live and work in NYC. I have friends who were without a doubt in the WTC. I have yet to hear from many. I know I am not the only one who has been personally affected by the recent atrocities. I know life can't stop and some of my friends may have perished in the rubble, but a little time to digest the enormous grief we are all feeling and the fear we all have would be appreciated. I can't express enough how absolutely outraged I am at the moment on a personal and academic level. I can't stand the fact that BMC has acted as though it's immune to what has happened.

-Kyle Y. Faget, post-bac


Another comment on life.
Name: Jessica Bl
Date: //2001-09-12 23:46:15 :
Link to this Comment: 106

I tried to find the exact quote for the forum, because I think it applies beautifully to the situation, but instead I have 2 versions since I can't seem to find the official quote anywhere.

"He who saves a single life, saves the entire world." -- Talmud Yerushalmi (Sanhedrin 4:9)

The Talmud notes that all people are descended from a single person, thus taking a single life is like destroying an entire world, and saving a single life is like saving an entire world.

I think we should all remember that even with all this horrible death and destruction, there are small miracles, the people who arrived at work late or called in sick, decided to go grab coffee, and thus survived all this horror. We should realize that although many worlds were lost, some were saved. We should celebrate the many worlds that survived even as we mourn the countless worlds lost.

At a time like this, there is little we can do to help. When we first got the news, a few friends and I took the spiritual approach of saying Psalms 20 and 118 which are appropriate for emergencies. I'm not going to suggest or demand that anyone else do this, especially since it's a religious thing and I know everyone has their own beliefs, but for me it was a way to do something instead of feeling helpless. Even if all you do is hope for the well-being of those who are trying to recover, you are still doing something that is important. I'm sure that those in the hospital are glad to know that people are worrying about them and hoping they recover soon.

Okay, I'll stop ranting now.



Name: Sana Dada
Date: //2001-09-13 00:22:25 :
Link to this Comment: 108

I am a freshman in this college coming from Karachi, Pakistan. When I tell people where I am from, they usually ask me the most ignorant questions, or even worse they don't even know where Pakistan is. It just shows how isolated many people in this country are, whether in their thoughts and beliefs, or just physically. So my point of view to this issue is very differnt from most of the other people I have talked to. I am in no way implying that the activities which occured on September 11 were justified, but I hope that I can show you the other point of view.
For many years now, America has been terrorizing many countries. But this nation has never thought of itself as a terrorist nation, although many other countries, including Pakistan, view it as one. This just goes to show that perspective on any conflict is the major issue. I don't know how many of you have ever been to Iraq, but if you have, you must have seen that the country is in ruins. Literally, life is unbearable. And why? Because America bombed them during the Gulf War. But, that was because they were helping Kuwait fight the Iraqui's from taking over. But do you really think that that was purely the reason. No, America wanted the oil. This is not a bad thing though. Every country does want the toadvance. But the issue I am tryign to focus on is, who gave America the right to get involved. Why does America always have to intefior. This attitide is what got America into this choas in the first place. I could go on to list a hundred or even more examples of how America has interupted life in many countries, but I think I have made my point.
The question remains, what should America do next? Well, they could declare war, but what good would that do? Probably America would be able to win the war, but it couldn't be done without creating more vengeance, and without killing more American people. I hope you can understand and accept my point of view. Again I am stating that I dont support the activities that occured yesterday, but I think we can all go back to the popular saying "Treat one as you would want to be treated."


frustration and thanks
Name: Samantha C
Date: //2001-09-13 01:59:42 :
Link to this Comment: 109

As I sit here and listen to the planes that fly overhead (their sounds drown out even Peter Jenning's comforting voice on ABC) I am encouraged to find this forum so active, while the rest of the campus is not. As a student here, I am also outraged at the lack of BMC awareness or response, particularly in administrative matters. As Tuesday's horrendous events unfolded, the students of BMC recieved only one communication from the school's president at 12:30, telling us that classes were in session, that a forum would take place at 2 (while classes were going on no less), and that someone from the undergraduate deans office would be available at the campus center in the afternoon and evening for distressed students. This was a sorry show of support for a school that calls itself a "community." As I have expressed this discontent over the day, I have been told that this was an unprecedented situation and that the College could not have been prepared for this. In response to this, I say that no college or university was, but it seems that almost all others have acted in a much more appropriate manner. For examples, check the websites of the University of Washington, University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Amherst College, Wellesley College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Skidmore College, and (to make the point to the parent of the Sarah Lawrence student who posted earlier) Sarah Lawrence College. These are just a few of the institutions who released news to their students as to the status of the college, where counseling could be found (and they emphasized that counseling was available to all students, faculty and staff), what vigils and forums were scheduled, and information for worried parents. I will stop my ranting here, as I know that this forum is probably not the correct place for this, but I did have to share my feelings on this point. I hope that in the days to come, we can remedy this situation and improve the College's communication, whether it has to be student-initiated or otherwise.
I do find it reassuring that both faculty and students have contributed to this forum. This is an unbelievably scary time for everyone, but I have learned in the past 48 hours that by talking about it, some of the fear and despair is relieved. I remind everyone that there are 1200 women here away from their families in this time of horror. Thus, the BMC community must become our family. Listen to one another. Continue the conversations in the classrooms, the dining halls, and especially the dormitories; with faculty, staff and students. I need the conversation to continue, as I know many others do. We have all been touched by this, and we must look to one another for comfort. May the following days and nights pass in peace.
-Samantha Carney '02


continuing
Name: debbie wan
Date: //2001-09-13 04:08:19 :
Link to this Comment: 110

There has been much talk about BMC's decision to keep the college open on Tuesday and I am not completely sure as to where I stand.

I, as well as many other students have found difficulty trying to continue on with normalcy. I understand partly the reason for not wanting to completely shut down the school. On the otherhand, because BMC did not shut down I basically feel like I am forced to become "normal" again when I still quite frankly, feel like shit.

The whole event hit me pretty hard since I have lived in NYC my whole life and still wonder whether or not some of my friends or faces that I've seen in the past are buried under that rubble.

It seems like some of the college has gone back to normalcy with students laughing on campus and some of my professors letting out their steady stream of homework to students. Because of that, I feel horrible. I still cannot go back to that normalcy..and i feel the world is going on without me and i am being left in the dust. All the time i have been crying and mourning and feeling guilty and feeling exhausted and feeling depressed...work and errands that I have to do have been piling up and up.

Many are pushing for normalcy, but some are not ready. I AM NOT READY.
I find myself obssessed with watching the news coverage constantly and I found myself mustering up the strength and the vocal capability to even post on this forum. It is now 4am and I am having problems sleeping and all i can think of is the World Trade Center and my memories of going there and sitting out near the fountain on the courtyard and shopping in the mall. I can see it in my head perfectly and to know that all of it is gone, and to think of all those people...its just incomprehensible. On top of that I have to worry about all that I have to do for school...

The school tries to be outreaching and understanding with offering counseling services and candle light vigils, but I still feel INCREDIBLY pressured and stressed and hopeless. I am not ready to go back to normalcy..it is too soon for me.
-Debbie Wang '03


Will Amercia change?
Name: Deepak Kum
Date: //2001-09-13 10:06:53 :
Link to this Comment: 112

First, my sympathies and thoughts go for the families and friends of those who lost lives and suffered in the tuesday's events.


Any retaliation being talked about by the US Govenrment (and its coalition) has violent undertones to it. The US President has already declared that those who committed the acts on tuesday and those who harbored the people who committed the acts will be punished. There in lies the dilemma...

As long as we continue to kill as a response to a killing nothing is going to be resolved. Those who are calling it an attack on civilization want to turn around and use their military powers to do the same feel justified to do so in the name of civilization???


I keep hearing that America will never be the same after this event. It will change. However, what I hear of next is 'beefed up security' and more intelligence activity. That is not what I would consider change.


If we are to change for the better, we have to learn to respect each other and have respect for human lives. We have to learn to forgive. Forgiveness, as hard as it might be to comprehend at this juncture is probably the most valuable human virtue. I would like you all to at least think about it and to try and urge those who represent us to consider non-violence as a means to resolving conflict.


The more immediate concern that worries me is the alienation we seem to practice/experience in our daily lives. If a muslim commits a terrorist act it does not imply that all muslims are terrorists. We are, in effect, alienating an innocent person and acting not too differently from the people who carried the attacks on tuesday. It always amazes me to see the reasoning most Americans use when it comes to these issues. Somehow, we do not carry a similar inference when applied to people like Timothy McVeigh (whatever his religious faith was, are people of that faith, by a similar implication, terrorists????).


Alienation, I am afraid to say exists all around us. Ask any person of color. It exists in small actions. Like when the person at the deli counter cannot comprehend your name (to place on an order), or be bothered to try to spell it because the line is too long or they are busy. In fact, this happened to me and my wife last week at Bill's Pancake House in Cape May. The person seating us after hearing my name went on to tell me that she will call me Joe because she is too busy, and then while taking us to our table proceeded to give a lecture: "When you come to places like these, you should use an easy name". Needless to say, we walked out, but at the same time felt alienated.


I'm afraid that as long as we as humans continue to behave in alienating ways towards other humans we cannot expect those who represent us (after all they are a product of our chosing and probably harbor much amplified alienating tendencies) to act rationally. They are, in fact, truly a reflection of our own selves.


So, if one wants change, begin closer at home. That, to me, is the change I would like America to achieve.


whole new paradigm
Name: Melissa Ch
Date: //2001-09-13 10:17:20 :
Link to this Comment: 113

I know a woman whose hope of her husband's being alive is diminishing by the minute. Their son is 18 months old. I think in the coming days, we're all going to know or know of someone who was killed in the blasts or the collapse or the crash.

I'm trying to carry on, but I'm so angry that the first response of anyone in charge is that of vengeance. I want to shout at them to look around at world examples of vengeance as a response. It just doesn't work. It doesn't work in Israel, or Northern Ireland, or the Balkans. We need to learn a better way.

I think we need to better understand the opinions of people around the world who don't think we're so great. For every time we bailed out some other country some way (and there have been many), we also walked out on a U.N. conference on racism or blew off a Kyoto agreement. We're the SUV drivers who have driven up the price of gas worldwide. We're the travelers who want everything around the world just like we have it at home. We decry violence here but drop bombs on Iraq all the time. We help Israel do the same to the Palestinians.

I love this country; I'm very proud to be an American. But we need to do a better job of being a world citizen. To quote Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"


I cant go on, I'll go on. (S. Beckett)
Name: Mark Lord
Date: //2001-09-13 10:17:21 :
Link to this Comment: 114

On Tuesday I was to have taught a class and to have announced the cast of a theater production that is to investigate the effects of globalisation. It was clearly not the time to do either, and I felt free to cancel these obligations and to encourage both my class and potential cast-members to follow their own impulses to mourn, rage, participate in gatherings...or to do what I did, which was to listen to the news for as long as I could bear it...and then go home and hold my children in my arms.

Surely, we need to work together to make our Colleges spaces in which the events of the world can inform our daily activities. Ideally, our leadership can work to understand more fully the roles that they can have in helping us all to have a more fully evolved sense of our priorities. But we can all work, for oursleves and for those we teach and learn with, to come to have a better sense of balance in our lives, to accept "intrusions" into our schedules and to accept for each day both the quantity and quality of the life that we *can* live on that day. The stresses that we have experienced as a result of this disaster remind me how precious each day is, and how we often give away our precious moments to experience only the tension between the "shoulds" we feel from our obligations and our unformed desires to do otherwise, if only these "shoulds" would disappear.

I have class scheduled again today. And, at last, the first rehearsal of this play about global issues. How to go on? I'm not sure. But, for me, the answer has something to do with addressing in our work the need to go on, beginning, for me, with questioning how we can. As I begin to ask myself, in preparation for my encounters later today with my students, "what is the use of theater here?", I am peppered with emails from around the world. Some share poems, others prayers, some announce gatherings...all indicate a profound need to make use of some form of art to connect interior events to exterior events and to begin a process of connecting us as individuals as we seek to be able to understand and to experience the magnitude of our losses and the likelihood of further tragedy.

Thank you to all who have posted comments here. They have all been very helpful to read. Merely to know that "how do I go on?" is a question on many minds gives my mind some ease, and some strength...to go on.

mark lord


Diversity
Name: Elizabeth
Date: //2001-09-13 11:04:05 :
Link to this Comment: 115

As Bryn Mawr's Acting Director of Admissions, as a faculty member in Creative Writing, and as an alumna of Bryn Mawr, I find myself feeling grateful for the experience Bryn Mawr has offered me to come in contact with people who might otherwise have remained "Other" -- students, faculty and administrators who come from different countries, who believe in different gods, who hold different political beliefs, and who respond to tragedy in many different ways. It is this exposure to difference, for example, that allows me to recall a friend from Kabul when the relentless media images would have me demonize an entire country, to see her very real face rather than an abstract idea of evil. I would ask those who are angry at the Administration for not cancelling classes to do the same. We are not faceless, clueless, callous administrators, as some would suggest. Despite my personal fear and concern, I have tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy -- for the sake of my young children, for the sake of the students I encounter who are far from their parents, and for the sake of the Admissions staff, many of whom (as I write this) are stranded far from their homes and families as they travel to recruit a diverse group of students to the College. My behavior reflects my particular responsibilities as a mother, as a supervisor, as a member not only of this community but of others (family, neighborhood, school PTA, etc.) If I were teaching this semester, I believe my instinct would be to gather my students together rather than to cancel class. As Paul Grobstein wisely wrote in his previous posting, it is through our connection to others that we find and express our humanity.

Respectfully,
Elizabeth Mosier '84
Lecturer in Creative Writing
Acting Director of Admissions


WTC
Name: debbie wan
Date: //2001-09-13 11:41:51 :
Link to this Comment: 127

I am so grateful Prof Grobestein, that you set up this forum. I am in your intro Bio class and would like to apologize in advance if I am not up to par or leave in the middle of class. I appreciate that so many people have decided to post their thoughts and comments here.

I have decided to share an email I received this morning. It is from a friedn of mine who works in one of the NYC hospitals as a ward clerk. He is a year younger than I am. I met him in high school through our literary and art magazine (all the editors became very good friends). I was poetry editor and he was a business editor. He sent me this email

"subject: Thursday morning

Hi everyone

I am writing this to hopefully give you all an idea of what it is like in here. I don't have access to a tv so i don't know what else is going on the the rest of the world and i also don't know what kind of info you r all getting. I am taking pictures of everything here and will e-mail them as soon as i get out of here and have them developed. Let me know what is going on out there inplaces like Tech, Boston, Albany, Pennsylvania, or where ever you r.

I'm at communicating to you all from a portable laptop provided by the red cross at the WTC. I have been here since Wednesday morning and will continue to be here till thursday night and then come back for friday and saturday. It is like a war zone here. All the buildings around the WTC have their windows blown out. The marriot where we all had our proms is completely destroyed. Styuvesant High School is totally blocked off due to the collapse of building numer seven. We r walking around in about two feet of debris. everything is wet and muddy due to water main breaks and water used by the firefighters. We r all sleeping in the streets on top of piles of debris. There r burned emergency service vechicles and chunks of the building everywhere. One of the wheels from the planes that crashed is right in front of me.

There r two triage centers. One on the west side highway and the other on church street on the other side. The Triage center i am at is set up infront of century 21. there r about 50 of us here. They are mostly Nurses, doctors, and Med students. I am the only Ward Clerk here. We r using clothes racks as IV poles, chairs and boards as beds. We are getting our changes of socks and underwear from the brooks brothers stores arcross the street. Hallmark is being used as a public bathroom. the lobby of One Liberty Center is being used as a morgue. An ambulance is being used as an operating room.

We haven't been able to get to the the twin towers yet. The construction workers r still in the process of clearing a path in the courtyard. The have brought in dynamite to take down the building formerly occupied by Broders books store and other surrounding areas so we can have a bigger path into the courtyard. They have begun cleaning up the other areas. City Hall park looks almost as if nothing had happened there. There is no phone or electricity in the whole financial district.

We have only been able to go in to try and find survivors twice due to falling debris. People can be heard but we can't get to them. We have manages to get a couple of survivors on our side but all the rest r dead.

The air is so bad here we can even breathe. Its filled with dust and smeels like rotten fish or something very sour. We put on the mask but sometimes its just too hot for it so we just breathe in the dust. We are all wearing hard hats and oxygen masks. I have been doing a lot of eye washes and wrapping sprained ankles.

It is like a war zone here. The national guard and military is here. occassionally we here fighter jets fly above us. There are also soldiers with riffles and orther weapons with their hands always on the trigger. There are HumV's with machine guns on top and other military vechiles.

We have also gettiing a lot of support from all over the country. A guy from far rockaway brought us about 500 heros and sandwiches, Smuckers donated about 1000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and pizzeria's in nyc have been sending down pies. also many upscale resturants have also been sending food such as baked poatoes and turkey. The red cross and salvation army have been bring in lost of fruits, bread, and water.

Hope to talk and here from all of u soon

jing"


another first-hand account
Name: Carol
Date: //2001-09-13 14:34:10 :
Link to this Comment: 128

This is a message from one of our authors who write medical texts for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (where I work). I imagine that many of our physician/authors are going through the same experience.

hey delois,
unbelievable isn't it?
i am ok...was just awakened by phone call from my preceptor dr. barry dashesfky from francois xavier bagnoud pediatric hiv program univ med/dent new jersey in newark..it's 2pm

i was exhausted probably combination of physical, spiritual and emotional...i worked pretty late at the medical triage center at my old high school..cleaning the eyes of fireman, oxygen for smoke inhalation, a few lacerations but i did not suture any one..no one survivors that is, was found until early this morning and they went directly to hospital...so alot of hanging around w/ alot of concerned volunteer nurses, firemen, emts, attendings, nursing stds, residents, med stds, resp therapists and one psychologist waiting for some people to be unearthed/recovered from the debris....we had three teams...i was on the yellow team...the red team was for very bad injuries....the yellow team was for iv's, mod lacerations, smoke inhalation issues..the green team for washing eyes, minor lacs, and basic care/triage. i took a number of black and white photos don't know if they will be any good..i'll wait and see.

a very eerie experience..was nerve wracking ..on the way to montefiore hosp/einstein hosp in the bronx..heard radio commentators report around 8:45am there was an airplane crash into one of the twin towers..they weren't sure if it was a helicopter or small plane..weren't sure if accident or act of war...by the time i reached the building for the montefiore adolescent aids program...it was confirmed as an act of war with the consequent damage/losses... so i sat around with the staff of the aids prog..they were trying to normalize by continuing their business ....so i listened to their morning mtg, went to afternoon clinic-no patients showed...and visited a hospitalized adolescent female w/aids and cholecystis...meanwhile i while in a state of internal alarm concerning about getting out of the bronx w/ my car since the roads/travel was closed off and how i could contribute to the care..called a couple of tel numbers for medical staff who want to volunteer... all were busy...paged and spoke w/my friend susan abt what was going all with doctor volunteers in nearby hosps -she is an family practice intern at beth israel hosp, she replied there were enough volunteer md's.....

finally i left the bronx around 5pm for the upper west side of manhattan..not knowing if i would be allowed into manhattan over the bridges that separate the bronx from the island of manhattan...at one bridge there was major traffic backup so i jumped the curb and followed another car who i presumed was going to another pt of departure from the bronx.. eventually since i thought that i might need to have some concern about following the blind or mad occupants of nyc...i stopped in the street of some neighborhood and asked an Indian guy wearing a "yarmalke"?/jewish skull cap...how to get into the city....he directed me somewhere.... and i eventually met up w/police officers and a road barricade..i was asked where i was going and i said without thought st vincents's hospital..i'm a doctor..so they said ok right this way and there i was on the henry hudson pkwy headed south towards the twin towers all by myself ..... i went through at least 10 police baricades with the doctor/st vincent hosp mantra..not clearly knowing what i would do once there but with a sense of relief that i was doing something at last...some action/some movement....

the closer i approached the scene the more surrealistic/unreal the day/the moment became...i was redirected towards st vincent's around 14th street but remembered my friend's (intern at beth israel hosp nr 14th st) admonishment that there were alot of doctors standing around st vincents and surrounding hosps doing nothing..i ignored the redirection and followed a red cross van further down the highway and at some point determined from conversation at a stop ppoint that there was a medical triage setup at my former high school Stuyvesant located approx 3 blocks from the twin towers.. i continued onward until i was told no cars were allowed....parked my car grabbed my stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and opthalmoscope and walked thru a scene lit by ambulances/fire trucks/dust w/soot in the air and underfoot..thick....passing so many firemen, emt's......spoke w/ one emt (by the way he's applying to pitt's med schl)covered with soot/dust and ascertained there was still a need but minor for medical staff at the triage setup at stuy hs..because no people have been recovered yet...omnious...so on i went...also had packed my camera with no film..but just in case...

arrived at the doors of the high school and again stated i was a doctor and was let in and amazed at the the setup both the organization and lack of ...lots of medical staff..nurses, residents, med stds and so many firemen-women..and 3 sections of cots with sheets/blankets and iv poles with bags of fluid hanging...tables with gloves, intubation tools, iv supplies, gauze... and a command post w/ a very authoritative/commanding woman presence..i think she was fire dept..in charge of authorizing teams into the field..

german shepherds for search teams..just a very solid sense of activity but no patients other than the returning firemen from the search operations with smoke inhalation....smoke/debris in the eyes and minor lacs..

went outside several times to view the physical carnage and the hundreds of volunteers and city workers....assigned to the yellow team and sat and walked and talked and took some photos and irrigated some eyes....

at some point news that there were 2 survivors found and a big cheer was let out ...and sense of readiness for patients arriving was renewed..several hours later the chief md of the firemen announced the center was being demoted to green team triage only...thanked everyone and the exodus of most health workers homeward bound including myself began..

walking to the car away from this scene of intense search activity...left me both grateful to have contributed something but empty about the future of survivors....

so tonight i will go to the pier area morgue site to help w/ mental health
issues....

peace and love, rob


Cowardly acts?? Let's think about this.
Name: Jeff Orist
Date: //2001-09-13 14:43:04 :
Link to this Comment: 129

As I readied to leave my apartment for work on September 11, 2001, I watched the live television coverage of what, at the time, was believed to be the scene of a horrible accident. A plane or a missile, it was reported, had slammed into one of the World Trade Center towers. I continued watching long enough to see a jet plane plunge straight into the other tower. In one horrifying instance, the shock of witnessing this second tragic disaster met abruptly with the knowledge that the events transpiring were not at all accidental.

Like many of you, I continued to watch in confused disbelief and terror as the events of this day unfolded. Now, what I find so unsettling in the wake of this incident is the apparent lack of interest on the part of Americans regarding the motivation behind these acts. Curiously, I have repeatedly heard politicians and members of the media refer to these acts as "cowardly." Cowardly?!

Abominable!? Yes.

Heinous!? Positively.

Unspeakably evil!? Beyond any doubt.

Cowardly? I'm not quite sure what motivated these individuals to hijack commercial airliners, and then willfully steer them straight into large buildings (with obvious knowledge of their own impending death), but I think we can safely conclude that cowardice didn't have much to do with it.

I think it's pretty clear that America has seriously pissed some people off. This, of course, in no way justifies the expression of any such anger through terrorism, but the events of September 11 dictate that we better start asking what these people are so angry about. Is it simply fueled by intense differences in religeous ideologies between the "Muslim east" and the "Judeo-Christian west?" Maybe in part, but I suspect it runs deeper than that. Whatever the case, we better damn well find out, because we are not, and never will be, capable of preventing all conceivable acts of terrorism.

It is a sad fact of the world that we live in that destruction comes easy. If we could manage (which we cannot) to perfectly defend our airlines, there are always car bombs or biological and chemical weapons. These are just a few choices which provide plenty of sustenance for any destructive appetite. Indescriminate attacks on countries which harbor individuals capable of this violence is hardly a solution. It even appears, not unexpectedly, that some of the individuals who perpetrated the acts of Sept 11 lived for quite some time right here in the United States. It seems that at least a couple of these terrorists took flight instruction in Venice, Florida.

The fact is that terrorists are not to be found in any one place. These people are part of a very intelligently operated, clandestine, decentralized network which obviously posesses the capacity to evade our intelligence efforts. (And despite what you might be hearing, there is plenty of reason to believe that diverting more money toward intelligence capabilities won't make much of a difference.) Not only that, but the events of September 11 are the efforts of but one of what are surely many such organizations currently in existence. Given this, it stands to reason that any tactless acts of retribution on our part are likely to be met by more violence and death.

In deference to those of you who still want blood, I certainly understand (hell, I even share!), your feelings; especially for anyone who has lost loved ones or friends to this barbarism. I truly think the world would be a better place if certain select members of the human population would drop, or in some way be made, dead. I would include in that lot, without hesitation, any individuals who condone these recent crimes. But more than blood, I want these terrorist acts to cease.

It is time for Americans to trade vengefulness for perspective, and to take a good look at at the rest of the world, at ourselves, and the relation between the two. Do we really stand as "a beacon for all that is good and just in the world," as our president has claimed. Some people clearly don't think so. Moreover, some of these same individuals believe that unspeakable acts of violence and destruction carried out against our civilian population are somehow justified.

It is time to find out why.


"Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness." -
Name: Sarah Ster
Date: //2001-09-13 14:46:59 :
Link to this Comment: 130

We watch from the outside,
half disturbed by what we cannot stop,
and yet longing to see it again,
to have this all make sense.

I am restricted to my chair,
held back so as not to push
STOP on the VCR infront of me.
It seems we all feel this way.

I am unable to blame (like so many others),
those of different origin, different culture, different colors.

We watch from the outside,
half disturbed by what we cannot stop,
and yet longing to see it again,
to have some humanity before us.

It seems we all feel this way......unconscious.


in response... this was mailed to me this morning.
Name:
Date: //2001-09-13 16:42:17 :
Link to this Comment: 133

TRIBUTE TO THE UNITED STATES

This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.

America: The Good Neighbor.

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? 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 broken.

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!

Wear it proudly!!


September 11
Name: Leslie Ale
Date: //2001-09-13 16:49:04 :
Link to this Comment: 134

Paul - I want to echo the comments of others who have responded. Thanks very much for setting up this site. Reading about the varied experiences of others from our community in beginning to process these horrific last two days helps to reduce the terrible sense of isolation and numbness. The ramifications of these terrible acts have only begun to unfold and each of us will undoubtedly process them in somewhat different ways, at somewhat different paces. We need to keep talking


I hurt...
Name:
Date: //2001-09-13 17:00:00 :
Link to this Comment: 135

I'm writing this without placing my name to it, although many in this community know who i am. As each second passes and each minute grows to hours, i try to move on and continue with my life. At night is positively the worst. I lie in my bed, in the familiar fetal postion i would resort to as a child, with the frog stuffed animal my dad surprised me with as he and my mother left campus years ago. I lie and listen to peter jennings get choked up and hold back his tears. I hear stories of FBI agents flocking to Boston and taking documents from Florida. I lie in silence and just let the world kinda move around me. I wake up the next day, go to breakfast, ride the blue bus and try to muster the strength to sit full through my classes. I dont care about science, i dont care about my gym classes, or even my responsibilities to my college organizations. I just cant care right now. Filling all available space in my brain is the constant questioning of "if they were in the top of the building, and i havent heard from them yet, and they arent at the hopitals, does that really mean they are dead?" "Could they be lyin in the rubble, possibly talking to a coworker next to them trying to stay strong?" "last night when the building fell, were they scared? could they even realize what they are in the middle of?" My total so far has reached 13... some dead, some missing, some critically injured in the hospital i couldnt gain access to if i was up in NYC. I hate everyone that doesnt have a total. It sucks, but i kinda wish everyone had one person, and one person only. I cant deal with 13. People ask if im alright, and i say yeah... they know im lying. But i dont know what to say. Some moments i want to cry, others i want to scream... then following are the ones where i sit in secluded silence, or stare at the TV in the campus center. Thanks for putting this up... writing in my journal is one thing, but knowing someone is "listening" when you dont know how to speak is a relief i cannot explain. I hurt, a lot. I want them to emerge from the rubble. I want to be the one who says "wow, i cant understand how you feel, but if you need anything, im here." I dont want to be the one that says "i need you." It hurts to say i need you because the reality that it could have been any one person here at school comes rushing in and i realize just how much ive lost. But at the same time, i realize how much i still have.


FW: Candle Lighting-Please participate
Name: Matt Unter
Date: //2001-09-13 17:07:32 :
Link to this Comment: 136

-----Original Message-----

Friday Night at 7:00 p.m. step out your door, stop your car, or step out of
your establishment and light a candle. We will show the world that
Americans are strong and united together against terrorism. Please pass
this to everyone on your e-mail list. We need to reach everyone across the
United States quickly.

The message: WE STAND UNITED - WE WILL NOT TOLERATE TERRORISM.
We need press to cover this--we need the world to see.


What I Have and Have Not Heard
Name: Debbie Plo
Date: //2001-09-13 17:15:58 :
Link to this Comment: 137

For the past three days I have been listening to what people have been saying. Very often the comments have reflected the sentiments expressed by President Bush. Sometimes, the very same vocabulary is employed, which includes words such as good, evil and enemies. Usually, these types of statements, whether made by this country’s leadership or its citizens, expresses the same type of resolve as put forth by the President when he promises that we (the American people) will find and punish those who perpetrated the horrific acts of September 11th, as well as those who have aided them. While the President’s words seem focused and precise the definitions of terms and phrases such as “good and evil” and “using all of our resources to conquer our enemy” are anything but clear.

In the constant coverage of the events and aftermath of 11 September I keep hearing references that, while not intentionally seeking to so, insidiously define who is friend and who is foe. For example, in the reports concerning a piece of luggage purported to belong to one of the hijackers several specific items contained therein are repeatedly mentioned. The items identified are an Arabic language flight training manual, an Arabic language flight training videotape and a copy of the Koran. And while the images of celebrations in the Middle East have been sharply criticized, they too have been seen quite often and make a powerfully divisive statement.

It seems to me that we so very much want it to be morally simple. I have heard many expressions that go something like, “they hurt us: therefore, we hurt them.” In the last few days, it has been stated to me many times that the people who attacked New York and Washington are evil and insane. Certainly, mass murder evil and insane. Everywhere I listen, there seems to be overwhelming concurrence with our leaders that we must find the perpetrators and supporters of the attacks, bring them to justice (i.e. kill them).

But I have not been hearing many questions that I feel must be asked addressed. What constitutes aid and support? Is a supporter anyone who gives money, encouragement or cheers at successful terrorist attacks? Why does news of death and destruction in New York and Washington engender (especially from children) expressions of joy? And most importantly, why does there exist a willingness for people, from a multitude of countries, to participate in or support murder? Is it being suggested that we declare war on all of those countries? Are all of the citizens of those countries potential targets, as were all of the citizens of New York and Washington? And how will we react when America does as the President has promised?

Today, as I find myself unable to do much more than mourn our dead, suffer over the horrific destruction and fear for our collative future, I struggle to find the hope that somehow we we will be able to ask these questions and not let our pain and anger hinder our ability to hear the answers.


JYA travel jitters
Name: Jennifer K
Date: //2001-09-13 23:52:03 :
Link to this Comment: 139

I guess with the supposedly increased security, my flight to London on Monday, Sept. 17th will probably be one of the safest of my life. HOwever, I know that the act of embarking on that plane will leave me quietly terrified. Dean Chin suggests that U.S. students keep a low profile abroad; too bad the moment I open my mouth the pretense of being "English" will be shattered. My program, King's College, has graciously emailed all of its American JYA students trying to reassure us and in effect getting across the subliminal message, "We still like you", even if other countries hate the U.S. enough to kill thousands with "human bombs". The stress of worrying about this damn flight really does produce a dull ache throughout my body. I wish I was around my bmc friends just to hug them. It doesn't help to hear about terrorist suspects being detained at Heathrow.


resonance and gifts
Name: Sharon Burgmayer
Date: //2001-09-14 00:02:26 :
Link to this Comment: 140

Having read all the previous postings in this Forum, I feel a resonance with nearly all the views expressed. Like Kyle and Debbie, I was surprised at the determined efforts on campus towards normalcy Tuesday. Like mark, I struggled with how to go on: what to say to the first meeting of my classes afterwards, do we talk or practice normalcy? Like the anonymous writer of message 135, I hurt. Not because I too have a total of 13 lives I am mourning—I have none (that I know of). But I hurt because she has so much pain that is so palpable in what she wrote. I both ache and am made nauseous to hear about the anger and hate and vengeance … and to hear talk that effectively describes how walls will close in around America to protect her….as if further isolation could help. Like Deepak, I too choose forgiveness to stop the karmic wheel of violence, I too prefer to dissolve alienation. And like many others have expressed, I am deeply appreciative for this space, a space begun with wise words and a space that facilitates a start to dissolving alienation. Furthermore, in setting up this Forum, Paul sets a positive example of what we all need to do: find our unique way to creatively use our individual abilities and resources to help and to connect to others. We all have at least one gift to give.
What's yours?


devastating!
Name: Jane Doe
Date: //2001-09-14 01:37:52 :
Link to this Comment: 141

like others who have posted,

I have watched endless hours of news,

and read online news,

and talked at length with friends and family,

and I still feel extremely

sad and powerless.

I am disgusted by the pain of the situation!

Babies' skulls crushed in -- this should NEVER happen!

the worst is this:

that I don't know how our lives will change exactly,

but I do know that they are forever changed.

I am quietly suffering... it is lonely.


Candle lighting
Name: Kyle Y. Fa
Date: //2001-09-14 11:08:49 :
Link to this Comment: 144

Candle Lighting-Please participate
:
: Friday Night at 7:00 p.m. step out your door, stop your car, or step out
: of your establishment and light a candle. We will show the world that
: Americans are strong and united together against terrorism. Please pass
: this to everyone on your e-mail list. We need to reach everyone across
: the United States quickly.
:
:


Tragedy
Name: Lynn
Date: //2001-09-14 11:53:01 :
Link to this Comment: 145

Dear all,

My comments below were originally sent to a listserv of academic advisors. One of my colleagues suggested I also post them here. FWIW.

I followed with some interest the discussion yesterday about
memorializing the tragic events of Tuesday. Returning from a meeting
where we discussed how to help our students and colleagues through this
difficult period, the messages reinforced to me one important thing -
that many people will react differently to this event and that we need
to respect everyone's feelings in this very distressing time.

I think it is also important to remember, though, how many of us share -
to varying degrees - the same feelings:

* deep grief at the loss of so many lives,
* compassion and empathy toward those most directly affected,
* anger at those who could believe that such at terrible action could,
in any way, accomplish something worthwhile in this world,
* helplessness at being unable to ease the victims' grief or to act to
save any of those lives still hanging in the balance
* and anguish that such horrendous acts of hatred, intolerance and evil
occur in this world.

Yesterday, the last emotion was uppermost for me. I suspect that many
of you are like me - that you want to believe that in this world all
people can make choices between good and evil, that while terrible
circumstances (and some terrible people) conspire to create and sustain
violence, hate and intolerance, the rest of us can actively work for
peace, tolerance, and a life without want and distress for everyone. I
have chosen my career path because I believe it allows me to have a
positive influence on the world, one student at a time. Each day,
though, I am faced by new reports of incomprehensible acts of harm, and
neverending cycles of violence that human beings inflict on each other.
My optimism survives by reminding myself that acts of selflessness,
helpfulness, caring and cooperation are rarely reported, but I see them
around me and can multiply these local events by thousands and millions
and believe that they may at least balance out the hurtful ones.

Tuesday was different. The magnitude of it, the obvious deliberation of
it, the ripples of loss that continue to be felt (and will for a long
time). Yesterday I really struggled to retain any optimism at all for
this world. Not only will we continue to hear and see more of the
devastation as they dig out the WTC, but there will be consequences.
Military action may follow and we can only hope and pray that it is
appropriate. And we must wonder if that reaction will prompt further
acts against us. How can I continue to do my very small part with my
students, my community and my family when so few can destroy so much in
an instant?

By bedtime last night, I had somehow regained some of my optimism.
Perhaps it was the recognition of how few were involved. Even 50 or 100
of them versus how many thousands of us who are daily involved in the
betterment of our world through the assistance of our students. Any how
many millions (or billions?) of us who are working toward the betterment
of this world in whatever capacity.

So, whatever we do in the long run, here's what I want to do now:

Be a force for good in this world - care for someone, teach someone
tolerance, understanding and empathy, hear someone's anger and help them
avoid vengance, ease someone's pain, help someone achieve something they
didn't think they could.

Advisors, we do all of this, all the time. Yes, for each one of us it's
a small action with one individual. But we are a groundswell and we can
make this world a better place.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotations from John Donne:

"No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the
Continent, a part of the main.... Any man’s death diminishes me because
I am involved in Mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the
bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

I am involved in mankind, and I intend to make the most of that!

Take care,
Lynn


BMC's Reaction
Name: An alum
Date: //2001-09-14 14:09:51 :
Link to this Comment: 148

I agree with Samantha Carney when she asks "where is BMC's response to Tuesday's events?" Not even a single mention of Sept. 11th exists in BMC's website. The purpose of www.brynmawr.edu is not only to provide information regarding Bryn Mawr College, but alongside this, it presents the school to the world. In this technological age, I am saddened to see Bryn Mawr not up to par with the rest of the world. I love Bryn Mawr College but I am frustrated with their lack of actions in registering any thoughts regarding these events online.


Ramblings...
Name: Lisa
Date: //2001-09-14 16:43:03 :
Link to this Comment: 152

My heartfelt prayers to all who are awaiting news of friends and loved ones in NYC and Washington -- and PA.

Frankly, I find it difficult to focus on assignments and anything else academic. Right now I can only feel, not think. (Thank you Anne for allowing our class to just "be" on Tuesday.)

Those images of the airplanes being swallowed whole into the buildings is so surreal. Huge airliners... You see I was once a flight attendant. My husband is still an airline captain. He arrived home safely Tuesday morning. He's been thinking about what must have gone on in those airplanes. He knows what it would take to remove him from those controls, and these thoughts have silenced him these past few days.

It's always curious to me how the first reports on TV only include the passengers in their tolls of those believed dead -- as though the pilots and flight crew were just part of the structure. Lately the TV stations have been listing the crew numbers, but under a different heading for some reason. Why? Why 85 people and 8 crew? Why doesn't that equal 93 people killed?


Bryn Mawr's Response
Name: Deepak Kum
Date: //2001-09-14 16:43:56 :
Link to this Comment: 153

A couple of people have raised the issue of Bryn Mawr's response to tuesday's events. Please go to

http://www.brynmawr.edu

and click on "News"

Best,

Deepak


Tuesday on Campus
Name: Lisa
Date: //2001-09-14 16:59:55 :
Link to this Comment: 154

Tuesday morning after the C-Sem class broke up early, I wandered over to Thomas Hall to confirm registration, just going through the motions. I didn't know what to do, and so I kept moving. Next I went to the Comptroller's Office. No one questioned my swollen, reddened eyes and we processed the necessary forms and completed the transaction. It was just business as usual as the world was coming unglued. Suddenly my education seemed so unimportant, frivilous even. The college was operating as if nothing was going on and it kind of freaked me out. I went home to be with my family.


Community
Name: Ashley Opa
Date: //2001-09-15 09:15:40 :
Link to this Comment: 155

I'm so glad that I happened upon this forum today. I am an alumna, a member of the Admissions staff, and currently doing my yearly travel in Texas.

Being far away from home at this time, difficult and frightening as it is, has allowed me to look at and appreciate the Bryn Mawr community perhaps more fully than if I were in the center of it. Alums have reached out to me, offering their homes and a sympathetic ear; colleagues have been supportive and understanding. I can understand the emotions of everybody who has posted here, and commend you for coming forth with them.

Use the strength of Bryn Mawr as a community to listen to and support each other--students, alums, faculty, staff, and neighbors. Everybody has been rocked by this tragedy, and everybody deals with grief differently; some find it easier to continue with daily duties to occupy their minds, and some need to stop everything to give sadness its full measure. We should all do what comes naturally to us, and try to listen and support one another.

I plan to be arriving in Philadelphia by Greyhound on Wednesday, and look forward to seeing all of you.

Stay strong.

Ashley



Name: Laurie Gra
Date: //2001-09-15 14:53:02 :
Link to this Comment: 157

I never thought I would seek out a digital community, but here I am. I am grateful for this forum because I trust the intelligence and sensitivity of the BMC community.

I live in Jersey City, NJ. The WTC was in my face each day; many neighbors in Hoboken are missing.

My husband and I are both newspaper journalists, so our natural inclination was to run to the corner store to snap up a stack of papers. We read for hours, weeping and staining our finger tips black. We head for the waterfront, staring at the empty space, the plumes of dust.

The thing is, the Mawrter in me -- the need to read and read, to study, to digest and analyze information -- it fails me here. Knowing the facts doesn't mean I understand them.



Name:
Date: //2001-09-15 16:23:24 :
Link to this Comment: 158

Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may neve



Name: meg devere
Date: //2001-09-15 16:23:27 :
Link to this Comment: 159

Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.
Some more thoughts. I must admit one of my first thoughts on Tuesday was perhaps we deserved this. I don’t mean in any way that the innocent individuals who suffered or died deserved it. I am appalled at the cruelty and hate involved. I mean in some collective moral way. We can as a nation despite our generous spirit be seen as arrogant: financially, socially, morally, and politically. I lived in England 20 years after WWII and this opinion was shared quite openly with me sometimes affectionately and sometimes resentfully. And that in a country with whom at the time we appeared to share quite a bit culturally and historically. How separated from and aloof towards the countries with which we share little common culture we must appear. Our multiculturalism may never sad to say be fast enough to keep up with the richness of the world’s diversity. How arrogant in our approach to people of other cultures we must seem. I have been moved and more than a little humbled by the courage of some of the BMC students from foreign worlds who shared their perspectives of America. What a challenging time for you to be in this country. What a gift to BMC that you can be here and help us expand our hearts and sensibilities. I thought in my politically uninformed (and American) way that Bin Laden might have been a CIA trainee and it seems this is so. Karma or Judgment?

In all the horror we have found we have no choice but to live in the moment. In our feelings.. We have been shocked into the basic emotions of fear, hate and love. We cannot hide at this time behind idle chatter, endless errands, work, or play. We have shared with those closest and those who are strangers and we have learned a little more about others and ourselves at the most elemental level. We are perhaps less numbed by our fast paced over stimulated lives and material abundance. Than we were on Monday

Forgiveness is I believe not just a feeling but an intent. It takes more than a lifetime for the feelings of forgiveness to catch up sometimes. But for me the intent is a beginning. . A first step. A process.


learning to teach
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2001-09-16 12:19:58 :
Link to this Comment: 163

I was very moved by Mark Lord's description of how he spent last Tuesday
on campus, and wanted to link to his my own account of the role and
obligations of being a teacher and student @ this time. I have been
struggling hard w/ the relationship between the unspeakable events that
have just occurred, and the education each of us has come to Bryn Mawr
seeking: how we might go on from here, acknowledging the enormity of
what has happened to turn our world upside down, but also not stopping
the world altogether and trying to get off.

My McBride Csem class spent Tuesday morning keeping one another company,
mostly in silence, while we learned the horrific news, and began to
process its implications for the way we live our lives. It was the best
we could do--was probably ALL we could do--at that moment. My afternoon
class in feminist literary theory told one another whatever facts we
could gather, and discussed the relationship of our education to what we
were hearing. What do we need to know? How do we go about gathering that
information? Our fears spanned the spectrum: that we would return too
quickly to "normal," that things would never return to normal. We
agreed to go ahead w/ our class agenda later in the week, seeking out
the voices of those who have not been heard and listened to, thinking
that such a project had everything to do w/ making sense of the
atrocities of Tuesday.

I was struck, as we rose to go on Tuesday, by the invitation of one of
my students to all of us to come to her farm, "where it is safe,"
because I was certain then, and continue to feel now, that there is no
safe place on this earth. But thinking is the best way I know to reduce
risk, that IS the project we have already undertaken together, and that
the most hopeful thing I know, right now, is simply to go ahead w/ it:
continuously telling and re-telling stories, incorporating the new
understandings we gain as we go along. The story that needs to be told
and heard about the events of Tuesday morning, and their aftermath, will
be a long and often unbearable time in the writing. But in the meantime,
we can prepare ourselves to listen to and understand it, by setting
ourselves more manageable tasks. The task before my CSem class right
now, for instance, is that of telling and re-telling fairy tales; one of
the aspects of that project involves coming to understand why the "evil"
characters behave as they do.

I have a vision of the kingdon of heaven in which EVERYONE is included;
what I found most hopeful about our large Quaker Meeting for Worship in
the gym on Friday afternoon was the sense of the enlargement of our
circle, the gathering of people do not usually come together on this
campus, worshipping together in a large space w/ all the doors open, and
the call by one of the speakers to "keep these doors open." There were
still limits to the circle we made, though, and it is my hope and my
labor to keep on expanding it.

My primary question when I first heard of the terrorist attacks, and my
insistent and continued question now, is: WHY did this happen? What
were the experiences, what the convictions, what the beliefs that led to
these actions? I very much want and NEED to understand the motivations
of the terrorists who so thoroughly and intelligently designed this plan
which brought so much destruction. Trying to do so, I remembered an
autobiography of a Palestinean revolutionary, Leila Khaled, which Kaye
Edwards and I taught in the Gender Studies core course a few years ago.
Khaled was a hijacker in the late '60s, and her explanation of why she
acted as she did made a lot of sense to me.

"I come from the city of Haifa, but I remember little of my birthplace.
I can see the area where I played as small child, but of our house, I
only remember the staircase. I was taken away when I was four....Haifa
is caressed by the sea, hugged by the mountain, inspired by the open
plain. Haifa is a safe anchor for the wayfarer, a beach in the sun.
Yet, I, as a citizen of Haifa, am not allowed to bask in its sun,
breathe its clear air, live there with my people....we float about,
exiled....
I vividly remember my mother saying to me, shortly after our arrival in
Lebanon, that I must not pick oranges from the grove nearby. I was
puzzled and insisted on knowing why. My poor mother, with tears
streaming from her eyes, explained: 'Darling, the fruit is not ours;
you are no longer in Haifa; you are in another country'...Henceforth
you are forbidden to eat oranges that are not ours.....
The pleasant summer of 1952 turned into a violent winter in early
December. A storm struck and blew over our school tent which held over
seventy children. A few were injured; the rest of us had the daylights
scared out of us. In the midst of pouring icy rain, tears, and mud, I
stood silently crying as the children screamed and ran for cover. It was
a symbol of our ruined Arab homeland. Local protests and heartrending
stories followed, but to no avail. Western Christian charity had its
limits. The tent was re-erected; there was no alternative. At this
point, the tent had little or no meaning to me. It was not long after
this incident that it began to dawn on me that tens of thousands of
people permanently lived in tents....
My deed cannot be evaluted without examining the underlying causes. The
revolutionary deed I carried out on August 29, 1969 was an assertion of
my spurned humanity, a declaration of the humanity of Palestinians. It
was an act of protest against the West....The list of the sins of the
West is overwhelming...."

Of course I do not countenance the violence--I know that violence only
perpetuates more violence--but, reading this account, I can begin to
understand its origins--and I am convinced that we must find the wisdom
to address the deeper problems that lead to such horror, in ways that
assure no one will ever again be subject to them.

The second, and very much related, question I am trying to work through
is how I am myself implicated in such actions. I was raised in the
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where my family was very active in the
Republican Party. In November 1963, when I was 13 years old, I said to a
friend in the hallway of the high school I attended, "Did you hear?
Kennedy was shot. Isn't that great?" One of my teachers overheard my
comment, and told me that, whatever my politics, this was NOT a great
thing. It's been 40 years since that moment of shame. In remembering
it, I cannot forget that the seeds of violence lie in me.

Marianne Moore wrote a poem called "In Distrust of Merits," which reads,
in part
There never was a war that was
not inward; I must
fight till I have conquered in myself what
causes war, but I would not believe it.

I believe it.
Anne Dalke



Name: Deb
Date: //2001-09-16 20:58:08 :
Link to this Comment: 170

Something that I have been thinking a lot about since tuesday's tragedy is how lucky I am to be here throughout this whole thing. I have learned so much becuase of all the different people that surround me. I guess that is the one positive thing that I can take from this. Being at Bryn Mawr and listening to fellow classmates has opened my eyes to what people around the world are thinking and going through. That is something that I would never had an opportunity to learn if I were not here. So i guess my advice is to listen to each other, because you can learn so much from other people's stories.



Name:
Date: //2001-09-17 07:26:38 :
Link to this Comment: 177

Ive never commented in such columns before, primarily because im apprehensive about receiving abuse or hate mail. Political comment, it seems, almost necessarily involves distasteful mud-flinging. thats my experience. but going through this forum i was happy to find a lot of common sense and - sadly so often substituted by reactionary and illogical derisiveness - compassion.

Im an Indian and im a university student. Neither means much but id rather get the basics straight. I was born and brought up in a country that has seen terrorism in all its forms - Islamic, Khalistani, Tamil, anarchist, radical communist... - and has learned to take it in its stride. Every month around fifteen to twenty Indian soldiers fall to terrorist attacks on our northern and northeastern frontiers. Close to 20000 people - civilians and soldiers - have died in Kashmir alone, to terrorism.

Im from a relatively poor country. Watching the rescue efforts on TV, one of my first thoughts was - what a lucky country: they have the money and resources to offer stuff which would make so much of a difference here. Counselling, governmental compassion, sensitivity, state-of-the-art equipment, free access to good hospitals...i could go on. There is so much in America which Americans take for granted; which people in Palestine, or Chechnya or Kashmir have never seen and probably never will. A massive earthquake hit western India sometime ago - 50000 dead, and my country's government had problems shipping in cranes to move the rubble. I suppose its worse in the Middle East.

But I digress. America is rather naive when it comes to violent hate. Americans do not know what their government is doing across the world to inspire such hate. How many know that American money, weapons and overt political support allows Israel to occupy Palestine, arrest their Ministers, rape their women and kill their sons? Or that American sanctions have effectively starved to death a whole generation of Iraqis? The Islamic world has always maintained some form of fraternity, and will obviously react adversely to such actions. Its something thats obvious in India because, by our screwed up Kashmir policy, we face it everyday. How many know that American arms to Pakistan have fueled the Kashmir crisis resulting in the deaths of so many Indians, Pakistanis and Kashmiris. How many know that the CIA installed Mobutu and propped him up for more than 3 decades only to be able to stick fingers in Zaires diamonds and natural resources. Or that America traded with apartheid South Africa? Or that America supplied the Contras who killed so many innocent Nicaraguans and Hondurans?

I dont seek to support any country, people or brand of politics. Terrorism in any form is despicable and very very sad. Innocent lives are lost, families are torn apart, mothers lose sons and husbands lose wives. But there is ALWAYS a reason. No one kills for fun. Also let me say that i dont mean to appear biased - lots of innocent Israelis have died because of Palestinian violence, Kashmiri's to Indian violence and so on. We HAVE to move past the stage of revenge and recriminations. Hate does not work.

The charted universe extends (im not too sure) about 400 billion trillion trillion light years around us. And so far we are the only people we know to have a world which supports us. The earth has been compared to a dandelion in the state of Texas. In the face of such compelling and humbling odds arent we wasting our time fighting? Forgive me if i sound romantic, im actually quite down-to-earth.

Isaac Asimov said: "Human history is a dark and turbulent stream of folly illuminated now and than by brilliant flashes of genius". You (anyone reading this, not necessarily American or a bin Laden supporter) have this opportunity. Rise up now, let our generation be the brilliant flash of genius; let our children inculcate understanding from us, and peace from the mistake of our follies.

With sorrow, i apologise to the Bryn Mawr community, the American people and to all those who've lost loved ones, friends and people in Tuesdays attacks. The response of your country and your people has been inspiring. You should know that your grief is not yours alone. If there's anything i could to do to help, i would.

i dont mean to leave this nameless, but id rather at this point. my email address is, however, appended.


continued...
Name:
Date: //2001-09-17 07:35:54 :
Link to this Comment: 178

PS: if it makes any difference:

im not a mawrter (i think thats what you guys call yrselves), im a guy, im a law student, and ive never been to america.


Retaliate with food
Name: Paul E. Ra
Date: //2001-09-17 12:07:28 :
Link to this Comment: 181

RETALIATE WITH FOOD


Five thousand years of compelling empirical evidence indicates that a violent response to a violent act provides, in the most optimistic ssessment, a temporary solution. It seems probable that a violent response to the attack of 11 September will stabilize the governments of terrorist host nations and encourage even more individuals to join terrorist organizations. The argument for a nonviolent response to this attack is particularly compelling because of the diffuse nature of the enemy.

I wish to propose massive, saturating and continuing parachute delivery of food to Iraq and Afghanistan. I do not underestimate the magnitude of this challenge. It will be expensive and technically demanding, but I am confident that the United States can meet this challenge.

It should not be supposed that this is a benign response. The food situation in Iraq and Afghanistan is desperate. The situation in Afghanistan is especially severe. The Afghan drought has been devastating and prolonged. Thousands of Afghanis will starve to death this winter. It seems possible that the Taleban government will make possession of American food a criminal offense that would carry penalties of arrest or summary execution. An Afghani father will face a simple choice: comply with the Taleban or feed his starving family. Food deliveries to these countries will destabilize their governments. All available historical evidence indicates that aerial bombardment will have exactly the opposite effect.

Will this succeed? Truly, I donít know. An uncertain outcome is in the nature of things that have never been tried. However, five thousand years of history teach us that a violent response will fail.

Itís time to try something new.


from close to the WTC
Name: Peggy Holl
Date: //2001-09-17 13:06:24 :
Link to this Comment: 182

Message sent Sept. 17 from my brother, a structural engineer, whose office is 5 blocks from the World Trade Center. "Things are just beginning to return to normal. The offices in the financial district are open again. There is still a lot of smoke coming from the site and the smell of the fire is in the air. From our office, which is about five blocks away, and overlooking the site, it is not possible to see the site, because of the smoke. The streets are covered with a thick layer of dust and ash. Police and National Guard troops are all over, and I had to show an ID three times to walk about five blocks from the subway to the office."


Gandhi Quotation
Name: Earl W. Re
Date: //2001-09-17 13:23:07 :
Link to this Comment: 183

I do not have the appropriate citation for the following quotation because it was sent to me as is, but I feel that it is important enough to share in this context:

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall --Think of it, ALWAYS."
--Mahatma Ghandi


My Uncle's E-mail: Deep Healing
Name: a Mawrtyr
Date: //2001-09-17 14:39:18 :
Link to this Comment: 184

"This morning I attended services at the Unitarian congregation to which I
belong. The sermon given by our minister, Ricky Hoyt, touched me deeply
and I asked him for permission to share it with my friends and collegues.
At a time when many voices will be raised, some of them uttering appalling
messages of hate, like that religious terrorist Jerry Falwell, Ricky's
message seems important to share. If you find this at all compelling,
please pass it along."

thanks,
(my uncle's name)

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Deep Healing
©2001 By Rev. Ricky Hoyt

"When I worked as a chaplain in the UCLA Medical Center I learned something
about how doctors treat serious wounds. The most effective treatment is to
leave the wound open and force the body to heal from the inside out. Faced
with a serious wound, the doctors stuff the wound full of gauze and cotton,
keeping the two sides at the surface far apart. The skin isn't permitted to
prematurely begin the process of what it naturally wants to do: scab over,
close the hole, leave a scar. The doctors don't stitch up the skin and hope
for the best underneath. Instead, though it sounds counter-productive,
what the doctors do is to hold the wound open. Only deep down, at the very
lowest level, are the two sides permitted to start healing. There, at the
deepest level of the wound, where the two sides meet, where the two sides
were never separated to begin with, is where the healing begins.

"The body wants to react quickly. The job of the doctors is to force it to
wait. Quickly closing the wound, stitching it up, or stretching a band-aid
across open skin, affects only a very superficial healing. The skin heals
over rapidly, but underneath, grave damage is done, and is left unattended.
Beneath the surface the wound comes together at wrong angles. Fluid
continues to leak out broken vessels and trapped inside by the healed over
skin, pools up and swells the area. Dead cells and disease have no means to
be cleansed from the body and so remain in the wound. Infection begins and
protected by the healed over surface breeds and grows strong. The
consequences of healing too soon can be very dangerous indeed.

"As difficult as it is, slow healing from the inside out is in the long run
safer, more effective, and more complete. Little by little it has to heal,
from the bottom up. True healing begins with the tiniest healing, at the
deepest level.

"Meanwhile, at the skin level, it's an ugly process. On the surface the
wound shows no sign of healing at all. The patient is heavily bandaged. The
wound is held open and oozing. The bandages need to be changed often. But
deep inside, where it really counts, cell by cell, the doctors know and the
patient must believe, the damage is being repaired.

"We suffered a serious wound on Tuesday. The nation and the world, both
Americans and all people have been cut, and cut deeply. Healing this wound
will take wise counsel, thoughtful consideration, and compassionate care.
This is the kind of wound that to be effectively healed requires deep
healing. This is the kind of wound that requires our patience as it heals slowly, our discomfort as we wait, our firm resolve to bravely bear up with
the ugliness that must remain for a time on the surface as slowly,
imperceptibly, healing takes place underneath.

"We must resist the forces outside us and within that would ask us to heal
too quickly. We feel shattered and want to be made whole, instantly. We
feel unsettled and want to be reassured, now. We're in the dark and
frightened and want a light immediately switched on. We're angry and want
quick revenge. We've been hit and our fists rise instinctively to hit back.
But we must believe that any strategy toward healing that we could effect
immediately would only create a superficial healing that would eventually
lead to more danger and pain.

"There is no quick healing of a wound like this. Promises of quick solutions
should be met with suspicion. Solutions that sound easy or immediate are
like bringing the two sides of the torn skin together leaving us with a
wound that is healed over, but not healed under. The festering wound we
would bury underneath would not stay buried long. The damage we conceal by
surface healing, the infection we thus allow to flourish, will erupt again,
causing even more damage.

"It's natural to want our world to be put back to normal. We want for what
happened not to have happened. We want our former smooth skin before the
wound appeared to close up smoothly again. And whatever the situation might
be under the surface, at least it will be as invisible as it was before.

"We can deal, if we must, with a skyline of Manhattan that doesn't include
the twin towers, though we will look at that view for the rest of our lives
feeling strange and sad. But we cannot long deal with a world in which we
are frightened. We cannot feel unsafe. We cannot remain terrified,
uncertain, questioning. We want our heartache bundled up in a tidy memorial
in lower Manhattan, a heartache we can visit the next time we're in New
York and then leave again. We cannot bear for long this heartache spreading
over the nation, spreading over our lives. Thus we long for the quick healing we should resist. We want a soothing answer from our clergy, or a confident answer from our President. We want to hear the comforting news that at least no one we know personally has been killed. We want to write a check, light a candle, cry out our tears and take a deep breath. And then we want our lives back. We want our baseball games, and our Broadway shows. We want our cheap gas, our overflowing supermarkets, our regular airplane flights that always frightened us a little anyway. We want to watch our movies and television shows with the shots of the former skyline of New York sensitively edited out. We don't want to understand the terrorists we want to destroy them and forget them. If there has to be war, then so be it: war the way we're used to it: something other people suffer with, in other parts of the world.

"Tuesday morning, Peleg and I were woken by a ringing phone. The phone is on Peleg's side of the bed. He answered and began to speak with the caller in excited Hebrew. I tried to sleep. He turned on the TV and relayed to me the news. What he said made no sense. A plane hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center? How could a pilot be forced to fly a plane into a building? But there were the pictures of the skyscrapers in flames. I couldn't believe what I saw. Then they played a videotape of the second plane crashing into the tower in a burst of orange flame. I couldn't watch. Then there was news that the Pentagon, too, had been struck, and then news that a fourth plane had crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Then the south tower collapsed on live television. And then the North.

"As the tragedy escalated from horrendous to catastrophic, I felt myself
move from shock, to despair, to denial. This was not the world I lived in.
Something had irreversibly changed over night. Something had been
irretrievably lost between Monday night and Tuesday morning. I wanted to
turn off the television and pull the covers over my head. But reality
continued to intrude. This is possible. The phone continued to ring. This
is happening. The dogs jumped onto the bed unaware the world had changed,
unaware that they were comforting us. This horror in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania is the reality of the only world I have the
choice to live in. I became more and more despondent. I felt empty inside.
I felt unable to get out of bed and start with a day in a world where this
had happened.

"I can't today preach against our desire to go back to bed and pull the
covers up. That's what I want to do myself. I understand reluctance to
engage with people for whom this kind of evil is possible. I understand
this desire to wish the evil away, or to wish the evil contained and dealt
with swiftly and effectively. I don't preach against anger, I am angry. I
don't preach against a desire for action. I want action. I want the
offenders to be punished. I want to be safe again. I want to be assured
that this will never happen again. I share this desire that it just hadn't
happened, or that we can quickly forget it had happened except in some
carefully controlled memorial services and distant military strikes.

"What I do preach against is letting our desire for quick solutions lead us into thinking that quick solutions are possible. I preach against letting
my anger and my need for action lead me into angry actions that smooth over
the skin without addressing the still gaping wound beneath. There are some
things we must do immediately. We need to quickly rescue those who can be
rescued and care for those injured. We need to secure our airports and
reopen our financial markets. We need to quickly identify those who
participated in these criminal acts and bring them to justice, including
protecting ourselves against their future acts.

"But once these superficial acts have been completed we must not pretend
that the wound has healed. We mustn't confuse the quick actions we can and
must do with the long, sustained actions that lead to deep healing. We
don't want just a world in which Tuesday never happened, or appears to have
never happened. We want a world in which Tuesdays in the future won't
happen.

"Deep healing requires that we be willing to live with pain. ...

"I preach against letting my anger and my need for action lead me into angry actions that smooth over the skin without addressing the still gaping wound beneath. There are some things we must do immediately. We need to quickly rescue those who can be rescued and care for those injured. We need to secure our airports and reopen our financial markets. We need to quickly identify those who participated in these criminal acts and bring them to justice, including protecting ourselves against their future acts.

"But once these superficial acts have been completed we must not pretend
that the wound has healed. We mustn't confuse the quick actions we can and
must do with the long, sustained actions that lead to deep healing. We
don't want just a world in which Tuesday never happened, or appears to have
never happened. We want a world in which Tuesdays in the future won't
happen.

"Deep healing requires that we stay frightened a little while. Deep healing requires that we give up our comfort, that we force the wound open, that we not crave the world the way it was, and deny the world the way it is. Deep healing means identifying that point far below the surface of the skin where the wound begins, and working there in the dark and the blood, not healing over the top, hiding the disease below.

"Repairing Tuesday's damage, comforting Tuesday's bereaved, punishing
Tuesday's terrorists isn't enough. Deep healing requires more. Healing that
wound requires a willingness to examine the deep-rooted cause of that
wound. That wound goes deeper than two 110-story buildings brought to the
ground. That wound goes even deeper than 5,000 people dead or missing. That
wound goes deeper even than a nation in shock and mourning, or an entire
world united in horror and outrage by the actions of a few.

"We must be willing to heal as deep as the wound. This wound is deeper than
the Mid-east, and Afghanistan and a 21st first century terrorist network. This wound has roots that stretch back centuries to an Islamic culture of
unparalleled arts and sciences and philosophy dismissed and destroyed. In
the depths of this wound we'll find painful memories of Western crusades
and colonialism. We'll find land stolen and redistributed. We'll find a
religion perversely torn from it's own principles of peace and tolerance
and made to justify hate and violence. We'll find poor, disempowered people
made suddenly wealthy by the luck of oil. We'll find a people so
continuously oppressed that they assert power the only way they can, men
against women, Muslim against Jew, military dictator against his own
people, terrorist against the world.

"These are not simple hurts and petty pains. However misdirected or
unreasonable, this suffering and anger must be taken seriously, listened
to, and addressed. We must be willing to find the deep place where the two
sides of the wound come together, the place where the narrowest split
begins and start healing there. The depth of the wound is ugly and
painful. Deep healing will mean getting smeared with the blood of centuries. It won't go away by smoothing over the surface.

"We live in a world in which evil is possible. It's been with us and around
us long before Tuesday. What Tuesday's instance of evil confronts us with
is how truly horrible this world can be, the depths of pain and suffering
human beings are willing to deliberately inflict on each other, and how far
away we are from the world of peace, love, and justice, we long for.

"Evil is possible in this world because we are not governed by a loving
supernatural power. Would that Tuesday's example would put to rest the
illogical belief in a God of complete power and love. No God I could
believe in, capable of preventing Tuesday's horror would have allowed it to
happen. The God I do believe in loves us completely, holds out ideals of
the best our lives could be, urges us to make good decisions, and suffers
with us when we make bad decisions.

"Evil is possible in this world because human beings are free to choose
evil. We are capable of guiding our own lives, making our own choices,
creating our own futures a moment at a time. If a person is determined to
choose evil, there is no force capable of preventing their actions or
forcing them to chose another way. Each of the hijackers throughout the
flight and in the months and apparently years leading to Tuesday passed
innumerable opportunities to choose not to do what they eventually did.
That they freely chose this action over other, better, possibilities makes
their actions evil, and we must live with the knowledge that evil choices
remain available to others.

"Thus while we can hope that the future will be better, there are no
guarantees. It is possible that even greater horror than that we saw on
Tuesday will come to be. We hope it will not. We can choose for ourselves
not to choose evil but to contribute our choices toward the best future
possible. We can work to lessen the number of tragic futures possible by
securing our airports and imprisoning those who plot further harm. Most
importantly we can work to mitigate the influences in our world that encourage people to choose evil. We can strive to understand the pain
people face that lead them to think terrorist actions are a solution.

"The world we woke up to Tuesday morning is finally no different than the
world we went to sleep in Monday night. This is a world of human choices
where great evil is possible. And it was and still is, a world where great
joy is possible. If we steadfastly commit ourselves to the work of deep
healing, knowing that it will be painful, frightening, long and difficult,
we may yet create the world of peace, love and justice we long for. The
world awaits our deep healing. May we be equal to the task. The world
awaits our good choices. May we choose wisely for the world we create is
our own."

Deep Healing
©2001 By Rev. Ricky Hoyt


interesting link
Name:
Date: //2001-09-17 17:02:24 :
Link to this Comment: 185

dear bmc,
so sorry. the world over here is in mourning.
a link to check out.
miss you all. jenny. '00

http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/j/a/jab63/islam.facts.german.html



Name:
Date: //2001-09-17 17:04:46 :
Link to this Comment: 186

Facts about Islam
1. Islam is a world religion which has approximately 1.2 billion followers. That means that one in every five people on the planet is a Muslim. In short, Islam is not a minority phenomenon.

2. The word Islam is best translated into English as 'commitment'. Followers of Islam, called Muslims, commit their lives to peace, harmony, truthfulness, good works, charity, neighborliness, almsgiving, acceptance of religious pluralism, and diversity.

3. The religion of Islam does not support, preach, or advocate violence, discrimination, or terrorism in any way, shape, or form.

4. Extremist groups who claim to follow Islam are no more representative of Islam than David Koresh is of Christianity.

5. The religion rests on five pillars. These are:
a. Declaration: Since Islam is a monotheistic religion, i.e. Muslims believe in only one God, each Muslim declares that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his final prophet. Islam recognizes the prophethood of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah, etc.

b. Prayer: Muslims perform ritual prayer five times per day.

c. Fasting: During the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar, Ramadan, Muslims who are old enough and healthy enough fast for 29 or 30 days from sun-up to sun-down.

d. Giving to the Poor: It is incumbent upon every Muslim to donate a certain portion of his or her earnings to the less fortunate.

e. Pilgrimage: Each Muslim should make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime if he or she has the means to do so.

6. Contrary to popular belief in the West, jihad is not one of the five pillars of Islam.

7. In the West, the concept of jihad has been improperly translated as 'holy war.' Instead, jihad means 'struggle' and refers, in particular, to the personal struggle that every Muslim engages in to live a peaceful and good life.

8. One of the basic precepts of Islam is the equality of all people regardless of race, ability, or gender.

9. Muslims believe that there is no compulsion in religion and that individuals are free to choose their own religion and beliefs.

10. The Qu'ran (a.k.a. Koran) accepts religious pluralism as a fact of life and sees strength in diversity.

11. Centuries before the women's movement in the West, Islam granted women the right to own property, to be educated, the right to inherit. In the West, in many instances, women did not receive these rights until centuries later.

Muslims and Arabs

1. 'Arab' and 'Muslim' are not synonymous.
A Muslim is a person who follows the precepts of Islam.
'Arab,' on the other hand, is an ethnicity; it refers to a person from the Arabian peninsula.

2. Of the 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, only 15% are Arabs.

3. Many Arabs are not Muslims. There are large Christian populations in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, to name only a few.

4. Muslims are of every ethnicity on earth from sub-Saharan Africans to Europeans in Germany, Bosnia, and France; from African-Americans in Oakland, California, to Portuguese-speaking Brazilians. There are more than 50 million Muslims in China; more than 150 million in Indonesia.

5. It is estimated that there are more than 8 million Muslims in the United States. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States. On November 13, 2001, the United States Postal Service will recognize the growing presence of Islam in the US mainstream by issuing the first U.S. stamp bearing Arabic writing and wishing "Eid Mubarak" or "Happy Feast", and referring to the three-day religious holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

6. Arabic is a language spoken throughout the world. Not every speaker of Arabic is an Arab, just like not every speaker of English is an Englishman.


a forward all should read
Name: Miriam Jon
Date: //2001-09-17 18:37:19 :
Link to this Comment: 189

The following is a letter sent to a friend from a
>friend named Tamim Ansary,
>who is an Afghani-American writer. Tamim has asked
>that the letter be read
>by many and forwarded to many more. I am struck, in
>the past week, how email
>has emerged as a sort of alternative media for those
>of us desperate for
>perspective beyond that which the mainstream media is
>offering. Thank you to
>all those (around the world) who have participated in
>this on-going sharing
>of idea and heart via the WWW.
>
>Bridgit Antoinette Evans
>The Kazbah Project


Dear Friends,
>
>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
>
>


Where We Go From Here
Name:
Date: //2001-09-17 19:23:44 :
Link to this Comment: 190

Those interested in thinking seriously about the next steps the U.S. should take, might take a look at the Hart-Rudman report on National Security. You can find it at: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/data/reports/data/reFeb01/

In the meantime, the sponsor of this web-site--if he really wants to be inclusive, as distinguished from pretenting to be so--would be well-advised not to use epithets like "jingoistic" to characterize points of view with which he does not agree.

Ashley Doherty '71



Name: Juliana
Date: //2001-09-17 22:02:47 :
Link to this Comment: 193

The entertainment industry has had to act quickly to avoid distributing material that would seem tasteless following Tuesday’s events. TV networks have canceled broadcasts of movies that depict terrorist activities, and the release dates of some new movies have been suspended for the same reason. There is even a CD that cannot be released because its cover shows the WTC exploding. I believe that we should not have to scramble like this to make our culture appear to value peace and human life. Life is always real and fragile, and in truth we can never afford the luxury of taking violence lightly. I do not mean to suggest that violent movies and CDs played any role in causing Tuesday’s events. But the fact that we had so many of them shows how angry our popular culture is and to what an extent it appears to take life for granted. I hope that after this horrific event we will all make a greater effort to demonstrate our regard for peace and human life, even in times when real violence seems far away.


inspiration to be heroes of peace
Name: Maureen O'
Date: //2001-09-17 23:01:59 :
Link to this Comment: 196

September 16, 2001


Sisters and brothers:

On December 7, 1941 the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor transformed our parents into "the greatest generation." On September 11, 2001, the terrorist attack on America called their children to be a greater geeration still. We could not prevent this tragedy We can choose our response to it

On Tuesday not only Americans but all lovers of peace and freedom entered into an unprecedented struggle, not for the sovereignty of a nation or an alliance, but for peace, freedom, and the sacredness of human life. The aim is not victory, but peace. The combatants are not armies of opposing nations, but the forces of peace, justice, and love defeating evil, violence, and fear. The disputed territory is not miles of bloodsoaked ground, but the hearts and souls of humanity and the structures of society.

Terrorism will not be defeated, nor peace established, by those in military service alone, but by all those who enter wholeheartedly into a combat of spirit more intense than we can imagine today. Let us join the army of warriors for peace, accomplishing peace by peaceful means.

The challenge to us as a people:

"Finally, let us summon one more time the better angels of our nature. Let us mourn united as a people. Let us comfort the injured and grieving in every way that mercy and ingenuity can devise. Let us give our money, our sweat, our blood, whatever the moment requires. Let us forget regional rivalry and work as one nation to rebuild the great city at the mouth of the Hudson. Let us undo the vast economic and civic damage from these crimes with our eyes fixed not on individual gain but on the common good.

Let us show the world how a free, brave, and united nation behaves in the face of calamity and of evil." (The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 12).

While we enter into solidarity with suffering humanity, each of us is challenged to conduct his or her individual life as though the conquest of terrorism and the triumph of peace and freedom depended solely on the power, energy, and commitment we bring to each moment of that life. The passengers, firefighters, and healers responded heroically. Shall we do less?

Only a few are heroes of war; we can all be heroes of peace. Let's make our everyday lives a training ground for the heroism demanded by the challenge of peace. Let's accept the disruption of our own lives and psyches as our privileged share in the suffering of the victims and their families, and let's seek to heal ourselves and one another as patiently and bravely as the firefighters work among the rubble. Let's be united with those from whom we're alienated. Let's express our love for our friends and family, especially those we have neglected.

Our lives did not matter to the terrorists. May they matter all the more to us. Let's face our personal challenges and fears with a courage worthy of our heroes. In the smallest aspects of our lives, let's exercise our freedom. Let's attack the challenges of our relationships, our contributions to the world, our health and fitness with the same energy we bring to the rescue operation. Let's strengthen our families, communities, schools, neighborhoods and religious congregations as generously as the firefighters plunged into the buildings. Where we are trapped, let's give free play to our liberation. What we have been postponing, let's do: giving it all, all the way, all the time.

Of the British in World War II, Winston Churchill, their half-American prime minister, said: "The nation had the lion's heart. I had the luck to give the roar." Let us not look to our leaders for inspiration, but be an inspiration to them. We have been a nation with heroes. Now let us be a nation of heroes.

The terrorists destroyed the bodies of thousands, but not their spirits. Let each of us vow to live from now on not only for ourselves, but for all those who have died. Let us demonstrate that, if they did not survive, they still live. They will be our invisible partners as we seek not only to rebuild our country but also to establish forever the peaceful world they did not live to see. God began a good work in them; let God complete it in us.

Evil killed these innocents; now they are free from death forever. We still have our earthly lives; let us live them to the full. The souls of the just are in the hand of God; no terror can touch them. In the face of our fear, let us be courageous. Our beloved dead have passed from time to eternity. We have still--and have only--the present moment to honor them. Let us spend it completely

The encounter with massive terrorism on American soil opens for us the possibility of a new future: a world at peace, in which every country is as safe as we once believed the United States was. As we are transformed by our encounter with that future, let us unfold from it lives worthy of the people to whom it has spoken: worthy of the innocent and beloved dead who opened it for us, and worthy of the heroes they call us to be.


As the numbness wanes ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2001-09-18 12:45:40 :
Link to this Comment: 205

The numbness created by the horror and shock of the events of last Tuesday has begun to subside for me, leaving an intense need to think about what those events mean, about how the world has changed, and about how to respond to those changes. I hope very much that we can, both as Americans and as human beings, continue to think together, with more and more of us involved as more and more of us become ready to be so. The events of 11 September 2001 have revealed/created real problems to confront, we will need everybodys' unique perspectives and ideas to deal with them, and together I believe we can. As John F. Kennedy said "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings".

In the days since 11 September 2001 it has seemed ever clearer to me that the tragedy of that day was an expression of a deep estrangement of groups of humans from one another, an estrangement so deep and profound that some human beings felt able to kill other human beings, and justified in doing so by their own visions of what is right and good. That this has happened repeatedly in human history is no basis for accepting it now, and certainly not for continuing it. The historical record should, with any thought at all, provide overwhelming incentive to find ways to stop the repeating pattern, and clear evidence that the possible ways that come most quickly to mind simply do not work. Violence begets violence; it cannot but enhance rather than reduce the estrangement from which we all suffer. There is no route to any degree of safety or security for any of us, or our children, or our children's children, until we recognize that estrangement of groups of human beings from one another is itself the core problem that must be solved.

For this reason, what we all need is to continue and intensify the sharing of stories and understandings and ideas. We need to talk to and understand each other ... not to forgive, not even to persuade, but rather to allow to emerge from our different stories and ideas the needed broader human story in which all human beings feel they are involved and in which all play a meaningful and satisfying part. We need together to conceive new kinds of meaning, meaning which makes sense of all of our different experiences and gives all of us a common stake in the future development of humanity. What security there is to find in human life, the assurance that humans will not wreak horrors on one another, can, it seems to me, be found no other way. We are, individually and collectively, responsible for our lives, and we must accept the challenge of finding ways to make them meaningful for all of us. It is a daunting challenge, a journey into unknown territory, but one we must take. Together.


no more death
Name: Grisha Ste
Date: //2001-09-18 18:15:48 :
Link to this Comment: 218

The U.S. cannot respond to this act of terrorism with another. All that
will do is continue the cycle of violence and more innocent people will die. The U.S. has already done too much damage to the world, and it is time to say ENOUGH.

My suggestion:

1. The U.S./world should condemn the recent acts as cowardly, but refuse
to act in kind.

2. The perpetrators should be brought to justice *under international
law*, no matter how long it takes. This means increased intelligence
efforts

3. Instead of continuing in this morbid dance of strike-counterstrike, the
U.S. should contribute to peace. We should figure out an estimate of how
much a war might cost, then send that much money, or a large portion, to
the U.N. for their Humanitarian Affairs department. Or to use at their
discretion in the interest of global peace.

4. Civil liberties should not be curtailed in the attempt to protect us
from every conceivable act of terrorism. Instead, we should stop
terrorism by NOT MAKING PEOPLE MAD -- i.e. by killing people in other
countries out of greed or stupidity or spite. Stop taking sides in Israel,
stop starving children in Iraq, etc.

What do you think, especially about number 3? If you agree, please tell
me so and send the message on! Please let me know if you can think of any
viable way to convince Bush to do this. Please tell me of any other
peaceful alternatives to war (avendesora_@hotmail.com). And please do what you can for peace. Tell your friends, demonstrate in peace rallies, make a sign for your window.

Most of all, start paying attention to what this country is doing/has done in yourname and tell them to stop if you disagree.

Calling this ridiculous act of revenge a WAR is only an attempt to cover up the fact that the U.S. is about to perpetrate an act of terrorism.

Thanks,
Grisha

(former BMC grad student)


understanding
Name: peace
Date: //2001-09-18 18:23:53 :
Link to this Comment: 219

There has been constant talk about this being an attack on freedom by people who hate freedom. I find it hard to believe that a group of people can so hate (or be so jealous of) freedom as to commit this violence. There must be so much more to it than what we are seeing or choose to see. The people behind terrorism are not madmen or psychos. They are individuals who have a deep rooted belief and dedication to their cause, a cause that we have very little understanding of. I therefore propose that an increase in resources be directed towards trying to understand what our country did to anger these people into committing such a massive and premeditative act of hatred.

Ultimately the predominate force blocking peace is a lack of understanding
and a lack of tolerance for difference. Perhaps if more effort was dedicated toward understanding we could come to respect each other's differences and not infringe upon each other's basic beliefs.


estamos unidos
Name: ...sarah..
Date: //2001-09-19 11:59:11 :
Link to this Comment: 223

we speak of loss of innocence...my innocence was lost on a kindergarten bus trip from the suburbs of virginia to the national monuments of dc...staring out the window as tears streamed down my face -- realizing in the midst of such national pride and patriotism we had literally abandoned AMERICANS to the streets...the estrangement than and now which was most devastating to me...was not that of the homeless men, women, children and families lost to the streets -- but the fortunate AMERICANS who walked by them each day secure in their ability to detach from these suffering human beings, AMERICANS who stood before them...


this past summer as i took the subway from my school in the south bronx to various locations in manhattan i was astonished at the transition from a world of color and poverty to the white world of power and privilege...


i in no way mean to belittle the incredible tragedy that befell our nation on september 11, 2001...but if we speak of estrangement how can we not be weary of continuing segregation -- new york city proves the most segregated school system in our nation...if we speak of loss of potential how can we not acknowledge our substandard school systems that force largely children of color and little means into academically inadequate programs that chain generations of families to a continuing cycle of poverty...and if we speak of justice and freedom -- how can we not acknowledge the overwhelmingly disproportionate number of black and latino AMERICANS who have been imprisoned and sentenced to death in our nation...


the generosity and spirit of volunteerism that has enveloped new york and our nation is this past week has been uplifting...but let us not wait for another incident of such phenomenal devastation for AMERICANS to unite against suffering and injustice...rather, let us remember ALL AMERICANS in our vision of justice and freedom...


in hope that future battles fought by and within our nation may be those in pursuit of just laws and unrelenting peace...



peace
and love,

sarah


one small moment
Name: Mark Lord
Date: //2001-09-19 13:00:01 :
Link to this Comment: 229

I went into the mini-mart this morning and while I was waiting in line it slipped out in a conversation ahead of me that one of the men being served at the counter had been on the 81st floor of the North Tower of the WTC on September 11.

The cashier, whose name was Ali, refused to accept payment from this man. He called the entire store's attention to the fact that we were in the presence of a survivor. He called over his boss, who is a Muslim and introduced them. The Muslim boss and the surivor shook hands, misty-eyed. Ali, the cashier, payed for the man's newspaper and coffee from his own pocket. "It is my pleasure to know you, man." The boss nodded. The rest of us echoed.

In that moment, among the fifteen or so of us, there was no thought of retribution, paybacks, dead-or-alive "wanted" crusades. Not even a hankering for details of his escape or for stories of "ground zero." Only a warmth and a glimmer of hope. Perhaps even (and perhaps, even, dangerously) the return of an innocence lost.

It was one small moment in a week that has returned our attentions, again and again, to the worst that humans are capable of. I'd like to believe that this moment exemplifies a response that is both widespread and different in kind than the ones we are hearing from the talking heads we keep in the boxes in our living rooms.


A New World not imagined?
Name: Helen Rehl
Date: //2001-09-19 14:53:37 :
Link to this Comment: 230

Thoughts:
. . . onwards into a different century -- where the enemy is not an
identifiable, extrinsic army, where the "good guys"are identifiable, where
one an claim rightness of action, honor, forthrightness, sincerity, but rather an insidious, intrinsic, unnamable force, like a Gollum who slithers his way through the Tolkien sagas. We may have met the enemy, as Roosevelt said, and "he" may be us.
-Helen Rehl



Name: Susan Whit
Date: //2001-09-19 15:15:51 :
Link to this Comment: 233

My thoughts about the chain of events that started on Sept. 11 continue to evolve. Initially there was fear (what next?) and sorrow (for the victims, their families, and for all those against whom wrongful retribution of various sorts will be taken). And these emotions are revisited with each international phone call. The one from France was particularly moving. A Muslim officemate initially cried at the horrible news from New York, but her sympathies turned to anger when she was in turn taunted.

I was grateful that the first speeches and thoughts I heard were at the Campus-wide meeting that Tuesday afternoon and not the mostly informationless TV commentary. I thank Rick McCauley for reminding us to step out of ourselves and look at the US from other points of view and to the students for providing an all too human point of view.

Amid the calls for retaliation and political unanimity, there are finally the murmurings of other possibilities. That we contact our President (president@whitehouse.gov) and our congresspeople. That a hasty military response is not necessary. That we use our diplomats to listen and report back and not merely to convey the plans of the administration. That we can't expect nations to cooperate if we back them into a corner and embarrass them. That any US verbal and military attacks be directed not against a religion, but against the guilty individuals. As I see American flags sprouting up all over, I hope they are an indication that discussions from all points of view are welcome and our government will be listening.


estrangement in our world
Name: Ann
Date: //2001-09-19 22:25:15 :
Link to this Comment: 238

If the root cause of hatred is estrangement from one another, then the solution might be found in not mere tolerance of difference/"otherness", but true acceptance. I look into my self and ask, "who do I think of as 'other' to me? who do I objectify? who do I write off as "them?"


reacting to the words of President Bush
Name: melissa
Date: //2001-09-21 14:06:02 :
Link to this Comment: 248

When the first world trade center tower was hit, many people thought that the plane had just gone horribly off it's course, but when the second was hit, the nation stopped what they were doing to realize this was no accident but an attack. during the course of the day, my emotions ran from one side of the spectrum to the other; and though I will never forget where I was and what I was doing when I found out what was happening, there is another image that will never leave my memory: President Bush's first words to the nation. Whether I identify with his political party or not is really irrelevant, the fact remains that he is our President and whether we like it or not, we have to live with the decisions he makes for our country. As he spoke to the nation, painting images of savage retribution that would befall our attackers, I lost all hope.
I believe that it is imperative to fully assess the weight and repercussions our actions aimed at retaliation will have on this world, our economy, and our species. That said, when I watched the President's address to the nation last night, I felt a little of my hope restored. He has matured a lot in the past week, and though his words were shrouded by ambiguity of when and to what scale any retalliation effort will take place, I hope that his call to approach the aftermath with a more diplomatic air will prevent the third world war for which everyone seems to be preparing.


from Guatemala
Name: Katie Gord
Date: //2001-09-21 14:50:16 :
Link to this Comment: 249

A few days before the attacks, I arrived in Guatemala to begin a six month volunteer position working with people who were internally displaced by the US-supported civil conflict in Guatemala. These people , after a massacre supported by state security forces, were forced to abandon their lands, where their ancestors, fathers and mothers had always lived. They lived in the hills and jungle for ten years, knowing that if they were found, they would be labeled ´terrorists and subversives.´ Children were also counted as terrorists and subversives. 160,000 people, the vast majority civilians, women, children were killed in this conflict. 40,000 were disappeared. According to the UN sponsored human rights report state forces were responsible for 93 percent of the violations.

Bush´s statement last night that all nations in the world either have to side with the United States, or side with the terrorists really scared me. During the worst of the conflict in Guatemala, the army basically said: ¨Either you join with the army and help us kill the terrorists (campesinos, trade unionists, teachers, students, church workers, health care workers, babies, mothers, children, grandparents, and a very few guerrillas), or you flee to the mountains, where we´ll kill you.¨ Basically, everyone who may have helped anyone perceived to be on the left was the target of the Guatemalan state. I´m hearing echos of this repression of a nation in the rhetoric of Bush.

I´m not sure what my point is exactly, only that I´ve been struck that killing Afgani civilans in now way is an appropriate response for killing US citizens. I keep thinking of all the Guatemalans I know for whom the murder of innocent civilians is nothing new. As a US citizen, I believe US lives are invaluable. I also think that Afgani lives and Guatemalan lives are invaluable.

from Coban, ALta Verapaz, Guatemala
Katie Gordon ´01


World War III
Name: Miss Amy
Date: //2001-09-21 17:38:27 :
Link to this Comment: 251

I'm afraid it is upon us. God grant that it won't be nuclear, but I would make two large bets about the upcoming World War III: it will happen, and it will not work.

What is so utterly terrifying about the terrorists is their complete disregard for human life: not just ours, but their own, and the lives of Muslims everywhere, to say nothing of the lives of their innocent countrymen that they must have known would be threatened by American reprisals. They had an inhuman, almost divine disdain for humanity. Nor did they care about the damage they would do to the causes they espoused, although surely that would have occurred to them; they could not have been stupid. Nothing on earth matters to such men as that; in a manner of speaking, "they have no kingdom in this world."

Can there, then, be diplomacy? Can there be reason? Can there be a parley with holy warriors? The answer, I say, is yes, there had better be, unless we want this hatred carried through generations more. Terrorists will have to die; that is beyond dispute. They welcome death, and that makes them more dangerous than any weapon on earth. But innocent people have to live, and this is more than a humane consideration. A poor, ravaged people with nothing but hatred to feed on -- that is what breeds terrorism.

There will have to be armed conflict, and it's just as well for me that I feel that way, because there is going to be one. Who in the entirety of Washington could stop it? Rep. Barbara Lee? I don't believe so. I can only hope that it will be the right one, that it strikes the well-hidden, well-fed strongmen and their training camps, instead of their starving subjects. I am, however, not all that optimistic. The situation will probably be Guatemalan in the end.

Whew. I don't usually give speeches. Thank you and God bless America. Sorry to disagree, Katie, but it's good to see you on the board.

Amy O'N. '01.


Bring Terrorists to Justice via the U.N. World Cou
Name: Victor J.
Date: //2001-09-22 16:08:42 :
Link to this Comment: 255

Kofi Annan's opinion piece (New York Times, 9-21-01) makes the point that as citizens from sixty countries were killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, and as international terrorism, if left unchecked, threatens the peace and security of countries all over the world, these attacks should be viewed as crimes, not just against the United States, but against all of humanity. The logical implication is that the United Nations International Court of Justice (the World Court) at the Hague should take responsibility for indicting, bringing to trail and punishing those responsible, as it is successfully doing now with Slobodan Milosevic. If the use of an armed police force is necessary to execute the arrest warrants, it would be a UN force, authorized by the nations of the world and supported by the moral authority of the international community.

If you find this idea a hopefully alternative to imminent military action by the United States, please consider signing the petition " Bring Terrorists to Justice via the U.N. World Court " at the web site: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/250808722 and forwarding this email to your friends and organizations interested in this issue.

To read more about the potential benefits of such an international response to terrorism, including an article analyzing the issue from the perspective of the discipline of Chaotic Dynamical Systems, go to http://www.brynmawr.edu/math/251/peace.html.

Victor J. Donnay
Mathematics Department
Bryn Mawr College


The hijacking that really occurred
Name: Rachel Hec
Date: //2001-09-23 17:04:56 :
Link to this Comment: 261

I have been really moved by the comments I have read here, and the efforts of young (and not-so-young) people to come to terms with what has happened. A great deal of what has been said is true - we need to reconnect, to start acting as a "human race" and work on relieving suffering and inequities everywhere.

However, what happened on Sept. 11 has little relationship to our aspirations to do what is right. The terrorist groups who hijacked those planes did not just hijack aircraft - they hijacked the suffering and grievances of many of their own people to justify an act which has brought disgrace to their own religion and grave danger to their own peoples. How could this happen?

As a psychologist I have been interested in "mind control" and "cults" since the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979 (in which 900 people took their own lives or forced others to at the behest of a deranged cult leader) and have had several personal encounters with other groups over the years. Consider the Aum Shinrikyu - a Japanese cult with alleged Buddhist roots - which in recent years released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway with the intention of killing as many innocent people as possible, after trying and failing several previous times to commit mass murder in the name of religion and "saving the world." Bin Laden's group operates like many "cults" in terms of recruiting, isolating new members, and so on in a list that duplicates in chilling detail accounts of cult life which have been published for years. I have checked out an number of web sites of people I know to be reliable and knowledgeable on cult issues, and find that they also consider this to be what is happening.

Yes, it's true that a lot of people in the world aren't happy with the United States. We need to do a lot of re-evaluating. But we don't need to believe that so many people hate us to the extent that they could all commit a massacre like the World Trade Center. That was the work of a group led by a man so dangerous that he had take refuge in a country whose government was recognized as legal by only three other countries in the world. The fact that so many Muslim governments are cooperating with US efforts points out that they feel just as vulnerable as we do. After all, Bin Laden also wants to take down every secular Muslim government - meaning for example Egypt, Indonesia, etc. Terrorism is a fact of life for people all over the world and has been for decades. This is just the first time it happened here, and was done so effectively.

Nobody wants a war, but there must be no more World Trade Center type attacks - not here, not in Europe, not in any Muslim country - and I believe that there will not be a conventional war. There will most likely be conflict and people killed in Afghanistan, but those will probably be soldiers - ours and the Talibin/bin Laden forces - and not civilians. Remember that the Taliban took over Afghanistan by military force and have systematically starved and terrorized their own people and reduced women to the level of medieval slavery.

It's important to keep a perspective. Turn off the television and think about what you can do as an individual to help, and by all means if you're old enough register to vote and make your voice heard to your Congressman, Senator, etc. The US is not a dictatorship - you do count. At this point it seems inevitable that there will be some form of military action, but it doesn't have to be another Vietnam. Speak up now about keeping the lid on military actions, and later on about changing foreign policies you don't think are right. Above all, don't give up.

Rachel Heckert, MA
Formerly of Ph.D. Program
Psychology Dept., Brooklyn College


Our phantom limb
Name: Kay Yoon
Date: //2001-09-24 12:16:51 :
Link to this Comment: 271

As someone who until recently worked one block away from the World Trade Center, I was, like everyone else, horrified at the loss of life and livelihood in New York and Washington. Last spring as well as this year, I commuted from my home in New Jersey to the World Trade Center, taking the PATH to and from work. I remember actually thinking as I walked through the basement-level WTC mall, "This place will always be here. In 30 years the Victoria's Secret, the Au Bon Pain, the Twin Towers tourists and the hustle-and-bustle will still greet people like me who are getting off the escalator here." I was blatantly and painfully mistaken. New York as well as the US lost a part of its body.

These attacks made many Americans, particularly those who have been naive or ignorant of world events, realize that there are people in this world who do NOT love the United States, who hold so much hatred against this country that they believe the only effective way of communicating to us is through violence and murder. Not everyone thinks the US is the great leader of the free world. The issue here is not whether we will recover -- it has been obvious that we will -- but HOW we will recover, how we as a nation and people can prevent something like this from happening again. Before we decide to shoot missiles, pull triggers, and point fingers, we need to put the mirror in front of ourselves and ask, "Who are we helping when we do this?" Or more importantly, "Who else are we hurting?"

Personally I am against war, as it often brings out the worst in all of us. We have our rationale and our reasons, but we are uncertain about the methods, the enemy, the scale of the operations, and least of all how long it will take. As people around the world have learned, it takes a destructive and divisive act to both pull people together and to tear them apart.

A poem by Julia Esquivel that a friend sent to me sums it up well:

"The Sigh"
When it is necessary to drink so much pain,
When a river of anguish
drowns us
when we have wept many tears
and they flow like rivers
from our sad eyes,
only then
does the deep hidden sigh of our neighbor
become our own.
-from "Certainty of Spring"


Kay Yoon, BMC '01


an idea for discussion
Name: Paul Ehrli
Date: //2001-09-30 10:38:36 :
Link to this Comment: 337

Dear Friends,

Several of us have been discussing a way to counter the intention of the
terrorists and also help to make a small symbolic start at solving the
structural problems that have led to the current situation. Since we have
moved a major aerial force into a position to bomb Afghanistan, we think
the United States should use its airpower. We envision a huge flight of
B-52s over that nation, opening their bomb-bay doors, and salvoing --
parachutes carrying containers of food. It could be followed up by
fighter-bombers dropping some of our pre-packaged medical facilities, and
leaflets volunteering to supply physicians on loan to operate them.

This would have certain advantages in addition to helping the poor Afghans,
facing severe food/medicine shortages and suffering under Taliban
repression. An obvious one from our viewpoint is that food is cheaper than
bombs. Yes, the Taliban might try to maintain control over what is
dropped, but if it were widely enough dispersed the people would know where
it was coming from, as would the world. There undoubtedly would be
logistic problems to solve, but we surely have a military in a position to
solve them.

This is not to say we should not continue to try to identify, defund, and
destroy terrorist networks, and punish the perpetrators of the recent
atrocities. But some move like this might make clear that the United
States will not indisciminately destroy innocent people to get revenge on
the guilty. At it might give us a good start on the sort of "Marshall Plan
to the World" that we and others think needs to be pursued over the long
term to help close the widening gap between haves and have-nots, clearly
one of the roots of recent terrorism. It might also help counter the idea
that the West wishes to wage war on Islam. And it surely would be a result
anathema to those who perpetrated the acts of Sept. 11 -- a stinging defeat
for them.

This may not be a good idea; and our government may consider it too
dangerous for domestic consumption in a nation still in shock from the
horrors of New York and Washington. But if you think it worth considering,
please circulate it to your friends so a widespread discussion can take place.

Thanks for listening.

Best regards,

Paul


A Poem
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2001-09-30 11:30:33 :
Link to this Comment: 338

By Mary Wilson, Bryn Mawr College staff member:

               Decisions

I
When did you make such a decision,
        to take over the mind of another?
Molding it into shape, as a plow moves the earth?
Twisting it so that both minds think alike.
That mind now has lost control, its thoughts now
       belong to you.
Its opinions mean nothing, never to be heard.
This is where the danger lies.
That mind now belongs to a blind society with
       madness in mind.
A robot to be led, then discarded.
It is such sadness that someone other than you
       shall pay the price.
All because your decision became their decision.

II
A loud sound, the building shook.
"What's happening, what's happening?,"
       as I stood up from my desk.
"Run," someone screamed "run!"
"Where?" I thought. My feet began to move.
Still not knowing had had happened.
I, too, joined the crowd.
Feet, pounding down the falls,
       screams thundering through the air.
Lights out, I could not see,
       smoke so heavy, I could not breathe.
I then stumbled, falling to the floor.
A hand reached down, helping me up.
Pulling, guiding me down the stairs.

Then blackness.

The screaming has stopped. Where is everyone?
Where is the one who helped me as I stumbled along?
Where did we separate? Are they alone too?
"I am here, I am here," I cried to deaf ears.
My body in pain, something's weighing me down.
My thoughts turn to my loved ones,
       thinking are they safe?
Why am I here, to be buried alive in a tomb of rubble?
Never shall I know when the decision was made.

III
One is never alone, as long as there is a reaching hand.

Mary Wilson, September 2001


wishes/thoughts/stories/needs for change
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2001-09-30 21:58:34 :
Link to this Comment: 341

A wish ...

May the tragedy of those who died on September 11, and of those whose lives were irremediably altered by what happened then, achieve meaning through an increased willingness of all of us to work toward a future in which every human feels they are a valuable participant in the ongoing writing and rewriting of the human story.

And some thoughts related to it ...

Since 11 September 2001, I've been thinking a lot about ... stories, and "tribes", and individuals ... and about "right" and "wrong" ... and about where we are as individuals and tribes and human beings and where we should go next. I admit I've always been uncomfortable with "tribes", be they interest-groups or communities or ethnicities or nations. Their stories have always seemed to me an effort to find comfort/security/meaning for those within the tribe at the cost (either deliberate or inadvertent) of comfort/security/meaning for those in other tribes. An additional cost of tribal stories is that they often painfully constrain the stories of individuals within the tribe. I've often thought, in the past, that we'd all be best off giving up tribes, and the identification of individuals with them, and moving instead toward telling a single human story, in which we all participate as individuals.

The wish above reflects this long felt and still held belief that, as individuals and as a human species, we need to abandon tribal warfare, and the associated wrangling about the "rightness" and "wrongness" of different tribal stories. Whatever value it may (or may not) have had in the distant past, the lesson of modern history is that it simply doesn't work. Rather than achieving comfort/security/meaning even for a particular tribe, it reduces comfort/security/meaning for all tribes and individuals.

But ... the events of 11 September and their sequelae (including stories in this forum) have markedly changed my feelings about "tribes" themselves. I've come to feel that it is the warfare between tribes, and not the tribes themselves, that is the problem. Indeed, I've come to feel that, both for individuals and for humanity as a whole, tribes are important. Each of us is working on our own story, our own way of making meaning for ourselves and, through that, of finding what security and comfort is available to each of us. But we need not be alone in that. Each of us finds others who are working on their own stories, and whose stories, while different, are similar enough so that we can valuably work on common stories together. There need be no loss to the evolution of the individual's story by working simultaneously on their own as well as a tribal story, and there is much to gain from the sharing of stories required for the latter. Similarly, there need be no loss and there is much to gain by working simultaneously on tribal stories and on a human story.

Some things do, however, need to be given up to reap the benefits of sharing stories (and to assure the continuation of the human story of which we are all a part). One is the idea that stories are complete or eternal. As individuals, and as tribes, we must learn and genuinely accept that stories are always in progress, that what is important is not being "right" but rather being continuously "less wrong", noticing and correcting what the past shows not to work. We need to learn and genuinely accept that virtue is not in defending old stories but rather in modifying them based on experience.

A second thing we need to give up is the idea that for own story (individual or tribal) to be valuable, all other stories must be "wrong". We need to learn and genuinely accept, again both as individuals and as tribes, that, at any given time, many stories are equally "right" (and equally wrong). Different stories need to be understood not as competing with one another but rather as gifts offered by each story teller to other story tellers, candidate stories made available for all to use in the continual modifying and rewriting of their own. This is no less true of tribal stories than of individual stories. The worth of both should be asserted (and measured) not in terms of their "rightness" but rather of their usefulness, not only to those in the tribe but to others, who evaluate it in the context of their own evolving stories.

The world changed on 11 September 2001, and our stories, including tribal stories, need to change accordingly. There is an enemy to be fought, but that enemy is not particular individuals nor particular tribes, nor the concepts of individuals or tribes. It is instead the deeper unwillingness of both individuals and tribes, of all sorts, to believe in the value of any story but their own. The new story we all need requires a change in all our stories, and a new commitment to allowing our stories to be altered by those of others, all the "others" who share a belief in the importance of the continuing evolution of the human story.


In the days following 11 September, I wrestled with my feelings about the display of the American flag, with my concern that it represented a tribal story at a time when what was needed was a sense of shared humanity. I worry still, as others should in their own cases, about whether my tribe will be able to rewrite its story as the current state of humanity requires. But I've come to better understand as well the relations between individual stories, and tribal stories, and the story of humanity. They are not independent or competing stories but rather interdependent and, in the best of all worlds, mutually beneficial stories. So ... the picture to the right. A tribal flag, in this case one representing a tribe whose story I have been a part of and will continue to help to rewrite, crossed with a flag of humanity, with whose story I hope we will all feel increasingly engaged.


Faith
Name: Debbie Plo
Date: //2001-10-01 17:27:09 :
Link to this Comment: 358

For most of my adult life I have been teaching (preaching) that in order to created one’s own personal story; one must understand (to use Dr. Grobstein’s terminology) the story of one’s own tribe. I have taught my tribal story to my own children and, in the position of teacher, taught it to other people’s children. The reason that I have believed that children need to be taught their tribal stories (according to my oft stated belief system) is that one cannot know where one is going if one does not know whence one has come. For me, being able to accept my tribe’s story and to teach it to others required my being convinced that those with whom I identified accepted our story with certain conditions. The first (as Dr. Grobstein suggests is necessary) is that our story is constantly evolving, and also without insistence that our story was the only or the best story. Once I believed that I had met these requirements, and thus found others who could hear and tell our story in a manner in which I found comfortable, was I willing to join with them on a ritual basis. But for the first time in many years I found myself unwilling to do so.

In light of the events of September 11th I have only been able to feel divisiveness emanating from all forms of group identification. This divisiveness, I feel, comes from two sources. First it emanates from creating a situation that defines an individual as a part of an “us” and then (even though we may try to say otherwise) everyone else becomes by default part of something that is “other.” And once there exists “us” and “others” a hierarchy (a rating system of sorts) seems to be inevitable. Even without clear rankings, it appears to be easy to place blame on those who are part of an “other.” According to reports in US newspapers throughout this past week, media reports (print, TV and radio) in countries such as Pakistan have been regularly reporting that the bombings in New York and Washington were caused by “Jews” or “Hindus.” Of course, a large part of this is a symptom of what Dr. Grobstein calls an “unwillingness of both individuals and tribes, of all sorts, to believe in the value of any story but their own.” But, I would argue that those who blame an “other” do indeed find value in the stories of these others. It is of, course, just a lesser value, and therefore, it often becomes an excellent source to which attribute blame.

As a result, I am left wondering (regardless of how well or innocuously intentioned my motivations) if somehow I have contributed to the establishment of the conditions that allowed the events of September 11th to occur and that perpetuates the cycle of hate and blame. Today, perhaps more than ever, I want to hear everyone’s individual stories and would be happy to tell anyone who was interested mine. But my faith in the value of handing down any faith, creed or tribal affiliation has been deeply shaken.


Strangely enough
Name: Miss Amy
Date: //2001-10-03 09:30:33 :
Link to this Comment: 375

"My faith in the value of handing down any faith, creed or tribal affiliation" has become stronger than ever. There are creeds that respect human life, and there are creeds that don't. One of the latter has now declared war on all of the former, and anybody else in its path. I have no trouble seeing where I stand in such a conflict. If this means I'm part of a "tribal story," I'll just get out my shrunken heads. It's the tacky, vulgar, capitalistic open society for me every time.

Black and white? Sure. Tantalizingly so. But as James Lileks says, "I’m getting bored with having to proclaim I’m not Jumping Jimmy Jingo because I take pride in the good this country offers, and I don't immediately append a 30-minute codicil putting it the context of our atrocities of the Philippine war. " It isn't as if I have forgotten about the Sudanese pharmaceutical factory, the Middle Eastern bloodshed of the early '80s. It is true that previous United States governments fostered the radical Islamist situation, let Saddam fester, propped up bin Laden for Cold War purposes. Does that mean the deaths of 5,000+ randomly chosen men, women and children of various nationalities can be excused? Does it really?

Coming to a full understanding of this situation does not have to be the same as accepting personal and total handwringing responsibility. Nor is it the same as adopting the New Statesman European-intellectual "she was asking for it" viewpoint. In fact, researching and confronting the nasty underpinnings of this war is the most patriotic, American thing you can do. It celebrates the country where women learn to read, use their own computers, select their own books, and come to their own conclusions. That freedom is so much of what the terrorists hate. It isn't all economic strangleholds and American oppression — they genuinely hate our way of life. Just because they say it on Fox News doesn't mean it's not true.

I agree with what Debbie says: "I would argue that those who blame an 'other' do indeed find value in the stories of these others. It is of, course, just a lesser value, and therefore, it often becomes an excellent source to which attribute blame."

Yes, it is, and it does. That is because the "others" killed innocent people.

Amy O'N. '01.



Name:
Date: //2001-10-07 17:32:02 :
Link to this Comment: 408

Tomorrow morning at 9:00 am a walk out will be held in protest to the bombings of Afghanistan. We will gather on Merion Green at Bryn Mawr College. Students at colleges all over the country will be participating in this demonstration. Please come and join the voices in support of peace.


Peace or War?
Name:
Date: //2001-10-08 11:49:52 :
Link to this Comment: 413

I wasn't around to witness anti-war protests in the 70s. I only saw them on TV. But with the first attacks yesterday, it is inevitable that anti-war protests/forums/conferences/demonstrations will be more frequent. I have mixed feelings about war especially because war will always exist in theory and/or in practice. How do we deal with this reality? Do we propose peace but be victims of violence (and eventually war) from others? How do we protect our children and our country using "peace" as instruments rather than "weapons of mass destructions?" How do we talk to individuals where the word "peace" is not in their vocabulary? Can we learn from Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, Nelson Mandela or the Dalai Lama?


Augusto Boal on war
Name: mark lord
Date: //2001-10-08 14:50:06 :
Link to this Comment: 414

This was forwarded to me by Tlaloc Rivas, a theater director in Philadelphia. I thought some of you would be interested.

mark lord
-----
Many of you already know who Boal is; for the rest, Augusto Boal is one of the most important dramatic theorists to emerge in the past quarter century. A Brazilian forced into exile by the military dictatorship, he is noted for his work with trade unions, the unemployed, peasants, other outcasts, work designed to use theatre as a vehicle for critical thinking along the lines espoused by his friend Paolo Freire (author of "Pedagogy of the Oppressed"). Boal has expanded his teaching to become a leading force in creating an international theatre movement working toward critical thinking, the development of community, theatre as a tool for healing, and many other functions, in addition to directing internationally and turning out a valuable collection of books of theory and practice.

----- Original Message -----

Subject: Augusto Boal's thoughts on the tragedy...

Boal's thoughts on the tragedy...
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 09:05:07 -0400


TALION IS JUDGEMENT, NOT REVENGE!
Socrates asked questions: let us do the same.


War!!! Yes, the world is at war? at least, since I can remember, since I
was a child and heard my father, coming hurriedly back home from work,
announcing to our family: - "Paris has fallen!" Where did it fall? Who had pushed it? Why? What wrongs had Paris done, so hideous as to deserve it's falling? I could not understand, I was a child - war belonged to grown-ups, not to kids.

Last week, in New York, violence has been more spectacular than ever
before in History, more theatrical and graphic, esthetically frightening, extremely cruel, inhuman calamity: we were used to see such catastrophes in movies, not in real life. Pity and terror! That is why it became more visible than other cruelties that have devastated villages in Africa since always, murdered thousands of men and women in Latin America and Asia not so long ago, and in Europe, very recently.

The Madres de la Plaza de Mayo are still looking for their missing
children: every Thursday at noon, they walk in circle (what a dreadful symbol!), showing photos, talking about their children, as though they were still alive, ready to come back home, before night falls. High noon, every Thursday, they turn round and round... and find them not.

In Buenos Aires and in many other cities; in Argentina and in many other countries, Mothers of May are still looking for their missing, beloved ones... Granada, Panama, Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay - to speak only of my continent, only of the last three decades! - were also victims of merciless brutality and lost thousands of lives. Certainly, our own dictators have done it: but who financed coups d'Etat?

Looking at TV, seeing shattered New York on the screen, dialoguing with
friends, reading books, I cannot understand: I still persevere in
believing that human kind is human - or can become so, if we work hard to that effect!

But our eyes are seeing the very opposite: humankind is not kind, humans
are not human! Let's face the truth! Who has perpetrated that horrifying crime against Humanity last week? Whoever they are, the surviving criminals must be punished according to the Law, when
they will be judged, their guilt being established! This must be clear:
no one should be punished only because "they look like?" or "they are of the same kind?" No punishment should go beyond the person of the criminal, no punishment should touch their families, their race, their nationality, their faith.

We hear cries of revenge - an eye for an eye! - retaliation. We hear
about houses of prayer being attacked, innocent people aggressed in the
streets, in revenge for the destroyed towers, but? we must remember that the Law of Talion proclaims the need of a Judge to make Justice;
Justice needs a Tribunal; a Tribunal needs certitudes and seeks truth!
Truth is therapeutic! Talion is Judgement, not Revenge! Yugoslavian genocides are now being judged by International Courts. Even Nazis that promoted holocausts; Nazis, who killed millions of civilians and industrialized Death; even Nazis were entitled to be tried at Nuremberg!

If we want to have lasting Justice and not episodic Vengeance, we need Tribunals - no individual, no country, should make justice by their own hands, as it was done before the Law of Talion! We shall not go
back to barbarian times, we are civilized people? or want to be!

At the US Congress, as reported by the NY Times last Sunday, September
16th,congressmen are discussing the possibility of giving permission to CIA agents to kill foreigners in foreign countries; these killings would be done, of course, without any kind of trial, debate or demonstration of evidences, without any right of defense - killings perpetrated at the sole discretion of killers. CIA would be allowed to recruit common criminals to execute those assassinations.

Is that what is meant by the word "retaliation"? Does "retaliation" mean that the offended should become criminals, like the offenders? Should other countries do the same - since all countries are equally sovereigns! - should they allow their Secret Services to kill foreigners in foreign countries, including US citizens in US territory?

Should the Mothers of May become terrorists like the ones who killed their children? Should the Mothers of May carry grenades and not photos, bombs and not flowers?

Should the tortured political prisoners, all over the world, rise from
their graves, like the ghosts in the Banquet of Macbeth, and hunt their
killers?

We are living times of perplexities! Reason alone will be able to
humanize our emotions. We must think with our hearts, I am sure - that is the right way to think, the right way to act: with our hearts! But we shall never forget that we have heads. We are capable of thinking, of understanding.

Lawmakers in the US are considering the possibility of approving a Law to legalize Outlaws and stimulate assassinations. Socrates would have asked: what are you going to do? - Augusto Boal


Some reactions to NY, in the flesh
Name: Kay Yoon,
Date: //2001-10-15 09:28:08 :
Link to this Comment: 481

Hello, everyone,
i went to new york city this weekend, for the first time since july. so obviously i hadn't seen the effect of the 11th in real life. let me tell you, TV doesn't even begin to depict what's going on when you're right there.

my visit was peaceful and very fulfilling, but not uneventful in
the boring sense. when i took the train into hoboken, NJ (right on the
hudson river) on saturday, my eyes were glued to the quickly approaching
skyline. as the train halted to a stop at the terminal, i had a full view of
the now non-descript and towerless skyline of lower manhattan. i had thought
that maybe i would be reduced to tears, but instead, i felt a surge of anger
i hadn't felt before. i said to myself that i couldn't believe we were
robbed like this, as our eyes were half-closed, and that 5,000 people whose
only crime it was was to make a living for their families had to be taken
away. when i got off the train, there was a bulletin board next to the florist's
stand with many Missing Posters still there. a guy standing next to me said
to his girlfriend, "Yo, you know, these people., these relatives... they
have to let go. they're not missin' anymore."

the PATH train was different, too. above the doors inside the train, there
are maps of the different routes that PATH takes from NJ to NY. the maps had
been changed so that no lines went into WTC at all, obviously. it looked
strange to me. what also looked strange (but also comforting) to me were the
dozens of military servicemen and -women patrolling Penn Station and Grand
Central Station. some looked bored, others appeared nervous, and others
seemed calm and determined, chewing gum & socializing, but keeping a close
eye out on the people around them.

in union square on saturday at 5 pm, there was a peace-march
anti-military-attack protest that walked into the park right in front me. i
had my camera with me and took several pictures of the protesters, their
interesting placards and signs, and the mini-shrine that was established
next to the park's statue. for the first time, i felt like i was taking
photos of a piece of history, instead of any old event. peace promoters
actually have something to fight for, now that our state of peace is so
precarious and uncertain.

my saturday night was fun -- it was a belated celebration of my oldest
brother's birthday. later that night, as i was in a crowded and vibrant
club, i got to thinking about all of this even more. this club had lots of
comfortable lounge space on the edge of the dance area, so i had ample
time & room to sit down and have a drink or relax. all these ideas popped
into my head and i thought of things hadn't occurred to me before about this
entire tragedy. my brother was sitting next to me and i told him what had
popped up in my mind. the next thing i knew, i was crying on his shoulder,
with my hands covering my face. because of the loud music, i couldn't hear
myself cry very well, luckily. i surprised myself, because i didn't think i
would react this emotionally, considering the fact that all of my friends and
relatives in the US are alive and well. i guess i cried for our future, but i can't narrow it down to one exact reason.

on our cab ride back we passed bryant park and had a view of the Empire
State Building, lit up in red, white and blue. "once again, the tallest
building in new york," i said. in the glass between the cabbie and the back
seat, ther e was a sign posted. it read, "I am PROUD to be an AMERICAN and a
SIKH." i realized that the driver put this up there not just because of his
american pride, but for self-protection as well. cab drivers are at risk
even when there isn't a crisis, but being a cabbie AND a sikh after this kind of
terrorist attack must be downright scary.

i saw looks of bewilderment and relief cross the faces of passersby who observed the men and women in their army-green military uniforms. certain streets are blocked off to make the path clear for emergency and military vehicles, in case they need to race to a specific location.

i hear people talking of the "new normalcy" or "new routine" in our lives. i don't yet feel comfortable admitting that i'm now living in a new era, but maybe several years from now, i'll know for sure in my heart that Fall 2001 was the start of something different.
we have walked through a door that we thought we'd never enter.

Kay Yoon
BMC, Class of '01


help!
Name: Diana
Date: //2001-10-22 21:19:08 :
Link to this Comment: 495

cannot find three doors site...tried serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/pgrobste/ThreeDoors and many variants of that! also cannot get time to think to work due to shockwave problems. help!


11 September aftermath
Name: Mick Furni
Date: //2001-10-23 17:23:08 :
Link to this Comment: 508

I watched a discussion on TV on Sunday between a group of Americans and Pakistanis on the question of Afghanistan and their attitudes in general to one another. The majority seemed very reasonable, likeable people who expressed their views and listened politely in a tolerant and civilised manner.

Sadly however, though by no means surprisingly, there seems little indication at the beginning of the 21st century AD, that anything has changed from the beginning of the 21st century BC. None of the participants seemed able to accept that the views expressed by almost all the participants were equally valid.

Cultures, customs, nations, religions, come into existence, change, and disappear. To believe that our own path (whatever it may be) is somehow superior, by definition, assumes everyone else’s to be inferior. Not content with the divisions already in place, we go on creating new ones. (witness the rise of the fashionable, well meaning, but scientifically nonsensical U.S. and U.K. race industries)

Left to its own devises in a secure environment, a human infant, would learn to walk, run, laugh, cry, and acquire language. Considering itself to be an American or Iraqi, and believing in a particular God, (who all claim more or less the same message anyway) must clearly be taught, and constantly reinforced. Such concepts must create ‘us’ and ‘them’ divisions and invariably lead to situations in which ‘we’ seek security for ‘our’ group of human beings at the expense of ‘their’ group of demons.

If some terrible biological affliction really were to be spread throughout the world, and the only people to survive were a band of South American forest dwellers, or similar small and isolated group, the complete variability of Homo Sapiens would be preserved. For the great individual genetic variations, are present in every human population, however small, and antedate its dispersal into continents. There has simply not been sufficient time for the kind of divergence, which we like to believe sets ‘us’ apart from the rest of humanity. There is nothing particularly new or revolutionary about this, but rather than face it, we prefer to remain in a permanent state of cognitive dissonance. We fall in with the crowd behind our national, tribal, and/or religious leaders who we elevate to the status of hero, though none but a small minority have ever deserve the accolade.


Mick Furniss. Edinburgh. Scotland



Name: Julian
Date: //2001-12-21 12:22:28 :
Link to this Comment: 686

hello. this is a test message. i send fro web tvand have tooo many memories of using thises things and the friggin things now working for me!!


Tears in Heaven
Name: Andrew Lou
Date: //2002-04-22 18:15:04 :
Link to this Comment: 1910

Would you know my name,
If I saw you in heaven.

George W Bush's Tribute on top of that song by Clapton was revolutionary, it brings a tears even now


this violent age
Name: Dhanushki
Date: //2002-06-18 00:40:45 :
Link to this Comment: 2140

Coming from a war torn country, i have learnt that violence only begets violence.

There is a neat book that some of you might like to look at.. its called the 'Celestine Phrophecy' by James Redfield.

Our world is what we make of it, and our generation HAS to try.


a year later
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2002-09-09 22:00:38 :
Link to this Comment: 2575

I wish I felt we had come further in learning the lessons of 11 September than I sometimes fear we have in the United States. I am encouraged by those here and elsewhere who have said clearly, and continue to say, that violence begats violence, that we need to find better ways to deal with conflict in the world, and that what is at issue is not simply "terrorism", on which one can make "war", but rather the much more complex and important human feelings and disagreements which underlie human discord. These need to be dealt with by finding ways for all people to feel a stake in common stories. I'm discouraged, of course, by the inclination a year ago by try and solve problems by a military response in Afghanistan, and still more so by the current distraction of a possible military action in Iraq. As was the case a year ago, we need to find ways to create and value the new and better things which can be made of our differences rather than to fight over them, both in the current debate in the United States and between ourselves and others around the world. Hopefully this forum can continue to be a force toward movement in the needed conversations, representing and sharing all points of view.


Enough Day
Name: Chris Diet
Date: //2002-09-10 10:33:08 :
Link to this Comment: 2584

This email has been circulating about the internet and should be considered on this tragic anniversary.

Peace.
Chris Dietrich
September 10, 2002

Hello friends,
My friend Vyoma wrote the essay below entitled "September 11: Enough Day". In it, he presents an alternative vision to the mindless jingoism and isolationism inherent in Bush's "Patriot Day". I hope you'll take a moment to read it, and consider joining me in tuning out the pre-packaged media commemorations that trivialize tragedy by transforming it into infotainment. Find your own personal way to remember the victims of this and other tragedies, without the help of Regis and Kelly; without Tom, Peter, and Dan; without George W. and Dick. Don't let government propaganda and media opportunism dictate your experience of this anniversary.

Love, Dennis/rance

September 11: Enough Day
by Vyoma

Dubya, acting upon a joint resolution of Congress, has declared September 11 to be Patriot Day. According to his proclamation, we're supposed to"...observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities..." and to"...display the flag at half-staff from their homes and observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EDT," this in honor of the Americans who died in the mterrorist attack.

You know, personally I think this just stinks to hell. I have a better idea, so I'm making a proclamation of my own, which of course is completely unendorsed by any US politicians I'm aware of.

I'm declaring September 11 "International Enough Day." Enough flag-waving, enough violence, enough nationalism. Enough already. September 11 was not an American tragedy, it was a human tragedy. It was a tragedy not just for the people in the US who died, but for every innocent person killed as a result On September 11, let's say "Enough." No more killing. Let's remember not only the victims of the hijacked airplanes in the US, but of the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Let's remember all the Israelis killed by Palestinian bombers and all the Palestinians killed by Israeli troops. Let's remember all the innocent people slain by Union Carbide in Bhopal, India in 1984. Let's take the day to contemplate the people who've been victims of genocidal warfare in Africa, and the ones who've starved to death because of political games as well. Let's remember the victims of the Holocaust and of the firebombing of Dresden, too. Let's not forget those who were slain in the Mai Lai Massacre. Instead of waving the flag of one nation and thinking only about our own dead, let's make September 11 a day to remember all the people who've died at the hands of someone else's political agenda through no fault of their own, and let's say enough. We should stand up and disavow this, no matter what country we're in, no matter what religion we are, no matter our political affiliation or status or race or anything else.

If we had a moment of silence marking the time of every atrocity ever committed in the name of nationalism, religion... every atrocity committed in the name of the artificial borders that try to make us forget that we're all human, all in this together, all fragile creatures whose lives can be snuffed out in an instant through no fault of our own... then we would never speak again.

So we here in America should, I think, observe September 11 as the day when the nightmares that humans around the world have been living with for decades came lumbering ashore on the East Coast of the US. We should see it for what it is; the day the US truly experienced the horror that rings like a bell around the globe, from South America to the Middle East to Micronesia, the day we joined the human race at a most profound and fundamental level.

There should be no "Patriot Day," no day to further emphasize that we're different. Instead, let's say "Enough." Enough of putting the interests of any one nation above the interests of the human race. Enough dwelling on our small differences. Enough killing each other over them. Enough hate, enough fear, enough hunger, enough violence, enough bombing, enough enough enough ENOUGH.

We should each find our own way of expressing this. A moment of silence... or perhaps a day of silence. Meditation, art, whatever it is that you do... Do whatever you do, and do it to say ENOUGH.


9/11/01
Name: Helen Rehl
Date: //2002-09-10 10:57:09 :
Link to this Comment: 2585

In response to Paul Grobstein's "loss of innocence" when Kennedy was shot, I thought back to Lincoln -- is it that America needs to lose its innocence every so often through senseless acts of violence againast its citizens? Is it that its people need be reminded of its own violent past against native peoples, against blacks, against waves of immigrant groups . . . No one is wholly innocent, ever. Americans are made of the same flesh and blood as all humanity, we're not "special" in any way, merely naive and unknowing about the rest of the world? Perhaps this last occasion for "loss of innocence" would serve to open our eyes to the suffering of other peoples around the globe (whose lives are in peril from hostile forces, from sickness and pestilence).


September 11
Name: Diana La F
Date: //2002-09-10 18:57:47 :
Link to this Comment: 2603

Thoughts. You want thoughts, point of view, to be posted? What if I have none? Thankfully I wasn't directly touched by what happened, no one I knew was lost. But I knew people who did. Many, too many. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, coleagues...the list goes on. And what do I think about what happened? I don't. I haven't thought about what happened since it happened. I've been numb the entire time. I admit it happened, I know all the facts, but I have no feelings on the subject except that I'm sorry it happened on all sides and I wish it didn't. I can talk about September 11 in a purly detached sense, as I imagine people will in 20 or 25 years. However, when I see a news broadcast or some talk show or other special on the aftermath, I tune it out. When my mother wants to make comments on it, I drown her out. I know I'm running from from my feelings, surpressing and all that psycological stuff, but I don't care. I guess I'm not ready for how I feel about what happened, I don't feel it's the right time for me to figure out what I think. All I know is that it happened, and I'm sorry that it did.


Alumna perspective
Name: Liz Trabul
Date: //2002-09-10 20:41:57 :
Link to this Comment: 2605

It's all well and good to speculate on what drives people to do certain unpleasant things, but I see an unfortunate tendency toward oversimplification in your post, Prof. Grobstein, that is, to my mind, merely a mirror image of the oversimplifications that you quite reasonably oppose. Just as one should not lump all "Arabs" "Muslims" whatever into a group "Terrorist", one must avoid rationalizing all behavior to the point of rendering oneself "Stockholm-ized".

As a prisoner, one is necessarily limited in the actions one can take - and identifying with one's captor is often crucial to one's survival. However, unless you are proposing that the US should become the prisoner of the OBL's of the world, a more calculating attitude towards defeating him and his kin is called for.

Whatever big picture factors one wishes to consider here, if one is unwilling to propose concrete steps that are achievable given the current factors in play (in this case, ALL the factors that drive our energy consumption, including political, economic, demographic, geographic, legal, social, etc), any concerted effort to focus on the "scheme of things" will inevitably and understandably be scorned as platitudinous.


Overcoming it all...
Name: Sarah Ster
Date: //2002-09-10 22:00:29 :
Link to this Comment: 2606

As I think back on the tragic day of September 11, 2001, I realize that it was not only the aftermath of the tragedy that brought Americans (and the world) together, but the tragic time itself. For one moment, one minute or second or blink of an eye, every American mourned. Every American stood on streets or in homes or schools/offices/cars and knew that nothing would ever be the same. It is THAT moment that truly defines what September 11 is.
There are some people who have moved on. Some have overcome it all and except for the reminders that televisions blare at us daily, their lives have not changed much. People still steal and cheat and kill: the world did not change into anything further from perfect. For others, each day is the unimaginable.
I am fortunate enough to say that I was not directly affected by the tragedy of last year, but that doesn't mean that a day goes by without me thinking about it. That is why, on this anniversary of the unbelievable... believe. Take a moment to remember what you did, what you saw, how you felt. For one blink of an eye realize that nothing IS the same as it was before. If this is possible, if every American takes a second to remember, we may all stand as a country once more, together, and strong.


politics, mourning and energy consumption
Name: Katherine
Date: //2002-09-11 12:01:42 :
Link to this Comment: 2609

Responding to Liz's very smart observation about the complex connections between US energy consumption and the politics of mourning 9/11:

What has been missing from the entire mourning process in the US has been a general call to take action on our own complicity with repressive regimes in the Middle East, by radically reducing our use of fossil fuels. It is impossible to imagine the current administration--with its long term ties to large oil companies--mounting such a call. "Just Say No to Gasoline." "This is your country on fossil fuels." But it is also impossible to imagine how the US could ever be seen as anything but greedy and hypocritical, in the Arab world, when we tout the preciousness of democracy while supporting the anti-democratic governments that provide our fix.


This is not a political moment
Name: Faith
Date: //2002-09-11 13:24:07 :
Link to this Comment: 2611

I do not agree with the use of the events of September 11th to talk about Politics. This is a day that should be dedicated to the memory of what happened and those who lost their lives and gave their lives.

When will Bryn Mawr cry?


nine one one
Name: whitney
Date: //2002-09-11 15:17:32 :
Link to this Comment: 2623

Exactly a year ago I was driving to school, in Seattle, listening to the radio, when the news broke. I remember thinking that I needed to remember all of the events of that day, so I could tell my children one day when they asked. Walking through the halls on my way to French, I could feel the history then- I could see the textbook pages. I cannot believe it has been a year since then; it seems as though we continue to refer to it as if it was yesterday, as if we're not ready to allow the day to become a part of our nation's collective past. There are many debates surrounding the day and its aftermath, and upon those I hesitate to touch, for fear of sounding redundant (and, even worse, uninformed). So I will say this: we are not done with our learning nor our mourning, but we have done too little of the former and too commercially the latter. When we teach our children about that day, I hope we are able to communicate to them not the anger felt by our country, but the great hope we found in each other and in the solidarity that was so fervent.


to light a candle AND curse the darkness
Name: mark lord
Date: //2002-09-11 15:45:07 :
Link to this Comment: 2626

One thing that was moving about the days after the attacks, and about the way this forum functioned then, was the basic (though not universal) agreement that we were all sorting through our own personal rubble in the best ways we could. Some wept. Some raged. Some were numb. Everyone was responding and mostly everyone recognized that.

A year later, some weep, some rage, some are numb...and out of our numbness, rage, and tears, some have begun try to reimagine the world in ways that might spare our children the experiences that all of us lived through together. These reimaginings are all flawed and incomplete. Whether they are political programs or architectural renderings for redevelopment, none of them address the scale of the damage that we perceive. None of them purge us (if we're honest) of all of our feelings of all that's wrong with the world.

But reimagining is as necessary a part of going on as is crying. Talking politics, designing another way to misuse downtown New York space, pausing to remember...all these are real parts of a real process.

I bite my lip and refrain from critiquing the media's processing of this process because I feel a nostalgia for the openness I felt a year ago and I want to commemorate the generosities of spirit and intellect that warmed the best and most healing discussions in that time.

I suspect that all of us cry. For some of us our tears are saltwater still. For others, it's ideas, plans, programs that drip off of us now. No matter. Let's none of us seek to own the mourning process of another nor to define mourning in ways that leave some of us shut out. No one posting here is trying to enhance the value of their brand name. All of us are working through (and for many of us, that means thinking through) the aspects of our situation that seem to us the most poignant, the most potentially productive, and/or the most urgent. Let's not devalue either thinking or feeling here; both are crucial.

I want to hear what everyone wants to say today.

The best thing is to light a candle and curse the darkness.

mark lord


Just called to say I love you
Name: Chelsea
Date: //2002-09-11 17:27:03 :
Link to this Comment: 2629

I just called to say I love you
Not just so you could hear it,
Because I needed to say it,
Because it can never be said enough,
Because you need to know that my love is constant,
That it is not something weak that may be swayed by acts of anger,
That it is not something small that will be hidden by prejudice or fear
My love is boundless and unconditional and does not apply to one group or tribe or sect, it belongs to you all and I welcome you all with open arms to stand with me here and now and say "No" for the sake of humanity, for the sake of love, for the sake of us all, "No". We will not allow the anger and grief of a nation to be taken out on the most convenient target, we will not allow it to be taken out on any target. We will stop it all, right here, right now, and maybe that means we'll have to cry and weep and break down and face the pain, but at least that pain won't turn to anger, and afterwards we will stand together and with one voice declare that peace will win tonight.


Peace Vigil tonight on Merion Green at 7:30.


Poor Arguments
Name: J Bessich
Date: //2002-09-11 18:09:16 :
Link to this Comment: 2630

I suspect many of these posts are from college students, although it appears that Paul Grobstein is a professor; however, with age does come a way to effectively construct arguments so that philosophically they do not break down in the face of criticism.

There are many schools of thought regarding whether human beings are all born good, all born evil, or somewhere in between. Whatever one believes, and I believe the answer is somewhere in the middle, some human beings ARE evil. There are no two ways about it. Until you've proverbially "stared down evil," it's impossible, perhaps, to grasp this concept. Whether you want military action in Iraq or not, for whatever reasons, I suspect no one can justify that a man like Saddam Hussein needs to build more palaces, more artificial waterfalls, and allow his people to starve in a pathetic attempt to stand defiant in the face of economic sanctions. No man can jsutify testing chemical weapons - weapons that are intended for use on Americans -- on his OWN people. If Saddam cares so much for Muslims, as he claims to with his $25000 cash reward to families of Palestinian homicide bombers, why does he gas his own countrymen? So may we agree, at least, that evil does exist? Saddam will never be rehabilitated. Men like Saddam do want absolute power, and they are not restrained by a democratic people to keep tabs on that power.

Does violence beget violence? Well, sometimes, but not always. In most situations, a full scale war can be avoided with smaller dilomatic, political, and military pressure if undertaken at an early-enough stage. Hitler is a prime example. Had the man been stopped when he began illegally rearming Germany, had the man been denied Czechoslovakia, had the world resisted and not believed that appeasement was the answer -- yes, many, many lives could have been saved. But in the case of World War II, clearly violence stopped violence. An iron fist pounded the Axis powers; an atomic bomb, a violent weapon of last resort, clearly killed innocents, but saved many more lives as well.

Innocent casualities of war -- unintended deaths -- clearly cannot be compared to casualties of terrorism. Take an analogy: you are working driving down your street, your intention to pull into your driveway to protect your car. Suddenly, a child runs in front of your car. You slam on the brakes, but hit the child, and the child expires. Now, consider the same situation, only you see the child in front of your car, but can't stand that he keeps racing back and forth in front of your driveway. Therefore, you decide to ram your car into him, repeatedly, until he dies violently on the sidewalk. Question: would you try both drivers for verhicular manslaughter? How about for murder? The previous analogy helps describe the differences between the American offensive in Afghanistan and the terrorist attacks in New York. Our only intent in Afghanistan (and perhaps, in Iraq) is to dismantle terrorist infrastructure, and not to intentionally harm civilians -- just as our intent in pulling into a driveway is to protect our car from thieves or accidents that may occur in the street. If terrorists were not a siginificant threat to Americans, we certainly would not, and should not, be in Afghanistan; however, since the threat is real and severe, we demand that our government protect us in this way. As an added bonus, and I suspect had 9-11 never happened, we would eventually hear about the Taliban's racist and sexist form of governing in much louder screams that pre 9-11, we liberated a supressed people and returned to them their human rights.

Last, the anti-nationalistic and anti-flag-waving arguments proposed here are flimsy and arbitrary. Do you also oppose diversity in college admissions? How about affirmative action? I would suspect not. But in pushing an anti-nationalistic agenda, you tread a dangerous path to supression of culture, language, and tribe. If a family -- a large, extended family, perhaps even encompassing a whole town -- cannot with pride decide upon a flag that represents them and wave it in freedom and pride -- or decide not to wave it if they so wish -- then the democratic ideals upon which this country was build are all but dead. Extend this argument to greater and greater tracts of land and more and more groups of peoples, and by induction you've just created a country. If you don't want to mourn with flag at half-staff, and if you don't want to watch NBC commerate the event, that's fine with me. But humans have emotions, and sometimes a friendly face (yes, maybe even Regis) can help through difficult time. We don't all have bones of steel.

One more thing to remember: military action by a democratic country is infintely more justifiable than action by one which is ruled unfairly. The people, when allowed to speak freely, generally make the right decision regarding other human beings; the war fought by the dictator and his imprisoned subjects always results in catastrophe.

May God Bless America!


poor analogies (re: poor arguments)
Name: mark
Date: //2002-09-12 15:26:17 :
Link to this Comment: 2643

RESPONDING TO J's ANALOGY RE: "Innocent casualties":

If we were driving our station wagons very carefully though Afghan villages, pausing to look both ways at regular intervals, then I would mourn but forgive the accidental deaths they might cause. To adjust your analogy: If I am driving a tank down the sidewalk on my street at 100 miles an hour when school lets out, are the deaths of the schoolkids I scatter in my wake really accidental? If I knew that it was inevitable that I would kill a certain number of kids with my car on a given trip to the grocery store, I hope that I could find it in myself to walk. Or stay home and eat crackers.

mark lord

J WROTE:
Innocent casualities of war -- unintended deaths -- clearly cannot be compared to casualties of terrorism. Take an analogy: you are working driving down your street, your intention
to pull into your driveway to protect your car. Suddenly, a child runs in front of your car. You slam on the brakes, but hit the child, and the child expires. Now, consider the same
situation, only you see the child in front of your car, but can't stand that he keeps racing back and forth in front of your driveway. Therefore, you decide to ram your car into him,
repeatedly, until he dies violently on the sidewalk. Question: would you try both drivers for verhicular manslaughter? How about for murder?



Name: J Bessich
Date: //2002-09-13 20:54:20 :
Link to this Comment: 2667

Ah yes, Mark, but last time I checked our military wasn't drunk while defending our country. To drive drunk is a crime; to defend one's country is a duty. To get into your car, drunk, is to say: "I will commit a crime today, intentionally, and carelessly attempt to kill some children in the most heinous way possible, even though I know that if I do not drink, I could operate my vehicle safely and possibly prevent children from being killed while I drive." By not drinking, you take an extra precaution as prescribed by the rule of law. On the other hand, you might argue that even a sober operator's vehicle could cause death for a child. So, the situation begs the question: should we all simply not drive, since we could possibly cause death? Wouldn't it be easier to just all stay home and walk? Is one child's life worth the inconvenience? We probably won't kill anyone that way, so why not just be 100% safe? Or, Mark, maybe you actually don't have a car. Either way, enjoy your crackers.



Name: J Bessich
Date: //2002-09-14 00:46:00 :
Link to this Comment: 2675

I misread Mark's last comment. I thought you had written "drunk" rather than "tank." Either way, my analogy to driving at all still holds. You'll never know how many kids you will kill when driving to the grocery store, even carefully. Driving ANYWHERE still stands a chance of killing a child. How would you predict when you might kill a child and when not? Would you consider all schools, camps, crosswalks, playing fields, neighborhoods, even the population of the counties through which you sojourn . . . ? By your argument, sir, you would still never drive. And what if you had to drive, for example to the emergency room if an ambulance is not available? What gives you the right to drive, when driving could possibly kill a child? Is the life of you or a family member worth more to you than a child's?

I still wholeheartedly believe that troops in general do take every precaution not to cause unintended deaths. If you have proof to the contrary, I would be very interested. But if your argument is simply that war is wrong simply because there will be casualties, you logic is faulty. And, I wonder why you do not defend the rights of soldiers as you do Afghan civilians? Is the Afghan life worth more than that of an American soldier? Surely they are also victims of what I suppose you consider a self-absorbed American government?


probablilities and metaphors
Name: mark
Date: //2002-09-16 09:38:54 :
Link to this Comment: 2707

By my rough calculations, I have successfully negotiated approximately 2,000 treks to the grocery store, 5,100 trips to work, and several thousand additional trips to a variety of other locations near and far. I'm pleased to report that--despite (I admit) the mathematical possiblity of harm to a child--the juvenile population of the world remains unscathed by my automobiles. How many military actions can boast a record of "collateral damage" that is even remotely close to my driving record?

The point is to recognize the difference between behaving in a certain way while recognizing a statistically tiny danger of harm and behaving in another way that is *virtually assured* of wreaking damage. If you think that the military could get an insurance policy for its activities in Afghanistan (and elsewhwere), I'm happy to send them the name of my Allstate agent.

We may be unable to resolve our difference of opinion on military action, but the analogy you advanced simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny. All such actions inevitably involve collateral damage. Therefore, our national "intention" is best articulated as "to perform action X, despite the inevitability of deaths to civilians." While each specific death is not specifically deliberate, our government chooses to move forward with full knowledge that some such deaths are absolutely to be expected.

Even the Bush administration would concede that.



Name: J Bessich
Date: //2002-09-16 21:03:09 :
Link to this Comment: 2711

Mark: You stated, "If we were driving our station wagons very carefully though Afghan villages, pausing to look both ways at regular intervals, then I would mourn but forgive the accidental deaths they might cause." One can only infer from that comment that in some way, you believe the military is careless and somewhat intentionally causing collateral damage -- hence the analogy I proposed earlier and the importance of recognizing the rightful basis for such military intervention. In your latest comment, you have changed the basis for interpretation to preventing any deaths, not simply intentional deaths. In the former situation (that is, the situation we were discussing), my analogy holds firm. Of course the military causes more deaths than you. That's not even a statistically significant comparison.

Now, you might be the type of person who opposed military action because it causes a death -- maybe even one. Maybe even a bad guy. But that's fine. That is not what it seemed like you were proposing earlier, but it seems your intent presently. Then, I must ask, again: whose life is more important? If all lives are equal, do you simply wait it out, while your own countrymen are attacked visciously and repeatedly? When do you draw the line? I would tend to believe you oppose American imperialism; do you oppose foreign imperialism through terroristic means? How do we stop these terrorists? I am often frustrated with those who lament about the state of affairs but tend not to propose any alternatives -- viable alternatives.


metaphors and clarity
Name: mark
Date: //2002-09-17 10:41:14 :
Link to this Comment: 2715

J analogizes that the terrorists' actions are akin to a driver maliciously hunting down an innocent child and crushing her with a car. I don't disagree.

He further set out that US actions in Afghanistan are (with respect to innocent life lost) akin to driving carefully through one's neighborhood in search of a safe parking place. The whole of our disagreement is here. I think our actions are more accurately compared to driving a tank through that neighborhood at 100 miles an hour as school lets out. I leave the readers of this list and the families and friends of our "collateral damage" to resolve for themselves which is the better metaphor.

What J invites us to do is to imagine our soldiers in Afghanistan as careful drivers who are constantly checking their mirrors and proceeding with suburban soccer mom caution to avoid harming the innocent. The truth is that we bomb villages with remote control planes based on unreliable intelligence. The loss of wholly innocent lives is a necessary and foreseeable consequence of our government's actions. To seek out the comfort of analogy to cover over this fact is simply wrong.

If I had an alternative action in mind, I wouldn't hesitate to share.

But I will suggest that the pattern of using metaphors to sanitize our own understanding of our actions around the world has done a great deal to create a global climate in which we are incapable of understanding the perspectives of potential dangers.

Step one in the direction of solving the problem will involve describing it accurately and clearly.

That's all I have to say on the subject.


sharing stories as an alternative action
Name: Paul Grobt
Date: //2002-09-17 18:40:04 :
Link to this Comment: 2732

Mark and J's exchange has raised some interesting issues to be thought about ... and itself raises an additional interesting and relevant issue: what inferences do we draw from disagreements? about people who disagree with each other (or with onself)? about the usefulness, given disagreements, of sharing perspectives?

These sorts of questions, along with related questions about nations, and tribes, and individuals, were very much on my mind when I wrote in this forum a few weeks after 11 September 2001. What I said then seems to me even more relevant today, in this forum and generally:

The world changed on 11 September 2001, and our stories, including tribal stories, need to change accordingly. There is an enemy to be fought, but that enemy is not particular individuals nor particular tribes, nor the concepts of individuals or tribes. It is instead the deeper unwillingness of both individuals and tribes, of all sorts, to believe in the value of any story but their own. The new story we all need requires a change in all our stories, and a new commitment to allowing our stories to be altered by those of others, all the "others" who share a belief in the importance of the continuing evolution of the human story.

It is neither "anti-nationalistic" nor "anti-flag-waving" to express concerns about particular directions one's country (or tribe) is taking at any given time. Nor is it appropriate in a forum of this kind to suggest that "there has been a failure to propose any alternatives". The forum itself represents a clear alternative: an invitation for all people to share their perspectives, not to assert their personal (or tribal or national) correctness but rather to work together to construct the "new story" which will make it possible for all of us to live in greater harmony and mutual understanding than we have in the past.

Let me reiterate my hope that we can "find ways to create and value the new and better things which can be made of our differences rather than to fight over them, both in the current debate in the United States and between ourselves and others around the world." And that this forum can contribute to that process.



Name: J Bessich
Date: //2002-09-17 19:53:29 :
Link to this Comment: 2736

Since Mark is done talking, I guess I get the last word.

Mark seeks to argue that I am simplifying our military action to a metaphor, but not before he attempts to advance his viewpoint by metaphor as well. I hope we can at least agree that we're both intelligent enough not to lose the gravity of the situation in a simplified example. But such analogies help us compare issues in a more relatable fashion.

I'd love see some proof of the malicious intent of our troops in Afghanistan. I asked for some in my last post, but I only got unsubstantiated claims of how wrong my analogies are. If you're not happy with the type of intelligence we receive in this country, perhaps you should set out to change the state of affairs in the CIA. I certainly agree that we need more informants, even so-called unsavory characters at our disposal. Perhaps then our intelligence would be more accurate. But for what we had to go on -- that is, employing only informants with no human rights violations -- yes, our attacks are justified. It appears that you have concluded that you wish not to defend our sovereignty mainly because of person emotional response to innocent death. Which, as I stated previously, is fine. Having no alternatives for action is fine, too. But your argument would hold more weight with some, and I was really just curious if you had any ideas.

Now, on to Paul: I thought your forum was a good place for debate, and I am one of the largest proponents of free debate. However, if you have read some earlier posts, they clearly refer to the breakdown of sovereign nations and the abolition of flag-waving (Chris Dietrich's post which contained an essay, penned by a friend, on those exact subjects). As much as talking seems like a good alternative, I sought real action alternatives to our current military action in Afghanistan and possible future action in Iraq (results of 9-11). Talk is fine, but all talk and no action spells danger for our country and the world. Am I correct to infer that you oppose alternatives to military action? To portray my questions as not part of the so-called "new story" seems to indicate (sadly) that a difference of opinion is not welcome. One participant can state, "enough flag-waving, enough violence, enough nationalism" and not be reprimanded for advancing antinational correctness, but any response is restricted to the same ridiculous train of thought? Without diversity of thoughts, how can one ever judge the strength of his beliefs?


the forum
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2002-09-18 10:28:48 :
Link to this Comment: 2745

There are no "last words" here. Nor is it a place to "debate". And certainly not for "reprimand" It is a place to make available to others one's own thoughts/perspectives, and to take (or not take) from those of others what one finds useful in modifying one's own. J, and Mark, and Chris (and others) have all valuably contributed to the diversity of perspectives represented here, a diversity of perspectives which we (and others) can all use in trying to find/suggest new stories. So let's continue the process, not by challenging stories that are here but rather by adding additional ones and thinking up new ones that suggest actions which more and more people could collectively endorse.


A Resource to Arab Culture and Civilization
Name: Elliott Sh
Date: //2002-09-19 17:01:07 :
Link to this Comment: 2778

I thought it might be of interest to those who are posting to this forum to bring to your attention a project that has been worked on at the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) that was prompted by the events of September 11th. It is a collection of multimedia materials on the Arab World, from history to popular culture, from the origins of Islam to Arab communities in the United States. These materials are selected, compiled, and annotated to provide a college-level introduction to Arab Culture and Civilization. You will find the site at:

Arab Culture and Civilization


Diversity of Thoughts
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: //2002-09-20 22:23:35 :
Link to this Comment: 2813

I wanted to pick up on J's query, "Without diversity of thoughts, how can one ever judge the strength of his beliefs?" by sharing some "diverse thoughts" I learned @ a forum @ Radnor Meeting this past Sunday. Our speaker was Dan Snyder, who is on the teaching staff at Pendle Hill . His topic was "Prayer and Peacemaking," and he offered a number of ideas which I found very helpful, and which I think are relevant--and I hope may also be helpful--to the conversation which has been going on here. Dan asked us first to imagine a diagram w/ two axes--the vertical one stretching from "prayer" to "activism," the horizontal one going from "inner" to "outer." (Wish I could sketch this here, but it's beyond my technological capacities....) That gives you four quadrants, w/ "inner prayer" and "outer activism" being the predictable ones; "inward activism" and "outward prayer" the surprises. Exploring those possibilities led us to reflect on the consequences of "inward warfare," and the ways in which, if that isn't resolved, our so-called "non-violent activism" in the world can work as a displacement, become a mere cover for and projection of self-rightousness and purity. (Walter Wink writes about this in Peace Is the Way ).Dan then sketched a second, similar diagram, this time w/ a vertical axis going from "conflict" to "peace," and a horizontal one going from "violence" to "non-violence." This also gives us two "predictable" quadrants, "violent conflict" and "nonviolent peace," as well as two more surprising ones, "violent peace" and "nonviolent conflict." Because Quakers (among others) often confuse "conflict" w/ "violence," they may engage in "conflict avoidance," and so preclude the kind of "nonviolent conflict" that can be so productive of growth and change, both as a model for the inner world and the outer one. But even more striking to me than "nonviolent conflict" was this notion of "violent peace," which might include structural racism or systemic sexism, social forms of what MLKing called "negative peace": not overt violence, but control maintained by pervasive fear and intimidation (this works in the home as well as internationally). The phrase "violent peace" gives me pause, makes me think I really don't understand the complex concept of peace, if holding to that ideal means that violent means might be used to enforce it. I'm trying now to imagine a space @ the intersection of all these axes, where our outward work is animated by an inner source, a reservoir of energy that acknowledges what Marianne Moore said "In Distrust of Merits": "There never was a war that was/not inward; I must/fight till I have conquered in myself what/causes war, but I would not believe it." (For yet another view, see Randall Jarrell's critique of Moore's anti-war poetry.) We are inwardly violent people trying with great struggle to become non-violent actors in the world.


Power of music
Name: Amanda
Date: //2002-10-06 22:34:03 :
Link to this Comment: 3179

I strongly recommend the website of folk musician John McCutcheon to any musicians or music lovers reading this post. MP3s of a number of his songs, including the protest songs "Not in My Name" and "Our Flag Was Still There", are available for free downloading. He encourages anyone interested to distribute, learn and perform them as often as possible.

I have argued, debated and agonized over the events and decisions of the past couple of years, but although nearly everyone I have spoken with in private has opposed the administration's blustering approach to war, I could only find mute support for the president in public - except for an occassional apologetic, vacillating analysis, which almost more frustrating than unquestioning support. I grew up in the staunch Republican heartland (yes, my school board was THAT one - the one that tried to remove evolution from its curriculum); I hardly expected it to be the first place I would find dissent and outrage at a Republican president, but it was at a music festival in Winfield, Kansas that I first heard intelligent objections wantonly and exuberantly expressed. A crowd of 15,000+ bluegrass music lovers, local farmers, city folk and traveling musicians, shivering together on the first night of autumn, cheered and rose to their feet to sing out their hopes for peace.

What worries me most is that too many intelligent people are paralyzed by the weakness of their own convictions. Those of us who oppose - or even question - the direction our president is taking us should take our private concerns public, confidently and unapologetically. The Chinese writer Lu Xun wrote, "Silence, silence - either you explode in silence, or you perish in silence."

This list, the music festival, the protest marches held nationwide today (www.notinmyname.org) are all excellent first steps out of the silence. Keep walking forward!


Finaly!!!
Name: Lord Che
Date: //2003-08-24 21:40:54 :
Link to this Comment: 6290

Finaly there is a proof that the United states of "assholes" is not unattainable.You're attacked because of your supercillious attitude to othe countries,and because your government is playing a role of world cop!
The greater empires than your puny America has falldown,so don't be suprise when you woke up one morning and your so called "GREAT AMERICA"is end up in ruins.Think about it.
And one more thing stop saying "I'M PROUD TO BE AMERICAN",there is nothing you should be proud of.Why? Because your children are stupid,you have the bigest crime rate in the world,whole bunch of homosexuals,all kind of perversions(your priests are pedofiles)rasizm(KKK),and manny manny things.


COLUMBO FUCK YOU,BECAUSE YOU WERE SO CURIOUS!!!!!


test
Name: test
Date: //2003-09-11 12:09:50 :
Link to this Comment: 6438

test


two years later
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: //2003-09-11 20:27:31 :
Link to this Comment: 6446

This is, of course, a day to remember ... and a day to share in the pain and sorrow of those who lives were tragically altered two years ago. My heart goes out to them.

But it is also a time to reflect, on whether we have yet learned the most important lessons of that day, and to recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to reduce the likelihood of continuing and future human-generated tragedy, both in the United States and around the world.

My sense is that we have yet to appreciate that the tragedy of 11 September was a consequence of the estrangement of human beings, and groups of human beings, from one another, and that the only route to enhanced security, for ourselves and others, is the reduction of such feelings of estrangement and the circumstances that give rise to them.

As a nation, the United States is, I fear, pursuing instead a set of actions that exacerbates feelings of estrangement and puts us all at greater rather than lesser risk of the kind of human-generated tragedy represented by the events of 11 September.

Those of us who recognize the mistake need today and tomorrow, like last year and the year before, to patiently and firmly argue the case for wiser actions. Discouraging as the past year has been, there is no alternative but to continue to clearly and publicly stand for a belief in the human capacity to get it less wrong.


September 11 2003
Name: Craig John
Date: //2003-09-16 06:04:07 :
Link to this Comment: 6489

An open letter to the public:

On September 11, 2001 a great tragedy happened, and I know you are all agreeing. But I think that the tragedy goes way beyond the lives lost, it goes way beyond the buildings that fell, it goes way beyond what all of you were probably thinking when you opened the newspaper this morning. The tragedy I am talking about is the love and compassion everyone lost for all human beings, and there rights that everyone deserves. Think about this, we invaded another country with our men, to kill other men, and yet we accomplished nothing, except to create pure and unjust hatred for most Muslims because of what a select few have done. Now, I am not Muslim I am a good old American, but everyday I watch the news and automatically see people jumping to the conclusion that Muslims must have been behind this or that. That is a very unfair and unjust way of looking at things; I think that we as Americans have some of the best colleges, and the most uneducated people. Most Muslims are very nice, very respectful people, who only came to this country to get away people like us. I don't know about everyone else, but I am ashamed of our nation. America killed thousands of these people to try and get there hands on an impossible target (Saddam Hussein, and Osama Bin Laden). We need to learn from our mistakes and quit judging all Muslims for the mistakes of a few.



Name: Osama Bin
Date: //2003-10-17 20:38:00 :
Link to this Comment: 6908

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!


education
Name: thetruth
Date: //2003-11-19 20:31:13 :
Link to this Comment: 7341

on september 11.2001 america was attacked not by peace loving muslums flying daisies into americas most powerful symbols, but by fanatical, women hating, peace hating, and freedom hating muslums. to understand why anyone would want to conceive much less exicute this unwarented act, you must understand islam. we can judge islam with the same criteria that all religeons, governments, and sociatal institutions are judged. by their deeds. where in the islamic world is education, freedom of thought, respect for ALL people, respect for truth, and equality cherished. the simple fact is they are not. the simple fact is freedom, equality, and truth are the enemy of islam in its current practiced for. more books are translated into dutch, every year than have ever been translated into arabic. why? because the kor'an teaches that the only book a muslum needs is the kor'an. the iotolas, madrasas, spiritual leaders, in fact despise the west, christianity, and judiaism. they threaten the dictatorships from the mediteranian to the pacific islands. islam is not by the fruits it bears a moral or decent religeon, fact is the only place a moral muslum can worship a peacefull allah, is hear in the land of the free and the home of the brave. the country who liberated europe twice in the last century, and has finnaly quieted 2000 years of blood soaked history. how by destoying facism and communism. now we are engaged in another battle. one for the basic human rights God has bestowed upon us. if muslums are peace loving why do the mullas not stand up and decry terrorism is wrong, why do they not compete in the free market place of ideas. it is for one reason. there would be no place for them in such a world. thank god therefor there is a power in this world to offset evil, and that power is the United States of America, and we are benevolent enough to free muslums, and give them a chance at freedom at great costs in blood, and treasure. it is the billion people who practice islam who need correction, it is they who have stayed from the truth of gods love, and it is they who need education. America, and the American Military who will be there teachers. God Bless the men and women of the armed forces, and God bless the U.S.A.


american hypocriscy
Name: tinbox7@ao
Date: //2004-02-03 19:44:52 :
Link to this Comment: 7950

america has started 21 wars overtly,supplied weaponary to many a tyrant,how many deaths has that barbaric nation caused????..Then they are concieted enough to wonder "Why Us",well have a look at the bombs youve killed many a child ,civilian with...Life is precious ,somehow the Yanks think thiers is worth more than others...Sick of thier muderous thieving ways.....They are a barbaric,ignorant,arrogrant,meaningless society.....Peter Williams from London,brother often goes to States there now,so get to hear how dumb the average septic is...........


Create in Bold Defiance
Name: Aaron Titu
Date: //2004-09-10 20:24:12 :
Link to this Comment: 10818

    At 4:00pm on Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, I was finishing an architectural drawing class. I, with the whole human family, was exhausted and emotionally spent. After an hour-long lecture our professor, Julio Bermudez, instructed us to work on our drawing assignment. Homework of any sort seemed trivial and sacrilegious; I became quickly annoyed at his apparent callousness.

    Then he paused; and, in his thick Brazilian accent, began speaking to us as Architects. "Today we have witnessed the most anti-architectural act conceivable. We are Architects. We do not believe in death and destruction. We believe in life. We create. You are angry right now. But if you really want to retaliate, if you really want to take a stand and make a difference, then what better way to fight than to go out and do Architecture. Go and create, and you will retaliate in the best way you can. Now, go out and draw!"

    No more appropriate words were ever spoken. As Americans, members of our religions, and our communities, we do not believe in death and destruction. We believe in life. We create. So when I serve, I serve with a purpose. And when I create, I create in bold defiance of everything that is murderous, destructive and evil.

    My future will be bright. My life will be full. My world, no matter how big or small, will be better because I am here.


see http://www.aarontitus.net/htm/write/oneyearago.htm

-Aaron Titus
writing@aarontitus.net


My Country
Name: Haider
Date: //2004-04-27 06:30:28 :
Link to this Comment: 9634

HI My name is Haider Falah-Hassan and I come from Iraq I have all my family and friends there and my grandfather and grand mother died a couple of weeks a go from the blasts it was giving them heart attacks.I feel very angry and lonley and scared I don't know whether I should cry all day and night or just get over things and how they go I came to Australia about two years a go and I miss my family my friends the people I love it just isn't fair why do people have to suffer some ones else consequences and I wish that i could lay my
hands on that bush i will Stabb like someone should why does he go around killing innocent people and from the other hand he goes we are agaisnt terrorisom what does he think he is doing if he kills that means he is no terrist but if some one else kills one of his troops or defends his country he call them a terrirst he went to far and I wish someone would stand up to him and says"stop killing innocent people for oil"I'm sure he didn't go accross to the other side of the globe just to free my country he went to steel all the wealth of oil resourses and no one can stop him why?because he is George W Bush he won't get a way with it I swear to Allah he will suffer the consequences of his greed and sulfish act of his own.

P S :I want to thank this site for giving me the oppurtinty to express the feelings that i have for Bush within.
Thank you