- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2001

Readers call for response to attack

I'm one of those partisan Democrats who hasn't "gotten over" the manner in which our president was selected, but we now have a unique situation. This president faces a task unlike any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt — and probably since Abraham Lincoln. The security, as well as the soul, of our nation are the responsibility of George W. Bush.

Let's help all that we can. Let's exercise prudence rather than paranoia, resolution rather than fleeting rage. Not only must Democrats and Republicans stand together, but Western civilization must stand together. It is Western civilization that is under attack, and in many ways the president of the United States is the symbol of Western civilization.

I don't believe that this situation calls for a resolution of support from the Congress. The situation and the Constitution call for a declaration of war and the commitment that accompanies.


MALCOLM HERBERT

Litchfield Park, Ariz.




I must disagree with some aspects of Thomas Woodrow's editorial, "Time to use the nuclear option" (Op-Ed, Sept. 14)

Striking only terrorist training camps in remote locations with tactical nukes will not accomplish the desired results. We must also target the urban areas of countries that knowingly harbor these groups. This course of action will be a hard sell to some people. However, the people who protect terrorists are not innocent victims; the people who died on Sept. 11 were. Our resolve must be strong and our hearts hard if we want to protect our way of life and stop the spread of this "veil of darkness."

As the world discovered during the 1930s, you can't negotiate peace with people who only understand the language of force. Not only do we need to cut off the head of the snake, we must also destroy the writhing body of the snake before it squeezes the life from the free world.

This is the time for strong leadership. The job will not be pleasant.


JOHNNY MICHAEL

Spring Hill, Fla.




In our every crisis we have had — whether it be floods or hunger — America stood by Bangladesh. Today, we Bangladeshi-Americans of all races and religions are standing by America.

Hundreds of our fellow Bangladeshi-Americans were at work in World Trade Center during the terrorist attack. The majority of the Bangladeshis at work in the restaurants and coffee shops in the World Trade Center are still missing.

Our prayers are with every American who lost their friends and loved ones, and we would like to let all America know that an estimated 200 Bangladeshis also lost their friends and loved ones in this terrorist attack.

At this moment, we have to pray to God to give us patience and seek comfort for our soul.

America, you are not alone. We are standing by you with tears in our eyes.

God bless America.


DILAWAR HOSSAIN

Bangladesh Partnership Inc.

Washington




Pakistan is reportedly agreeing to U.S. demands for cooperation in a strike against Afghanistan's terrorist centers. However, any action that leaves intact Pakistan's terrorist infrastructure would be myopic at best and disastrous in the long run. Pakistani terrorist groups collaborate closely with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. The Taliban itself is a creation of Pakistani madrassas (religious schools) and has been sustained by Pakistani military and financial support.

Pakistan is one of the world's leading terrorist sponsors, with more than a dozen active Islamic terrorist groups. Most of these groups target the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, but many also operate in numerous Islamic hot spots from Bosnia to the Philippines. Groups such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen have long threatened the United States and have stood by bin Laden in his escalating war against the West over the last several years.

Pakistani intelligence agencies have coordinated activities of these groups in Jammu and Kashmir, in Afghanistan itself, and elsewhere. Tens of thousands of people have died, and 350,000 Hindus driven out of their homeland, in the violent targeting of Jammu and Kashmir over the last 12 years.

These groups hijacked an Indian Airlines jet in 1999 that resulted in freedom for three top terrorist leaders, who are now operating from bases in Pakistan. Thus, if these terrorist groups and their some 1,200 training camps in Pakistan are not dismantled as part of the war against global terrorism, Pakistan will continue to be the problem, not a solution to this war.


SUBODH ATAL

LALIT KOUL

SUNIL FOTEDAR

Columbia, Md.




Yet again, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson confirm that they are the Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson of the right ("Robertson: Attack retribution for 'evil,'" Sept. 15) How monumentally arrogant they are to presume to be the earthly interpreters of God's will. How amazingly convenient that their political opinions just happen to be God's political opinions. Falwell and Robertson are little more than hucksters and charlatans. We would be well advised to seek divine wisdom elsewhere.


PHILIP BECKMAN

Columbia, Mo.




For a few in our churches today fire and brimstone tend to weigh more heavily on the scales of justice than do grace and mercy. However, the insensitivity of televangelist Jerry Falwell is unnerving. Blaming the recent terrorist attacks on gays, abortionists and the ACLU is altogether unfeeling, divisive and unconscionable.

It's time for self-examination, Rev. Falwell, not finger-pointing.


REV. JEFF COLLINS

Annapolis





So, Muslim leaders are predicting that any retaliation against Osama bin Laden will provoke a holy war ("Retaliation by U.S. will spark holy war," Nation, Sept. 15) They seem to be saying that any attack is an attack on all of Islam. Others say that Tuesday's attack was an attempt to defame Islam. If so, this conspiracy is being aided by the cleric quoted in your article.

Are we supposed to worry about inflaming these people? They are already inflamed.


BRUCE BRAGER

Arlington




The time has come for President Bush to draw a line in the sand, just like his father did 11 years ago. This time, the line should be drawn not in a geographical region, but in the realm of foreign policy. He must guarantee that states that sponsor terrorism will not be spared, regardless of how cozy they are with the United States.

For decades, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has pursued the policy of using terrorists to implement its desires. Pakistan has aided, abetted and armed the terrorists who spread terror in regions of India such as Kashmir and Punjab, as well as countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Successive U.S. administrations have known about this but turned a blind eye since it affected a third country. Not anymore. Terrorism, like cancer, knows no bounds. And just like cancer, the affected areas must be destroyed or else it will spread to vital areas

It is time that the United States include Pakistan in the list of states that sponsor terrorism. Afghanistan, after all, is not alone. Were it not for active support from Pakistan, the Taliban would not have been in a position to give sanctuary to bin Laden, and we might not have witnessed the carnage of Sept. 11. It is time for the United States to remove the elements of the Pakistani military who are the real puppeteers of the Taliban.


AJAY SHEKHAWAT

Buffalo, N.Y.




Thank you for printing a full-color copy of "Old Glory" in the Friday edition of The Washington Times. I am proudly displaying our nation's flag at work and at home after purchasing two copies of the newspaper. My sincerest compliments to you for rendering such a fine public service during these trying times and helping to keep our spirits high. God bless America.


DAVID I. KORSH

Washington

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