- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Readers reflect on week of terror

"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." — John Stuart Mill
In recent days, we have seen countless examples of these "better men." I have the fullest confidence that in the weeks, months and years to come, thousands more of these "better men" will pour forth from all corners of this great land, ready and willing to serve its cause, and, if required, to give that last full measure of devotion that we have so frequently witnessed this week. We are truly blessed.

PHILIP C. PERINE
Captain US Navy (Retired)
AnnapolisIn his weekly radio address, President Bush asked for our patience, strength and resolve to fight terrorism. The people of this nation should give all this and more to help fight for freedom and justice. It would be unpatriotic to do otherwise.
It is time to repeal the tax cuts. The cost of fighting this war will be tremendous, and we as a nation cannot afford a tax cut now. Surely, we are patriotic enough to sacrifice a few dollars in our pockets for the sake of ridding the world of terrorism and avenging the horrific tragedy of Sept. 11.
The issue of a tax cut can be taken up again when the war is won and paid for. Our fathers and grandfathers, and their families, became known as the "greatest generation" because of the great sacrifices they endured to win World War II and rid the world of fascism. What will future generations say of us if we could not sacrifice even a fraction of that? Will we be known as the "greediest generation?"
I certainly hope not. The tax cut can be revisited after this effort is won and paid for. Repeal the tax cut now.

RICHARD X. GILMOR
San DiegoThe enemy is not Osama bin Laden. The enemy is a philosophy — radical Islamic Jihadism. This form of Islam is not true Islam and does not reflect the views of our Islamic brothers and sisters. It is a perversion, an abomination. At the heart of this philosophy is the attitude that only they can see the light, that only they know God, and all others are infidels and deserve to die.
As we prepare to defeat this enemy, let us be aware of the need to cleanse our hearts of hate. Let us remember the ignorant and basically innocent people who will be killed in this conflict. Their only crime will have been that they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When we strike the dreadful blows, we should not rejoice or celebrate. We must grieve for those poor souls as we grieve for our own.
Nonetheless, we must go forth in the knowledge that our way of life is at stake and that this war can no longer be avoided.

JAN LOUDERMILK
Picton, New ZealandI am an American Arab living in the D.C. metropolitan area. I would first like to express my condolences to the people and families who are victims of this tragedy.
I cannot stress enough how important it is that the media act responsibly in their coverage. You should not stereotype any group, race or religion, based on what happened. It is not fair to those who had no involvement in the acts. Arab Americans are frightened by the backlash that is starting to occur in the wake of the attack.
It has been reported that Palestinians celebrated following the attack. I certainly did not. Perhaps a few Palestinians overseas (who are under Israeli occupation) may have.
Again, my thoughts are with the victims of this horrible incident.

SOPHIA SAHOURI
Great Falls, Va.In the days following the unimaginable attacks, Bill Clinton was seen regularly on television screens across the nation as he inserted himself into the scenes of tragedy — consoling here, hugging there, soberly contemplating elsewhere, all the while maintaining a grim and sympathetic countenance. It was vintage Clinton. He should have been down on his knees, begging forgiveness from the families of those who died needlessly. It was Mr. Clinton's nonperformance as president, after all, that allowed the tragedies of Sept. 11 to occur.
Had Mr. Clinton dealt effectively with Osama bin Laden after our embassies were blown up during his presidency, we would not be counting casualties in the thousands.
Instead, Mr. Clinton ordered a couple of futile airstrikes — one of them against a "chemical weapons" facility that almost certainly was merely a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The attacks accomplished nothing but to enrage and energize our enemies. And the timing of the strikes — at the height of the Lewinsky scandal — aroused suspicions. Were they intended only to deflect attention from his sexual escapades?
As Mr. Clinton and family filled our TV screens, I felt the same revulsion I experienced every time President Clinton laid a wreath at a military grave or spoke to a veterans' organization. This was the same man who lied to avoid military service.
President Bush has committed our nation to defeating the enemy that Mr. Clinton allowed to fester into a dreadful cancer on the world. Let us pray that Mr. Bush succeeds where Mr. Clinton failed miserably.

BILL JACKSON
Evansville, Ind.America must respond to the terrorist attack with such force that it can never happen again. If we do not, the next attack could be even bigger. Imagine what could happen if these terrorists get access to nuclear weapons. American lives are at risk. We must destroy the nest in which terrorists are bred so that Americans can live in safety.
It is naive to think this will not happen again; these terrorists mean to destroy us. The attack on the World Trade Center is the culmination of years of "holy war" against the United States. Their goal is our destruction. Terrorists have no regard for lives — theirs or ours. Martyrdom, they believe, will assure them a place in the afterlife.
We can and should destroy states that sponsor or harbor terrorists. This is not a criminal matter, in which we find and prosecute individuals; it is an act of war. We must go after the nations that started this war: Afghanistan and Iran. These nations harbor and support terrorists. We must declare war and remove their governments. Another attack must be made impossible; our lives depend on it.

CAROLINE JONES
Hoboken N.J.

Kazakhstan supports U.S.

These days, the people of Kazakhstan are grieving with the American people over the deaths of thousands of innocent people. We stand firm in the position that the terrorists must be punished along with those who harbor terrorists.
The United Nations and its Security Council have condemned the barbaric act of terrorism and called upon the world community to take resolute action. Kazakhstan is ready to support measures undertaken by the United States to fight terrorism with all means available. It is ready to participate in the creation of an international coalition to fight international terrorism.
Retaliation should be not only effective but just. We were pleased to learn that the United States wants to know with certainty who has perpetrated these terrible acts and who helped the terrorists before taking action.
On Saturday, I wrote to President George W. Bush to express Kazakhstan's support for the U.S. actions aimed at fighting international terrorism.
We hope that the American people will be able to quickly cope with the devastating psychological blow and remain committed to their great historical values.

NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV
President
Republic of Kazakhstan
Astana, Kazakhstan

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