'Cycle of violence' places blame on U.S.
In Kevin Warnke's opinion column ('Patriotism with restraint,' Sept. 14-16, 2001) he claims he is afraid of the terrorists. That is quite understandable. But he also says that he is afraid of Americans because of the fury that he views the American military response will be. He attributes the terrorist actions taken to a mysterious 'cycle of violence.' Mr. Warnke says he doesn't know how to put an end to this cycle of violence.
The way to put an end to this cycle of violence is to admit that no cycle even exists. Saying that there is a cycle of violence implies that we are all a part of this cycle and therefore all of us bear responsibility for the violence. The cycle of violence implies a moral equivalence. It implies that the United States, as a country, is equally culpable for the deaths of innocent people as the terrorists. Mr. Warnke is wrong. The United States bears no responsiblity for the violence. Nor will we bear blame for the punitive actions against the terrorists. The terrorists are wrong. It was they who created this violence, not us. The terrorists will bear full responsibility for the punitive action taken by this country against them. There is no moral equivalence. There is no cycle of violence.
Further on in his column, Mr. Warnke says we should act in accordance with the morality espoused in our Constitution. That is quite a leap for Mr. Warnke, since he believes in amoral, mythical cycles of violence. But I will bear with him. The Preamble of the Constitution says the reason why the Constitution was written in the first place was, among other things, to 'insure the domestic tranquility' and to 'provide for the common defense.' In this case providing for the domestic tranquility and the common defense certainly allows for a punitive action on the level of war against the terrorists responsible and the states harboring terrorists.
Support U.S. economy by investing, spending
The attack on America was obviously intended to destroy American morale. Because the World Trade Center was a target of the attacks, it is apparent that the terrorists also had an agenda of damaging the American economy. Economic repercussions of the attacks might include a rush to pull money from the market and a general hesitancy to spend. This money will remain in personal savings where it is not available for the loans which fuel a healthy market. A healthy market is a growing market and markets require constant investment to grow. Hence, just as we must support our government in its war against terrorism, we must also send a message to the world about our economy by continuing to spend and continuing to invest in the greatest national market on earth. In the words of FDR, 'There is nothing to fear but fear itself.'
Muslim community excluded from vigil
I was disgusted with the poor timing of the 'Program for Reflection and Remembrance' on Friday. While I was pleased to see UW-Madison organize an event such as this, Friday is the Muslim holy day, and prayer is always held from 12:30 to 1:10 p.m. This is not a random time; it is laid out in the Koran, and it cannot simply be changed to coincide with other events. Many spoke of community building and healing at Friday's program. Would it have been impossible to plan this event for 1:30 p.m. so the Muslim people in our community could have had the option to attend and heal with the rest of us? How can we come together if an important part of our community, especially considering the accusations surrounding the terrorist attacks, is prevented from attending?
Over the past week, several UW-Madison officials have spoken of respecting all people and of kindness and consideration toward those who may seem different from us. How can I believe that these sentiments are genuine when a glaring oversight such as this exists? Or must American Muslims be forced to choose between their religion and their country? I have felt blessed to see and feel the compassion of so many on this campus over the past week, and while I applaud UW-Madison for trying to bring us together, I feel an apology is owed to the Muslim students. This situation may not have been intentional, but simply because UW-Madison was unaware that Muslims pray at 12:30 p.m. on Fridays does not excuse them from having to take responsibility. We need to learn to be accountable to each other.
Turkish students offer support, sympathy
On this day of remembrance, I wish to convey on behalf of the Madison Turkish Students Association my most sincere feelings of sympathy to the American people, and especially to the American students of UW-Madison, following Tuesday's tragic events. These incidents affect us all very deeply and are especially difficult for those students who cannot be with their families and friends during these difficult times. We are sensitive to your worries as a number of Turkish Americans are listed among those missing. Above all, our hearts reach out to those who have lost loved ones in this terrible disaster.
The Turkish people still remember vividly the outpouring of help from the United States following the catastrophic earthquakes in our own country just two years ago. Let it be known that we will offer our support in any way possible as we all work toward peace in the days to come. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Taiwanese stand by U.S. and democracy
As Taiwanese overseas students studying in America, we treasure the freedom, peace and democracy this nation provides; we appreciate the respect for human rights that made this nation such a beacon of hope for others around the world. Because of our historical background and geographical location, we realized that in some part of the world, people were taught to be anti-America and we felt sorry for them. We express our deepest sympathy for those who have lost their lives and those who lost their loved ones by the cowardly acts of terror committed on Sept. 11, 2001. We stand with all Americans and the rest of the free world in telling the perpetrators that democracy is undefeatable. Our homeland, Taiwan, has finally became a democratic nation. Our relatives in Taiwan join us in offering our utmost condolences to those who are grieving in America and offer our support for the effort of rebuilding. We will stand with America to combat the threat of terrorism here and abroad and continue the task of maintaining the freedom of democracy.
Falwell's hatred serves goals of terrorists
On Sept. 11, we witnessed the climax of what happens when human beings allow hatred, prejudice and rampant fanaticism to seep into their minds and hearts, blotting out all compassion and common sense. On Sept. 13, Jerry Falwell appeared on Pat Robertson's inflammatory TV program, 'The 700 Club,' and started pointing insane fingers of blame at people who had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on our nation.
Falwell said that the ACLU, pagans, abortionists, feminists and gays and lesbians had to share in the blame for the acts of the hateful terrorists. Apparently, in his radically misguided mind, Falwell and those like him think that what happened last week is a sign of the 'End Times,' that God is taking out his wrath on our nation because we battle against the very hate that Falwell and Robertson espouse. The attacks were not the acts of God; they were acts of evil, hateful men.
What we as a nation need to admit to ourselves is that what happened Tuesday was the result of pure, unbridled hatred, an example of what happens when we dismiss the haters as nothing more than 'kooks, crazies, harmless fools.' They are nothing of the sort. Reactionary fundamentalism killed over 5,000 people in our nation last week. It doesn't matter what kind of fanaticism it is, religious or not-fundamentalism and fanaticism are extremely dangerous to our society; after last week's horrors, no one in this nation can ever credibly try to deny that again. We must now remain ever-vigilant, stamping out the forces of hatred wherever they rear their ugly heads, both within and outside our borders.
Falwell's words are disgusting At a time when he and his 'religious' brethren should be working to bring our country together, they're instead aiding and abetting the goals of the terrorists who attacked us by seeking to tear us apart. He should apologize to us all immediately for his wholly inappropriate tirade and for inflicting yet more injury on our already wounded society.