How To Defeat Terrorism, or Alternatives to War, Continued

Last weekend I wrote about my soul-searching on how the world can best deal with terrorism, not only to prevent something else from happening to any of us again, but what we can do to end violence. Our actions must reflect a desire for peace and unity.

There are indeed times when reason and diplomatic efforts are futile. But is the answer to use violence to stop violence? That seems like such a conflict, even though I look back on previous wars and see how horrendous situations were stopped because of fighting back and defending ourselves.

I’m listening to various commentators, reading lots of opinions, trying to understand whatever I can. I also can’t make any sense of what’s going on in the minds of those who feel so justified and even honored to fly planes into our buildings and kill thousands of people along with themselves. I also know that they feel they’re right just as strongly as those who oppose their actions also feel right.

I return again to View From the Heart, who commented on what I wrote last weekend (which included commenting about his posts on this issue). He also quoted part of Tony Blair’s recent speech, which I had to check out for myself. Blair certainly makes some valid points. Here’s a small excerpt:

So what do we do?

Don’t overreact some say. We aren’t.

We haven’t lashed out. No missiles on the first night just for effect.

Don’t kill innocent people. We are not the ones who waged war on the innocent. We seek the guilty.

Look for a diplomatic solution. There is no diplomacy with Bin Laden or the Taliban regime.

State an ultimatum and get their response. We stated the ultimatum; they haven’t responded.

Understand the causes of terror. Yes, we should try, but let there be no moral ambiguity about this: nothing could ever justify the events of 11 September, and it is to turn justice on its head to pretend it could.

The action we take will be proportionate; targeted; we will do all we humanly can to avoid civilian casualties. But understand what we are dealing with. Listen to the calls of those passengers on the planes. Think of the children on them, told they were going to die.

Think of the cruelty beyond our comprehension as amongst the screams and the anguish of the innocent, those hijackers drove at full throttle planes laden with fuel into buildings where tens of thousands worked.

They have no moral inhibition on the slaughter of the innocent. If they could have murdered not 7,000 but 70,000 does anyone doubt they would have done so and rejoiced in it?

There is no compromise possible with such people, no meeting of minds, no point of understanding with such terror.

Just a choice: defeat it or be defeated by it. And defeat it we must.

Blair asks and tries to answer many of the questions I’ve also had. I don’t know that answers will actually make me feel any better, though, since they’re not the kinds of answers I may want to hear. Then again, I never imagined September 10th that I’d be asking such things.

Like so many of us, I’m trying to work through the horrible grief and pain of what’s happened, knowing that we’ve also been forced into a situation that we’d prefer to have no part of whatsoever. I also know that my heart feels like it will never mend, and my insides haven’t stopped aching since September 11th.

06:39 am, pdt 5 October, 2001 Comments, Trackbacks ·';}?>

Categories: Personal, Sept 11 Attacks

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