Thursday, September 11, 2003

Other voices on the lessons of 9/11

Observances of the second anniversary of Sept. 11 will and should be a little subdued. The monumental work begun after the catastrophe is far from done. It is important, though, for the nation to pause to let the families of the victims know that their lives have not been forgotten. It still hurts, but Sept. 11 has become less of a sharp pain and more a dull ache - something you learn to live with because it defies simple remedy.

Detroit Free Press

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The terrorist attacks ... happened so fast that many of us who were watching in real time on television could not comprehend what had actually happened. It looked too much like a cheap Hollywood catastrophe movie. No wonder we can't get over it. The reality is still sinking in.

Norman A. Lockman, Wilmington (Del.) News Journal

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Osama bin Laden had ample reason to believe that the attacks would triumphantly initiate the great jihad for Wahhabism and the preordained collapse of the United States and, by extension, Western civilization. He never conceived that the United States would respond in any way other than it had in the past. ...

Two years ago, no one could have foreseen that we would be fighting a worldwide war ... No one knows what will unfold two years hence.

What is certain is that Sept. 11, 2001, marked a decisive turning point in history; not the terroristic end of a weak United States as bin Laden had expected, but rather the beginning of American resolve in the war against terror.

Jonathan Gurwitz, San Antonio Express-News

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With all the talk about beefed up security at the nation's airports and on American airlines, a recent stunt - a man had himself packed in a shipping crate, reportedly placed on a plane at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, transported to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and delivered to his parents' home - demonstrates a major flaw in our still under-funded homeland security system.

Bob Ray Sanders, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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Instead of loose talk that acts like America's mortal enemy is an abstract noun - "terrorism" in all its forms - President Bush would be wise to distinguish Al Qaeda and the groups affiliated with it from Islamist movements that may be trying to overthrow regimes in their own countries but have not declared war against the United States. ... There is a genuine need for intelligence and law-enforcement cooperation against Al Qaeda and its affiliates. But a promiscuous entanglement in the internecine conflicts of countries ruled by vicious dictators risks a strategic blunder.

Boston Globe

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