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The Involved Citizen - Common Sense Revisited

> September 11, 2001<

Offerings by George A. Sprecace, M.D., J.D.:

The Mid-East Crisis...1914 All Over Again?, GS

Talk Show Hosts Regarding September 11, 2001, GS

What You Should Know About Bio-Terrorism, GS

Other Relevant Offerings:
"Fantasy," by Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael B. Oren, The New Republic, December 15, 2003.

"Peace Farce," by Saul Singer, Jerusalem Post, December 2, 2003, p. 13.

"The End Game", by Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Wall Street Journal, Monday, December 23, 2002, in Review and Outlook, pA14.
"Going Soft In The Head," by John Leo, US News and World Report, June 24, 2002, On Society, p. 47.

"Iraq's Woes Began At Birth, With The Help Of The West," The New London Day, Oct. 27, 2002, Spotlight

"A Little Honesty Is Needed On Both Sides," by Thomas L. Friedman, The Day, October 17, 2002

"Ghosts of our Past", by Karen Armstrong, Modern Maturity, Jan/Feb 2002, p45.

"Palestine's Deliverance," The Wall Street Journal, Thursday June 27, 2002, Opinion, pA20

"Bush's Plan Follows Harsh History", USA Today, Friday June 28, 2002, World, p11A

"Why Arab States are Basket Cases," by Thomas Friedman

"Going Soft in the Head," by  John Leo

See also,
        "Fight The War, Not Each Other", by Robert Simmons, U.S. Representative, 2nd District
        as published in The Day, Thursday, May 23, 2002

"America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace," a New York Times editorial

"Arafat Alone Didn't Lose The Peace," by  H.D.S. Greenway

"Don't Blame Wall Street...Two books look back at the Great Depression for lessons for the future," N.Y.Times Book Review Section, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2001.

"September 11, December 7 and Limits of Intelligence," by Robert L. Bartley

And now a word from our Commander-in-Chief...

"Jokes Remain, but Bush Shows Signs of War's Burden," by Richard L. Berke
"Let's Have a 'Sensitive' War," by John Leo, U.S. News & World Report, November 12, 2001

"Getting the Mayor's Message," by Mortimer B. Zuckerman, U.S. News & World Report, October 29, 2001

"There is no Substitute for Victory," by John McCain, The Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2001

"By Silence Betrayed," by Michael Barone, U.S. News & World Report, October 22, 2001

"Arabs Have Nobody to Blame But Themselves," by Fouad Ajami, The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2001

"Islam: A Quick Course on its History and Teachings," The New London Day, October 5, 2001

"West Wing Wimps Out on Terror," by Adam Buckman, The New York Post, October 4, 2001

"The Best and the Brightest," The Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2001

"Beware the Fury of an Arroused Democracy," by Stephen Ambrose, The Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2001

"The Vatican on Just Wars," by Melinda Henneberger, The New York Times, September 30, 2001

"Jihad vs. Crusade," by Bernard Lewis, The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2001

"A Plan For Political Warfare," by Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2001

"The Story of Islam: A Peaceful Faith, A Fanatic Few,"  The New London Day, September 21, 2001

"Israel Isn't The Issue," The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2001

"Separate And Unequal On The West Bank," The New York Times, September 2, 2001

"Multiculturalism:  Fact or Threat?," by Dinesh D'Souza, Imprimis, Hillsdale College, Vol 30, No. 9, September 2001

September 14, 2001

Editor, The Day
Eugene O’ Neill Drive
New London, CT   06320

This letter has a personal goal, although it may help others besides myself to deal with the combination of sadness and rage that I have felt since the events of Tuesday, Sept. 11.  Fire is a potent element, whether the real kind or the emotional variety.  It can forge useful unions - or it can consume.  The fire which is being felt by all Americans must be channeled.

  • Vengeance is Mine, sayeth the Lord: I shall repay”.  But we have every right to send a strong down-payment to every terrorist, every accomplice - including knowing family members, every group and nation that harbors and assists these people.  Retribution may be un-Christian on an individual basis.  But it is a right - even an obligation -  of a society in order to assure its self-defense and its internal cohesion.
  • Whether or not we find the individual perpetrators, we must make the price for supporting terrorism in every way  too steep for any of their future allies to pay.  Terrorists  must be isolated and abandoned.  This must begin immediately, to be effective and to begin our own healing.  And it will take time, money and blood - including our own.  In such a war there are no longer victims or hostages or by-standers;  we are all soldiers, in uniform or in civilian gear, on the battlefield or in private pursuits.  The lessons to be learned or re-learned by the free world now are not the lessons of the 1940’s, but the lessons of the 1930’s.
  • All followers of the true tenets of Islam must remember, and we of other great religions must learn, that neither Islam nor the Koran nor Allah bear any resemblance to what now passes for “fundamentalism”.  These terrorists are self-centered, evil despots who seek absolute power, over their own and then over all of us, under the guise of a blasphemous call on “God”.  It is not any God that any of the rest of us know. And so, they must be seen for what they are; and they must be abandoned by their own peoples who are true followers of Islam and Allah.
  • Having said that, “He Who Seeks Equity Must Do Equity”.  And equity, fairness, justice certainly do not exist in this world of ours.  Too many examples of this exist - look only at Africa currently and during the last few centuries.  The response to these situations has long been terrorism, the last weapon of the weak, the weapon of choice of all who seek to overthrow legitimate government - and of those whose oppose them.   We have seen this in Russia at the turn of the last century, in Europe in 1914 leading directly to World War 1, in Ireland, Kenya and India involving the British, in Algeria involving  the French....  In all of these situations,  the parties came to negotiated settlements only after atrocities on all sides, and after prolonged misery and exhaustion.  For the first time in our history, the American people may face that scenario as well, if we do not act decisively and now.  Indeed, what we must deal with now are the lessons that hopefully we learned in the 1930’s.
  • In the present context, an important part of our attention must be directed to the Middle East conflict.    This is not the only root cause of current terrorism.  The main motivation of today’s terrorists is the overthrow of current governments in the Arab World by those who would be dictators under the guise of Religion.  But any semblance of legitimacy must be removed from this intolerable response to local or world-wide problems if we are to win over the hearts and minds of the vast majority of the Muslim world.  The United States must make very clear, now and often, that the survival and well-being of Israel is a  total commitment of this country, to be guaranteed by our total power and by our blood.  But it cannot be the Israel of the Bible; and we cannot continue to provide blank checks to those in Israel who would have it so - while we pretend to act as “honest brokers” in efforts to promote peace in the area.  The Palestinians  had and have historical and continuing legitimate claims to the same area.  There must, therefore,  be clear and defensible partition of the Holy Land, holy not only to Israelis and Palestinians but to the whole world.  Such partition should be imposed, if necessary, and should be guaranteed by the world community by whatever means necessary - in perpetuity.  We can hope and pray that at some time in the future those two great peoples, now engaged in a futile conflict, will be able to build on past positive experience and will be able to live and govern together.  But now that fire, born of frustration, despair and rage on both sides,  must be put out before it spreads throughout the world.  It is not only prudent to do this; it is the only fair and just way.
  • The world of Judaism, of Christianity and of Islam must take positive steps, at the highest levels  and at the lowest personal levels, to come to know and to respect each other’s view of the world which we share - and which we can lose.  Moses, Jesus and Mohammed taught the same lessons.  It is we who must re-learn them.  Our survival and our salvation depend on it.

    See also the offering under "Physician-Patient Spirituality"



    "Our reliance is in the love of liberty
    which God has planted in our
    bosoms.  Our defense is the
    preservation of the spirit which
    prizes liberty as the heritage of all
    men, in all lands, everywhere."

    Abraham Lincoln
    September 11, 1858

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