Catastrophic attack stands as a reminder of what truly...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 15, 2001

Catastrophic attack stands as a reminder of what truly matters

The terrorist catastrophe that took place on Tuesday can be looked upon as the first day of the rest of our lives. This horrible act should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans.

We've become too comfortable. We've become too greedy. We've become too soft.

We worry more about our cell phone signals than our military. We worry more about the popular culture than about our warrior culture. We value our checkbooks more than our textbooks.

But the firemen who entered the World Trade Center did not hesitate in making their decision to go in and try to save lives.

Indeed, we've had our priorities out of order for some time now. We should not have to experience tragedy to find the impetus to do what is morally compelling.

And we certainly cannot afford to go on with business as usual in these first days of the rest of our lives.

John D. Nazelrod

Owings Mills

Now is the time to rid the world of terrorism

I support the president completely in any action the administration deems appropriate in reaction to the heinous attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

It is my profound hope that the decision takes into consideration action against those governments and peoples who support or condone terrorist actions.

This is the time. The cowards who planned and pulled off these horrific acts have, by stepping beyond all bounds any civilized people could condone, created a unique circumstance where many nations, both friends and foes, appear ready to rally behind the leadership of the Bush administration to destroy terrorism.

We can now show those who support such uncivilized actions that such conduct will cost far more than they can pay.

It is imperative that the president make Tuesday's dastardly acts backfire on the perpetrators. Such would be the only appropriate epitaph to those killed.

Edward C. Dorsch Jr.

Nottingham

The time for legal niceties is over.

No more economic sanctions or attempts to extradite.

Declare war: Bomb, invade, conquer.

Kill the enemy and kill their leaders.

Tony Dean

Baltimore

Blind drive for vengeance would undermine our values

Government officials lately have been calling the monstrous attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center an act of war. While the term "war" appropriately reflects the outrage felt by Americans and the world, we have to ask ourselves what this really means.

If we find the perpetrators, put them on trial, and send them to prison, does that mean we have won the war?

This attack differed only in magnitude from Timothy McVeigh's attack on the Oklahoma City federal building. An armed invasion is no more appropriate in this instance than it was in McVeigh's case.

As for the Oklahoma City bombing, or for any crime, what we need is not an armed invasion but an effort to find the criminals and bring them to justice.

Let's keep a level head and make our goal not "vanquishing the enemy," but finding the individuals allegedly responsible and giving them their day in court.

It's not as dramatic as a war, but it's the just, American thing to do.

Noam Mohr

Columbia

I was saddened by the tone of so many letters in Thursday's Sun.

I offer a fable: A wasp once stung a bull. The bull raged and stomped and tore up the ground all around, but the wasp flew away and the bull was still in pain.

The wasp then stung the farmer. He slapped some medicine on the sting to ease the pain, then followed the wasp, gathered his tools and destroyed the hive. He put screens in place to make sure the wasps could not get into his barn again. Then he went back to tending his crops.

As painful as these days are, we are not at war. No nation seeks to overthrow our government, no army masses on our border.

This act of terror is an attack on our way of life. If we act like the bull we can tear up the world without solving anything. If we act like the farmer we can continue America's traditional role of promoting freedom throughout the world.

If we turn isolationist and vengeful, the wasps win.

Mac Nachlas

Baltimore

Foreign missiles aren't the real threat

In the last decade, missiles from rogue nations have killed or wounded no one on American soil. But from missiles of domestic origin? Just this week's casualties in Washington, Pennsylvania and New York will be in the thousands.

Yet the Bush administration wants $8 billion for missile defense next year.

For a fraction of that, we could put sky marshals on every flight so terrorists with knives could not turn our own planes into missiles.

It's time to look hard at priorities.

Al McKegg

West Friendship

Accept the inconveniences tighter security requires

Now that the American people have seen the failures of our airport security systems, how many of us will welcome intensive searches of our baggage, the loss of curbside baggage check-in, and a new serious handling of security issues?

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