Terrorist attack opens opportunity to renew global...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 18, 2001

Terrorist attack opens opportunity to renew global community

The attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon is a crisis, a threat to our security and an indication that the social system is malfunctioning.

Technological systems (global transportation and communication) have reduced the world to a "global village," but our social systems have not yet developed a way of governing it and we need to think more creatively about how to achieve security in the global village.

We have begun envisioning coalitions with NATO and other nations. We have also begun to ask whether we need to give up some of our freedoms in the interest of national security.

Now also may be the time for us to consider whether we should give up some of our national sovereignty in the interest of international security.

The Chinese term for "crisis" is composed of the characters for "danger" and "opportunity."

At this time of dangerous opportunity, we can choose to regress and attempt to find security by building a figurative wall around ourselves that we dare our enemies to breach or we can move forward toward security based on citizenship in an international community.

Ray Donaldson

Fulton

Was no one watching the FBI's `watch list'?

I am alarmed by reports claiming that several of the hijackers were on a "watch list" as a result of suspected involvement in the bombing of USS Cole and other crimes against American citizens.

To which watch list are the reports referring? What list refers to suspected murders, who are citizens of other countries but allowed to live in this country?

What list allows our enemies to take flying lessons without having their motives questioned?

What watch list gives individuals the latitude to wage war against the United States and still board an airliner, hijack it and crash it into one of the World Trade Center towers or the Pentagon?

Who is watching the watch list?

The concept of allowing suspected murderers to live among us is beyond comprehension and demands explanation.

Tilghman G. Pitts III

Baltimore

Give intelligence agencies the power to protect us

The Sun's front-page article "Lack of warning highlights spy agencies' shortcomings" (Sept. 14) pointed an accusatory finger at "another intelligence failure."

But those pointing the fingers are the same people who have hampered the intelligence community from doing its job.

Under the guise of civil liberties, our liberal politicians have crippled the hardworking intelligence organizations by funding and personnel cuts, unreasonable restrictions on necessary operations and by painting the U.S. intelligence community as some multiheaded, obtrusive dragon threatening all Americans.

Those who staff our intelligence organizations are not there to spy on Americans or deny them civil liberties, but to protect them from events such as those at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

I ask the American people to support our intelligence operatives and give them the tools and authority to do their job and protect us from future terrorist attacks.

H. Robert Kennedy

Annapolis

Don't use a bazooka to target a gnat

We are so high-tech now, but I hope the United States will not use a $1 million cruise missile to blow up a $14 tent.

This war should be well planned and have the backing of many countries before any action is taken.

Howard P. Fink

Baltimore

Declaring war only inflames the terrorists

Those calling for war in response to the terrible tragedies of Sept. 11 are overlooking the fact that the perpetrators of these mass murders were also suicidal.

They took their own lives with enthusiam.

Our threats to kill them will only inflame their madness and indiscriminately bombing them will add to their insane sense of glory.

This kind of violence makes clear the need, evident since the beginning of the nuclear age, to find other means of resolving conflict and punishing and preventing mass murders.

We need to capture those who commited this unthinkable crime, try them publicly and demonstrate to their peoples the insanity and shame of such an act.

Denise Barker

Timonium

Our national values, life provoke deep hostility

The Sun's editorial "Acts of war demand focused response" (Sept. 13) makes a heartfelt plea to rally round God, the flag and country.

The hang-up for me and, I would suspect, many others comes from this "strengthening the values that make us Americans and restoring the national life." Just what, exactly, does that mean?

Our values and national life got us to where someone out there is unhappy to the point of destroying us. Do we want to go back to such "values and national life?

Randall Miller

Ocean View, Del.

Misleading headline could add to bigotry

I take exception to The Sun's headline "Muslim opinion jeopardizes support" (Sept. 16).

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