Unite to fight terror, at home and overseas The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 26, 2001

Unite to fight terror, at home and overseas

The unprecedented terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 have united our country in the fight against an enemy that has been preying on the world for more than a decade. Our president has been leading a commendable effort to unite the world in this fight against terrorism.

This fight is different from others because the perpetrators of Sept. 11's heinous acts want to destroy our way of life. They do not have territorial claims; they are not seeking to redress some act we have taken; they do not have any specific demand.

The objective of these shadowy groups of terrorists is to wage a war against us because of who we are and what we believe. We must be united in our fight to stamp out this scourge.

Unfortunately, certain misguided people within our country have chosen to show their anger by attacking innocent people. They are following the same path as the terrorists, since they also attack the values America cherishes. We cannot expect to defeat cowardly groups of terrorists by copying the methods they have adopted.

It is time that all of us denounce the terrorism at home, so we can be united under the leadership of President Bush.

Kunal Gangopadhyay

Baltimore

`Tolerance' doesn't show genuine respect for others

We've heard a lot about tolerance in the last week, especially toward Arab-Americans. But I'm sick of the word "tolerance." Government commissions are devoted to tolerance. Bumper stickers and buttons tell us to "Teach Tolerance." In Los Angeles there's even a Museum of Tolerance.

Despite the good intentions of its modern users, tolerance does not meet our problems head-on. It tiptoes around them.

To tolerate is to put up with, to endure. We tolerate a lot: lines at supermarkets, power outages, Baltimore summers, etc.

I think people deserve more than to simply be tolerated. How about a better word -- respect?

James Egan

Baltimore

Bombings won't make our enemies surrender

American foreign policy too often seeks simple solutions by demonizing enemies rather than seeking to understand them. Now we're in danger of making the same mistake by targeting Osama bin Laden.

Bombing suspected bin Laden hideouts is less likely to force a surrender than to invite retaliation, and mass attacks will not protect us from suicide bombs or parcels of anthrax.

Headlong revenge is not the answer. The situation calls for focused strategy, accurate intelligence and collaboration with other democracies whose advice we have arrogantly dismissed in recent years.

Chest-thumping ultimatums are what we don't need.

Sidney Hollander Jr.

Baltimore

Stamp out terror once and for all

I see by the letters in The Sun that the apologists and turn-the-other-cheek crowd are alive and well. I thought we had been down this road before and it only cost 20 million lives. The next attack will be biological and will make the World Trade Center look like a walk in the park. These people hate our existence and must be stamped out -- hard and sure. The world is either with us or against us.

Harold Screen

Parkville

Let Islamic leaders punish their apostates

If indeed terrorist mass murder of innocents is anathema to Muslim teachings (and I credit this as true), why haven't Islamic clerical leaders of the world, led by those in the United States, declared a holy war against these apostates who have brought infamy to their faith?

Let those best able to deal decisively and surgically with their own do so in their own fashion.

This would earn them the respect and gratitude of the world, while at the same time limiting further bloodshed.

Rob Ross Hendrickson

Baltimore

Our will to fight will be key to winning war on terror

The North Vietnamese never won a tactical battle against the United States. Nevertheless, they defeated America's center of gravity -- the will of the American people to continue the fight.

This war may take years. But let's learn from Vietnam: War isn't just up to the military.

We count on them to fight and win our wars. In return, our armed forces depend on us and our will to fight to win.

David L. Rae

Aberdeen

Diplomacy and economics might be our best weapons

Sending our wonderful high-tech military to Asia reminds me of the time during the Vietnam War when the battleship USS Missouri fired its mighty 16-inch guns over our heads at presumed North Vietnamese activity just south of the DMZ.

It was impressive. It was also ineffective. A typical daily damage report read "400 meters of trail destroyed."

An obsessive focus on personalizing our amorphous enemy as Osama bin Laden and finding a military solution is a distraction from the real battle -- one that must be fought with weapons of diplomacy and economics against our common enemies of hatred, violence and oppression.

Those weapons may be less impressive but more effective.

Leo M. Richter

Reisterstown

Buying stocks represents a gesture of patriotism

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