Giving up freedoms hands the terrorists the victory they...


September 29, 2001

Giving up freedoms hands the terrorists the victory they seek

I agree with the main premise of Dan Rodricks' column "`Crash Cafe' has no place in our strange new world" (Sept. 21): Building such a restaurant at this time would be in poor taste, perhaps even cruel. However, I must strongly disagree with several of the ways Mr. Rodricks intends to cope with our new world.

If he'd like to meekly wear sweatpants, shorn of facial hair as well as dignity, that's his choice.

I, on the other hand, will be proudly sporting my Levi's Button Fly while listening to Metallica on my laptop.

I'll also have three days growth of facial hair. I can shave at my destination, with the razor I've tucked in my checked bags. Shoot, I might just wear a turban.

Stopping a swarthy-skinned young man with a beard and a poorly tied turban is profiling - and it's just as wrong today as it was a few weeks ago.

Perhaps I'm just too young for admittance into the "this-too-shall-pass club." I'm too young to give up my rights as an American, for any reason.

The convenience we have grown accustomed to may be replaced with rigid baggage examinations and longer lines. But if terrorists can make us scared to pack because someone might think an item is "suspicious," if we can be persuaded to timidly give up the freedom our fathers fought for, the terror has succeeded.

Kienen Mason


Hunting down terrorists is nation's only option

The terrorists who have attacked us have stated their objective: to destroy our culture and our country.

Any attempt to negotiate or to appease them will be viewed as a sign of weakness and will encourage more attacks. Our only option is to hunt down all terrorists and bring them to trial or kill them if they resist. Any country that supports them will be responsible for any collateral damage.

This may take decades or forever, but it must be done to preserve our way of life.

Kurt S. Willem


America must understand that our "war against terrorism" is not just about retribution, it is also about securing a future for our children.

We can attack these rogue nations and terrorist groups while their ability to cause mass casualties is limited, or wait until their nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs are fully developed.

Now is the time to act.

Michael DeCicco


Condemn fanatics who use violence at home, too

Now that we are fully aware of the dangers of terrorism, let us extend that condemnation to domestic terrorism.

We should not believe that all Muslims are terrorists or all terrorists are Muslim.

Those who bomb women's clinics and assassinate doctors are no different than those who destroyed the Twin Towers.

And those Americans who preach intolerance of others who do not share their fundamentalist beliefs should be exposed as no different than Osama bin Laden.

K. Gary Ambridge

Bel Air

It is not difficult to understand the twisted mindset of the Sept. 11 terrorists; they are blood-brothers of the American terrorists who picket and burn abortion clinics and kill their doctors and then claim that God is on their side.

Robert A. Ritchie


Don't sacrifice more blacks for the president's crusade

As a black American and an Afrocentric feminist, I am opposed to our country participating in a war to get one target, Osama bin Laden.

I am against capital punishment and using war to maintain one's tribal, racial or religious supremacy.

I have not gotten over the number of black men killed in the Vietnam War. I do not want to see another war that kills black soldiers to fulfill President Bush's crusade for patriotism, not justice.

Larnell Custis Butler


Limit access to trucks that spray insecticides

The images on our news depicting clouds of mosquito-spray smoke dispersed in our city's neighborhoods send shivers up my spine at the thought of the potential these vehicles harbor.

I hope measures are in place to prevent terrorists gaining access to these trucks.

David Baum


Send Clinton to make peace in the Mideast

At the core of our current problem is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

We must be seen to be deeply involved in it. We need an envoy with standing - one who is intimately aware of the problems involved and the protagonists and is trusted as an honest broker.

In all the country, only former President Clinton fills the job description. It would be a master stroke to send him.

Marvin Thalenberg


Don't blame Israel for suffering in Gaza

James Ron, as usual, shows that his understanding of history is as limited as Yasser Arafat's ("Self-critical foreign policies could enhance our security," Opinion*Commentary, Sept. 24).

For example, he has conveniently forgotten that the Gaza Strip was a cesspool of poverty long before it came under Israeli control in 1967. Egypt had previously "administered" the area (notice, no one ever referred to Egypt's "occupation" of Gaza) and the Arabs there didn't fare so well then either.

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