Sunday, September 10, 2006

Compare and Contrast on 9-11

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

George W. Bush, 9/11/01

"Bush Jr. will realize that he is squandering many American interests with his overt bias towards the Israeli aggressors… If the US thinks that with its policy, it is actualizing American interests within and without the US, it will very quickly discover that the price of this bias is extremely high… The US, including the American people and the Israeli people, has rightly become Enemy No. 1 of the nations."

Columnist Mahmoud Abd Al-Mun'im Murad of the Egyptian government-sponsored daily, Al-Akhbar, August 28, 2001

The people who committed these acts are clearly determined to try to force the United States of America and our values to withdraw from the world. Or to respond by curtailing our freedoms. If we do that, the terrorists will have won. And we have no intention of doing so.

Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Secretary

"The meaning of terror according to the American [dictionary] is known. [The term] refers to any resistance to the new colonialism. In contrast, the collective and racist annihilation of peoples constitutes (according to the American dictionary) a civilized action that should not be resisted."

University of Lebanon lecturer Mustafa Juzo, Al-Hayat (London), September 17, 2001

"Maybe the purpose of all this is to find out if America today is as strong as when we fought for our independence or when we fought for ourselves as a Union to end slavery or as strong as our fathers and grandfathers who fought to rid the world of Nazism and communism. The terrorists were counting on our cowardice. They've learned a lot about us since then. And so have we. "

Rudolph Giuliani

"When the twin towers collapsed and the New York skyline, which had been obstructed by them, was revealed to me – I felt deep within me like someone that was delivered from the grave; I [felt] that I was being carried in the air above the corpse of the mythological symbol of arrogant American imperialist power, whose administration had prevented the [American] people from knowing the crimes it was committing… My lungs filled with air and I breathed in relief, as I had never breathed before."

"A few minutes later, I again thought about the people under the ruins, and I began to say to myself: 'What sin had these innocents committed?' I was sorry that my humanity had been contaminated by Zionist America and by world Zionism… But, a few minutes later, the media informed me of new facts: 'Arabs and Muslims were blamed, and were even threatened by retaliation.'"

"This brought me back to the spiritual tomb, in which I am overwhelmed by the aggression, the arrogance, the racism, and the distortion of facts. Inner strength, that saves me from drowning, has helped me to again breathe above the surface of the grave: we will return, we will live, we will win, and we will realize justice for the world, because we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for rights, justice, and the humanity of the world…"

"The American people must awake and see the image of [its] policy… a filthy policy that dishonors its owners… That hour on September 11 should be significant for the American decision makers; it must lead to a reexamination of [American] ideas, policy, and strategy. It may be that [this event] will also reach the American mind, whose real humanity has been blocked by military and economic might…"

Syrian Arab Writers Association chairman 'Ali 'Uqleh 'Ursan, Al-Usbu' Al-Adabi (Damascus) September 15, 2001.

"The people who did this have underestimated them. They have looked upon the most affluent and overweight people in the world, seen softness and not understood that underneath, there is iron and resolve and unfathomable will. They have seen the startling diversity of race and religion and ethnicity and heard the cacophony of voices in that remarkable country, and failed to grasp that beneath the heart of every hyphenated American, there rages the heart of an American, period."--
Christie Blatchford {National Post - Canadian national newspaper, September 12, 2001}

There are times, reading statements from such diverse thinking groups, hearing a man call us racist for saying Arab muslims did something that they did, while calling the Israelis nazis in the same article, and not seeing how that is overt racism, seeing the blame piled on America reflexively, calling the US colonial, when it never has made it a point to plant colonies, although many of the European countries that do not get called out actually did and are part of the reason the Middle East looks the way it does today, all of this sometimes makes me wonder if we live on the same planet.


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