Handling the 9/11 Aftermath
The war on terrorism must be fought on two fronts.
The first is on the physical level. Everything in our power must be done to root them out and destroy those who are dedicated to terror. Unfortunately, no amount of good will, love or light will have any positive influence on them. Those who are religiously committed to a cause of destruction, or followers of such men are not warmed by the light of the soul as you and I may be.
It would be nice if good will alone would work, but such is not the case. How much easier it would be if all we had to do was smooth over our public relations mistakes of the past, repent of our blunders and show them we mean no harm in the present. Unfortunately, there are times when physical force must be used, but if we are wise in the present this necessity will greatly diminish in the coming age.
The second front is one that should be accepted by pacifists for it is aimed at those who are capable of having a change in heart and are affected positively by good will, friendship and loving outreach.
Fortunately, this second group is comprised of over 90% of the human race. Unfortunately, the real troublemakers of the earth are in the 10%. Actually it is less than 1% and the other 9% or so who blindly follow them.
This great majority of the people of the human race are basically good and decent individuals who are merely seeking to make the best of their lives. Unfortunately, many in this group are deceived by misinformation and twisted logic fed to them by the enemies of freedom. It is also a major problem that those who support tyranny are often more aggressive and savvy about public relations than the good guys.
These “good guys” are far from perfect, but their overall intent is the preservation and expansion of the good parts of civilization as they see it. Their PR problem is that they will often think their good works speak for themselves and there is not a lot of need to advertise what they do or aggressively take credit for it.
The negative forces realize this advantage and not only deceive many average people about their own intentions, but manage to take credit for the good done by others while blaming much of the negative works they have initiated on the innocent.
One of the good effects to come out of the 9/11 disaster was that the act was so disgusting that for, perhaps for the first time, the world has caught a glimpse of the reality of the true intentions and resolve of the terrorists. This terrible act of destruction killed thousands of innocent men women and children from not only the United States, but from over 80 nations and many religions including Islam. In addition to this, some estimate the damage to the world economy may be over a trillion dollars and that for some time to come over 20,000 children will die a month because of financial aid that just will not be available.
Yes, this act of terror was so disgusting it is indefensible to all but the most hard hearted and self deluded souls.
A line has thus been drawn in the sand, even before President Bush issued the statement that the world is either for or against us.
Some have criticized this statement, but the Jesus himself said something similar:
“He that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9:50
In a situation where good and evil or progression and retrogression, are concerned, a neutral position can only be held for so long. Eventually a choice must be made. If one finds himself in a flowing stream the swimmer must go with the stream of life or against it.
He will soon find that even though he tries to be neutral by standing still that the current still moves him and he either has to let the force move him or go against it. We must be wise and make a decision earlier rather than later or else strength is added to the stream of the forces of evil.
Bush is forcing decision upon the nations and where there is an increase in decision there is an increase in the power of life essence itself.
The physical side of the equation is simple to state, hard to do. Find the terrorists and neutralize them and make sure they no longer have power to disrupt the progress of civilization.
Bush is correct to solicit help from Muslim nations as well as Allies and then to concentrate on one area at a time where terrorism is supported. It is important to not spread ourselves too thin.
On the public relations/emotional/spiritual side things become more complicated.
George W has been wiser than some past presidents in this regard, including his father.
Beyond the consideration of a physical response President Bush has done several things right.
(1) He and his associates are working with the leaders of all pertinent nations assuring them that we are not at war with Islam, but have respect for the religion. We are at war with terrorists and those who house them. (2) He has stood up for the rights of law abiding Muslims living in the U.S. and, perhaps more important than promising strong prosecution of those who persecute them, he has set a tone of tolerance and acceptance for the nation. (3) Shortly after the catastrophe he called a nationally televised meeting where leaders from many religions (including Islam) spoke with a voice of unity. (4) He has struck a tone of powerful decisiveness and resolve which is largely responsible for having the highest approval rating of any president in history. (5) He has allocated 350 million dollars for food and aid to assist the people of Afghanistan who have fled into a much worse situation than they would be in had they stayed at home.
In addition to these measures I would do the following:
(1) Hold an anti terrorism/peace conference inviting members of all concerned nations. I would hold the first one in Saudi Arabia and make the theme of the first one: “Living at peace with religious differences.”
I would make this a yearly event.
(2) Internet Peace Corps
Whereas most of the nations of the world have made gains in freedom over the past 50 years, the nations of the Middle East have less. The problem areas of the world are always where freedom is limited.
Most mid east governments control what is printed in newspapers and reported in the news as far as Arabic information is concerned, but journalists and reporters have full reign to attack non Muslim nations, especially the United States.
This creates a problem in that the people see the United States as the great Satan, even worse than Saddam Hussein who they treat with more gentleness.
The bright spot in this situation is the internet. Internet access is growing quite rapidly in most Arabic nations and the people are eager to get on line. The governments make some attempt to censor it, but are not too effective at this as they are with news in the other media.
I would suggest an internet Peace Corps program starting with students throughout the country. The government of this or other countries could create an outreach program and introduce it to the schools to be presented to students beginning at the youngest that can write through college.
Each student would be given some type of credit for writing weekly letters to one or more internet pen pals who reside in a country where better relations is essential. This would include, but not be limited to, Middle Eastern and other Islamic nations, China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia etc.
There are translator programs now available so the student could write in English and it would be translated into the appropriate language. The translation programs are not perfect, but are good enough to get ideas across.
The government could publicize this program to all nations and do all in its power to provide e-mail contacts to the students. When the program begins then students could ask pen pals for additional contacts for other students who wish to write.
I think back to my teenage years when I had snail mail pen pals in other countries and found it a pleasant experience learning their thoughts. With the immediate communication and translating programs today, the experience could even be more rewarding.
The idea here is to condition the world for the appearance of the next generation. If we establish friendly relations between millions of the rising generation of many nations, then, years from now, misunderstanding and hostility between differing peoples will dramatically diminish.
In addition to this a more immediate positive effect could be achieved by creating special Internet Peace Corps sites dedicated to various countries of the earth. For instance there would be a U.S.A. Syrian site, a U.S.A. Afghanistan site etc.
There are many countries who are hostile to the United States who have a controlled press which give their people inaccurate news and a distorted vision of this and other countries.
These sites could quote the inaccurate statements and then give the accurate story as we see it. If the accuracy of our side bears out then the people in these nations will start to pay attention and begin talking about it. By far the majority of people want the truth once they realize they may have been deceived.
We will also invite them to correct any misperceptions that we have. The site will be dedicated to the truth wherever that will take us.
In addition we would post stories, essays and columns that would emphasize better relations and understanding between the two countries.
These sites as a whole will be dedicated to better relationships through improved communication and promoted in every way possible.
Positive steps to take:
(3) Give our enemies no justifiable grievances.
Even if the United States, Britain, France or any other nation are as clean as the driven snow in the eyes of God there will still be many criticisms laid at them.
On an individual level most accept Jesus as a pretty decent guy, yet he was accused of many evils and even seen as the “great Satan” that must be crucified.
The mass judgment of a nation is merely an extension of the principles by which we judge individuals, so it is only logical that the nations who best represent expressions of love and helpfulness will also be subject to intense criticism whether they do wrong or not.
It is also interesting to note that if a nation or an individual does a good deed and then a bad one that he will be more criticized for the good than for the bad. Illusion is so powerful in the world that many see the picture of truth reversed from the true reality.
The United States has been very vocally criticized by friends and enemies for numerous accused evils which have enflamed enemies to attack or at least hate us.
Here are some of the strongest criticisms:
(A) The United States supports Israel which has committed all kinds of horrendous acts including expelling Palestinians from their land.
Here are the facts.
It is true that the United States did support the creation of a Jewish state, but so did the majority of the United Nations.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state. It was approved on November 29, 1947 with 33 votes in favor, 13 against (mostly Arabic nations), 10 abstentions and one absent.
The resolution was accepted by the Jews in Palestine, yet rejected by the Arabs in Palestine and the Arab states.
Shortly thereafter Israel declared itself to be an independent state. This so angered the surrounding Arabic nations that they invaded Israel with the stated objective to annihilate it from the face of the earth.
In fighting for its survival Israel pushed back the invaders and wound up occupying additional land.
Because of the war Israel acquired some previously Arabic land and some Palestinians were displaced from their homes.
Even though the Arabs started the war with the intention of wiping Israel off the face of the earth, Israel wound up getting the brunt of the criticism. Many observers say you can’t blame Israel for occupying the conquered land because they were faced with a continued threat of Arab invasion (which did come later) and the land was needed as a buffer to insure their very existence.
Was it evil or wrong for the United States to vote with the majority of nations in favor of a Jewish state and was it wrong for it to support Israel’s right to survive, especially when it has not been the initiator of the wars it has passed through and prevailed?
The Arabic nations think it is wrong largely because they have lost every conflict they have initiated with Israel.
The UN itself seems to have an unreasonable grudge against Israel. It has not only denied it any position of authority with its councils as it has generously offered many Arabian nations, but during a 43 year period has voted on her behalf 7,938 times, but against her often with condemning votes 55,642 times. This bias has not been shown to any other nation.
Should we withdraw friendship from a faithful alley because those who initiated conflict are angry at their loss?
This is a situation where there is no easy answer, but it is obvious here that much of the criticism toward the United States in this area is not justified.
Even so, this hatred for Israel has to be dealt with and we must proceed with caution and wisdom in our Middle East relationships in relation to the Jewish state.
Oct 7, 2001
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