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Did you lose anybody in the attack?

Yes
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No
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Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: September 11, 2005, 12:35:31 pm

Author Topic: Never Forget...  (Read 12698 times)

nightmare975

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« on: September 11, 2005, 12:35:31 pm »
Today is September 11th, 2005. It has been 4 years since the tragic events that happened in New York. My question is to you,

Where were you when you heard the news, and how did it affect your day?

I had gotten up that morning and went down to the living room. My dad a few minutes later turned on the TV to find the channel he had left it on the night before, stating

Quote from: TV Channel
Were are sorry for the inconvinonce but we will not airing our regular shows this morning due to the tragic events in New York.


My dad was like "What?" and he turned the channel to a local station and we watched in horror as the first tower fell on live television. Then the second fell. I was wrecked the whole day. I just wanted to wake up from this horrible nightmare, but wasn't a nightmare, it was real.

Kazuki

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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2005, 01:46:18 pm »
I was nearly 11 years old in 5th grade at the time...I learned about it in school, when all the teachers were whispering around to each other like it was a complete conspiracy until our 5th grade teacher, a great woman, told us about what had happened. I was a bit concerned for my Dad, who at the time worked in New York at Pfizer (Only a block away from the UN building), but then I got a call down to the office with a message that he was fine. It really didn't affect my young life too much, as I'd lost nobody.

However, in retrospect, I wish I had been a bit more respectful and involved in the relief efforts, but I was young(er) and foolish then.

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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 01:58:47 pm »
I was 11, in sixth grade. My friend told me over the phone, and I coulden't believe it and thought he was kidding me. Then, later in the evening, I heard it was true. It wasn't really something that bothered me, just like everything else about the US, but hey, terrorism stinks worldwide, so meh.

nightmare975

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2005, 02:27:54 pm »
Quote from: Legend of the Past
I was 11, in sixth grade. My friend told me over the phone, and I coulden't believe it and thought he was kidding me. Then, later in the evening, I heard it was true. It wasn't really something that bothered me, just like everything else about the US, but hey, terrorism stinks worldwide, so meh.


At least we all have the same views.

Terrorists are teh SUCK!

Daniel Krispin

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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2005, 02:32:08 pm »
That was, I think, the third day of first year university for me. It scarcely affected me, save for a matter of interest. I thought 'wow, this is really happening; this will be something to remember', but I still went to school, and life went on as normal. My statics prof told us a few days later the mechanics of why the buildings fell: not the crash, not the explosion, but the fires due to the jet-fuel that weakened the support columns. That day felt like it was historical. But beyond that, I actually don't see that event as all that big of a deal, and I'm not sure why its still being given that much press.

More people die from civils wars, from disasters, and all such things all the time around the world, yet none hear of them. It is the shock of it, that the US was actually struck by foreign terrorism, that accounts for its remembrance, not the loss of human life - quite simply, the US has a strong hand but a weak heart, and is easily frightened by a strike on its home soil. If this had happened in Britain, I think after two years it would have been mostly forgotten - Britain is very resiliant, as shown during the air raids duruing WWII, which were far more devestating than September 11 was. The World Trade Centre thing was more flashy, more noticeable because of the long spell of peace that had descended on the US, but none the more terrible than a hundred other things both now around the world, and in the past hundred years. I do not think that we will be remembring hurricane Katrina in quite the same way in four years. Or many of the earthquakes and the like that killed many more people. Or even the civil wars and oppressive regimes about the world that are causing just as much - and more - death and distress. I look at these things with the long view of history, and beside such calamities of the past hundred years as the Somme, the Holocaust, the fire-bombing of Dresden by the British, Stalin's exterminations (that is probably the worst of the last century), this seems rather minor. It only touched very near to Americans, which is probably why it doesn't affect me much - I'm not American.

nightmare975

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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2005, 02:35:40 pm »
Hey, it doesn't matter, but shock that people can go off and murder thousands of people just for their religious cause is sickening.

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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2005, 02:50:23 pm »
Quote from: nightmare975
Hey, it doesn't matter, but shock that people can go off and murder thousands of people just for their religious cause is sickening.


True. Interestingly, though religion is used as a driving force, the basis of it is still territorial. Why don't they attack the Hindus? Why only the West, which is mostly Christian? Not because they are Christian, but because they are (or rather we are) the wealthy and oppressive west to their eyes. I think that lies at the heart of it, otherwise China and the east would have been struck, too, and they haven't. Of the east, who's been struck by terrorism? Russia. Why? Because they attacked Afghanistan. These things, as much as the bombers and the like might think it to be religious, is primarially in origin territorial.

Though, in some ways, the attack upon the world trade centre was not as much a terrorist act as some others (ie. the incessent suicide bombings in Israel and the like), and was rather an act of careful war. Think about it this way. What were the targets? The World Trade Centre, the Pentagon, and maybe the President. That is the Economy, the Military, and the Political centres of the United States. If their sole objective had been to cause terror, they would have struck in the middle of the day, when many more were in the buildings. But they struck in the morning, when they were few. Actually, I think that those events are nearer to a surgical military strike with civilian casualties alongside, rather than true terrorism. Actually, the atomic bombs can be considered much more an act of terrorism - it was meant to frighten the Japanese into surrender - come to think of it. As can the fire-bombing of Dresden. The US also practices what is called Terror-Bombing - they call it 'Shock and Awe' now, a euphamism so that avoid using the term 'terror', but it serves the same end. I'm not saying that such actions are good or right - only that everyone, to some measure, does them.

But, you know, we really shouldn't be shocked by any of this. It's human nature, it's the way of the world, and all of that, and is really to be expected. 2700 years ago it was seen as the kingly responsability of the kings of Assyria to go upon a yearly conquest in the name of their god Ashur - they killed and dispossessed many hundreds of thousands. Legend will likely remember those stories all too well, as the Israelites were amongst those dispossessed by the Assyrian kings. And the Assyrians did not simply kill and conquer - they were a nation of terrorists or, rather, subjegated the people through acts of terror: flayings, beheadings, and all such things, if the people did not submit. These were the boasts of their kings. The Aztecs of some 500 years ago slaughtered hundreds of thousands in the century before Cortez arrived - these being mostly from their neighbours - in the name of their sun-god. And even those that did not fight in the name of their religion have commited acts of violence in their conquests and wars. Three names, those of Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler, are best remembered, but even in this century there are many more. In light of all of that, and considering that history repeats itself, it's only a matter of time.

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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2005, 02:51:06 pm »
This was significant.  America felt secure in it's strength, it felt like terrorism, wars, and things of that nature are only things that happen over there, not here.  We are safe in America!

9/11 changed that.  It was the worst single attack on the US ever.  Worse than Peral Harbor, which brought us into WW2.  It is significant because it was an eye-opener.  It showed that the US is no invulnerable.  It showed that America must fight in order to protect itself, rather than protect itself by simply being great.  It bloodied our nose, and showed that we must protect ourselves, or be lost.

Sentenal

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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2005, 02:54:34 pm »
Quote
Interestingly, though religion is used as a driving force, the basis of it is still territorial. Why don't they attack the Hindus?


They do...  Pakistan and India are very hostile to each other.  But I don't think its so much territorial, as religious.  Right now, Christianity and Islam are the two largest religions, and so the radical Islamics aim to take down their biggest rival.  Terrorist are very much on a religious war agianst the US.

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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2005, 02:58:22 pm »
Quote from: Sentenal
This was significant.  America felt secure in it's strength, it felt like terrorism, wars, and things of that nature are only things that happen over there, not here.  We are safe in America!

9/11 changed that.  It was the worst single attack on the US ever.  Worse than Peral Harbor, which brought us into WW2.  It is significant because it was an eye-opener.  It showed that the US is no invulnerable.  It showed that America must fight in order to protect itself, rather than protect itself by simply being great.  It bloodied our nose, and showed that we must protect ourselves, or be lost.


Yes, exactly. Hopefully, they did learn, and if such a thing were ever to happen again, they could stand like the British did to the London Blitz: firm and without claim of surrender. The US has incredible military might, but lacks psychological strength to fight a war if it strikes her bounderies; if she is to fight terrorism, the people must steel themselves up and put on a firm 'never-surrender, come what may' attitude, and basically say 'do your worst'. It may sound too emotionless, but is the neccessary, probably the only way, to fight terrorism - don't let it cause terror, and it has lost its sting.

Sentenal

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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2005, 03:02:11 pm »
Unfortunatly, the will you speak of is lost on a certain part of the nation, who seek to rather make amends than to fight.  I won't go any further, for risk of a political debate.

Lord J Esq

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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2005, 03:14:06 pm »
Quote from: Sentenal
Unfortunatly, the will you speak of is lost on a certain part of the nation, who seek to rather make amends than to fight.  I won't go any further, for risk of a political debate.

I think you and I agree more strongly and on more issues than you would be comfortable to admit. The left in America is not what Rush Limbaugh makes it out to be. =P

More on the main topic of this thread after lunch!

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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2005, 04:49:20 pm »
I was just going to sleep as the towers were struck. Three hours later it my dad called me. He was in tears and told me to turn on the news, then went on about how the Pentagon was gone, and the Twin Towers were gone. He was shocked. So I was shocked too, because I’d gotten only three hours of sleep and because my dad doesn’t cry.

That summer I had a roommate who was brand new to the University and had just come from Hong Kong. My talking woke him up, and by the time I had hung up and was going to look at my computer to see the news, he asked what was going on. I don’t remember what I said.

What I do remember, however, is my very first coherent response. I specifically had the image of United States aircraft carrier in my mind, and I told my roommate that we—the U.S.—would never stand for this. Unfortunately, my half-asleep shocked response was to be the very mirror of official U.S. foreign policy for years to come. But I wasn’t thinking about that.

I got dressed and went to watch television in the lounge, where a bunch of people from my floor had gathered to watch CNN. By then both towers had collapsed, the Pentagon was in flames, the fourth airliner had long since crashed, and the media had cancelled all commercials and were pooling their resources. I got to watch (and rewatch) images of the towers collapsing many times, and goodness gracious, but I cannot remember a word of the commentary. That was when the cable news networks began doing their tickers at the bottom of the screen—something that has continued ever since—and I remember reading that they had evacuated the Space Needle and Columbia Tower in Seattle, as well as other high-profile facilities in the area. (Years later, it came out that the Columbia Tower had been one of al Qaeda’s intended targets in a larger attack plan, which was scrapped due to infeasibility.)

I think the lack of sleep is really what makes that day stand out in my mind. It is much harder to deal with anything when you’re tired, so my emotions were running high all day. I went down to the exercise room on the recreation level to vent some frustration on an exercise bike. I watched the television there, too. They were already suspecting that it was Osama bin Laden, but they didn’t know yet. President Bush, like the coward that he is, was in flight with full military escort for most of the day. Presumably this was because the government didn’t know if further attacks would be forthcoming, and in that kind of situation, being in the air surrounded by fighter jets is probably the safest place. Cheney was in his famously “undisclosed location.”

I am one of life’s least emotional human beings. By midafternoon I had mostly gotten over it. But the zeitgeist had utterly consumed me. The president spoke live on the air that evening, and the Congress sang on the steps of the Capitol, and vowed to hold session tomorrow. Late that evening I went to a hastily arranged group counseling session that night, as did most of the people on my floor, and listened to people prattle on about whatever it is they were prattling on about. I didn’t really care.

I went to bed very tired. I had lost no one, lost nothing. Seattle was far away from the action.

The thing that really stood out to me in the aftermath of September 11, and something which I may never see again in my lifetime, was the utterly quiet airspace. I live in Seattle, underneath a commercial air traffic corridor. Seattle’s airspace has large jetliners, private jets and propeller aircraft, medical helicopters, news helicopters, floating tour planes, private small aircraft…and for three days, all of that was gone. The sky was utterly silent. It was the silence that stood out the most. I knew that somewhere, up there, U.S. fighter jets were patrolling every American city, but I never heard one, never saw one.

The aftermath had some other curious incidents, too. We found out over the next few days that all the military bases were on high alert, with orders to shoot trespassers. I also remember everyone tripping over themselves to give blood. It stunned me, even then, just how silly this was. That’s way too much blood; I’ll bet a lot of it went to waste. And it struck me even more that Americans were eager to “do their part” to lend a hand in this disaster, but that donating blood is what they came up with. What a stupid, selfish reaction. It isn’t practical, it involves no sacrifice whatsoever, and it gives a false sense of accomplishment. I suppose, for some people, it was their way of trying to console themselves. For others, it was herd thinking. Other people were giving blood, so so would they. I don’t think most Americans understand what sacrifice really is.

I remember a political cartoon soon thereafter, by some conservative bloke I didn’t like. It was an elephant and a donkey, arm-in-arm, and they were saying something like “To arms, old chum?” “To arms, good friend.” Yeah…for a few weeks, there was no political bickering in this country. I will never forget it. Unfortunately, this unprecedented cooperation allowed for the passage of incredibly bad legislation, such as the PATRIOT Act and all manner of other terrible thing. Perhaps you saw the news on Friday, when the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, pursuant to legislation passed by Congress in the aftermath of September 11, the President of the United States has the authority to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely, without criminal charges. Outrageous.

Briefly, the entire world stood with us—a universal goodwill that has since vanished like a mirage. (Perhaps hardcore conservatives would say that a mirage is all it really was, but I disagree. I think we wasted something wonderful.) President Bush soon started wearing that little Stars and Stripes broach on his left lapel, and most other national leaders and top-ranking businesspeople eventually followed. Across the nation, American flags sprung up on every street corner and in every living room window. It was like something out of Nazi Germany, except the U.S. wasn’t evil yet. Today, if anything, there are even more flags on display than there were four years ago.

A military response was inevitable. The blame got pinned on Afghanistan pretty fast. I remember the Taliban issuing a statement calling on the U.S. not to attack their country. Tough shit for them; we launched an invasion pretty fast. However, we did hold off just long enough to make it look as though it were not a knee-jerk reaction. At the time I thought it was a symbol of our government’s prudent military wisdom. However, knowing the Bush administration as I know do, it seems more likely that Dubya had spent that time trying to see if there was a way he could pin the blame on Iraq instead of a nobody country like Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s leader, Pervez Musharraf, was very quick to declare “allegiance” to the United States. I believe he (correctly) perceived that, had he not done so, we would have invaded his country too. I have admired his leadership ever since; he’s a good guy, in charge of a country whose rank-and-file people are very much opposed to the West.

A couple of weeks after September 11, the school year began, and I used my position as a columnist at the newspaper to write editorials on the subject. I think I still have them.

So those were my September 11 experiences. But there is one last thing I want to mention. In that first week, even in that first day, I remember thinking that the nation’s response was as extreme as it could possibly have been. Insofar as are concerned the reactions of ordinary, everyday U.S. citizens, we could have been nuked in twenty American cities, and our response could not have been much more profound than it was. In other words…we overreacted. And here we are, four years later…still overreacting. “These colors don’t run.”

Regrettably, I have to agree with Daniel Krispin that, in absolute terms, the September 11 attacks were nothing as important as we made them out to be. More people die from no health care and extreme poverty, and yet we care little to stop these things. And, so, that we are still making so much ado about Semptember 11 today is frankly embarrassing.

However, inasmuch as the September 11 attacks shaped American culture and American policymaking, they are a crucial turning point in world history. The American culture shifted to the conservative right with the force of an earthquake. Our foreign policy immediately became militaristic and preemptory. American citizens became xenophobic and racist, and responded to the perceived Islamic threat by strengthening their Christian evangelism. My dad said, once upon a time, that the September 11 attacks were the Pearl Harbor of our generation. That’s true, I think. But the difference is that we have sense entered a kind of war that may be unwinnable. We are fighting against “terror.” We have reified the enemy. You can’t do that. You can’t beat an idea with guns and missiles.

President Bush says we have an enemy, and its name is Terror. But not only am I not sure that Terror is our true enemy; I am not even sure we have an enemy at all. And if we do, I don’t think Terror is its name. I think the real threat to America is that we’ve got religious fanatics reading from their Koran on one continent and religious fanatics reading from their Bible on another. These two powers want to clash, and, by God, they will…so long as they remain in control of their respective societies.

I realize now, four years after the attacks, that our response to September 11 was childish, and ill-advised. The initial Afghanistan invasion was a good move. Everything that came after it was wrong. We failed to actually secure that country and build peace there. The government doesn’t control the country, we still have thousands of American troops committed there, and Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and other unsavory characters still run free. Al Qaeda itself has evolved from a tangible terrorist organization into a symbol of Islamic fanaticism; it can never be defeated now, in terms of a direct confrontation. America may or may not be more “safe” in physical terms than it was four years ago—John Kerry was absolutely correct about the abject vulnerability of our ports of entry, transportation infrastructure, and energy installations, and Bush has never acted to shore these up—but whether or not our city walls are stronger and thicker, goodness knows we have more enemies at the gates now than we did four years ago. That right there is the essential error in President Bush’s foreign policy. He treats the whole world as being “with us, or against us”—even our allies. As a result, America is now one of the most despised nations on Earth.

I was surprised when so many countries offered relief to us, following Hurricane Katrina. But once I thought about it, I bet many of them got a secret pleasure out of simultaneously offering help to the needy and humility to the mighty. I can’t blame them. They’re in their rights.

The terrorists, whomever they are and wherever they live, realize that no single bomb or attack could ever destroy the United States. Only terror itself can do that. We could have defeated the terrorists…by not being terrorized. But instead we declared a War on Terror, with a capital “T,” and from that day on, the United States has been in greater and greater peril—not the peril of destruction, but the peril of obscurity. We are fast falling from the world stage as a major power…and history may well show that September 11, 2001, was the catalyst for all of that. Look how we responded the attacks of that day. We were terrorized. Instead of denying the terrorists their prize, we put them front-and-center in American life. The course of our nation was permanently changed. We have alienated ourselves from most of the planet. We have wasted our goodwill abroad. We have wasted the economy. We have wasted the military. We have wasted everything we have to waste, and momentum we have lost will take its toll.

My incoherent response on that morning, thinking of the United States aircraft carrier and the wrath of God reprisal that we would surely deliver to those barbarians who had struck at us…that was the same thing the Bush administration thought, and has lived out ever since. He and his base of supporters known as the radical religious right have succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties—the country itself is not yet a theocracy, but the Republican Party is—and these evangelicals are driving American politics, using God as a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, human rights, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services…and foreign policy.

And I think to myself—with chagrin and dismay and even a little honest to goodness fear—what a stunning failure. What a colossal blunder. Will the United States ever recover from this? We succeeded in allowing the fear of terrorism to embolden the worst president this country has ever had. Christian extremists roam the borders with guns, bomb abortion clinics, assault black people and Muslims…and what they do inside the law would fill an ocean. When President Bush declared the “War on Terror,” I think that was the day the terrorists “already won.”

The future is uncertain. So long as we memorialize September 11 as a justification to assail the world with our “armies of democracy,” we are doomed. So long as ordinary Americans submit to the terrorism they claim to hate, and look upon the rest of the world with suspicion and anger, we are doomed. So long as we continue supporting the political party that gratifies our childish lust for the utter destruction of some tangible enemy, we are doomed. There may simply come a point of no return. Maybe we are not there yet; maybe we already passed it. Hari Seldon pointed out that once you can see a cultural shift occurring, it is too late to stop it. That is the basic limitation that defines the science of psychohistory. And although the man is fictional and the science isn’t real, the premise is sound. People like Bill O’Reilly, James Dobson, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell command assaults on intellectualism and progressivism, forcing America’s ambitions into the strange, contorted shape of a juggernaut under incredible pressure both from within and without. We are an angry, proud, stupid people with incredible economic power and vast waistlines, who waste resources like confetti, who denigrate those who could be our greatest friends, who like our leaders to speak in terms we understand, and who blame the liberal American values that made this country great for all of our ills. America is in an irrational, homicidal state of mind. We’re furious, and we have really big guns. It’s just not a good place for this country to be.

In this uncertain future is the possibility of the total destruction we fear, so unlikely and yet, because of our own overreaction, also a uniquely real possibility unlike ever before. Christian neoconservatives are leading assaults on most of the world, and even on American society itself. Like the Emperor and his death star, they are squeezing too tight, and in the end they will lose their grip. If that comes to pass in a way that rains destruction upon us, we will damn them too late, for we will be damned right along with them.

In this uncertain future is the possibility of complete obscurity, as we squander our superpower over the world and sit idly by while countries like China and the new, budding European Union pass us by in ambition and prudence. I always hesitate in drawing comparisons between Imperial Rome and the United States, but one comparison that I have long held to be completely accurate is that Rome began its decline long before it began losing its military supremacy. There was an entire century before the decay of the culture caused the military to rot as well. Is our culture rotting, now? There are many potential national diseases to which a country could succumb, from every political spectrum and social quarter, but the one that threatens America today is called the “radical right,” and it encompasses both fanatic neoconservative culture that opposes the process of globalization and progressivism, and the evangelical Christian resurgence that now controls much of the country and represses liberty. The health of the radical right is inversely proportional to the health of the United States, and if, against the odds, the radical right changes the course of this country away from greatness and toward the dark ages, then obscurity will be our gift to our children in the generations to come. Of course, it won’t be the same sort of obscurity enjoyed by, say, Belgium. No, we’ll still have those aircraft carriers, those nuclear warheads…it’d be a very dangerous obscurity, perhaps in the vein of post-Soviet Russia, except led by xenophobic religious extremists.

And in this uncertain future is a redemption of the United States of America as a worthy director on the world stage of human evolution. I want to think this is still the most likely of all the possibilities, but I just don’t know. Americans had the chance to denounce the Bush administration as a drunken aberration, by voting for John Kerry in the 2004 election. But that didn’t happen. Bush won a small but decisive majority, and Republicans made deeper gains in the Congress. That sent a message to the world that in the past ten years, the United States has gone in a very different direction. Nevertheless, so much of this can change if the pied pipers and puppetmasters of the radical right lose their grip on that great sea of fickle, stupid, ordinary Americans. If the people start voting against the Republican vision, much of these superficial despotic policies can be overturned relatively quickly. And, to the extent they are superficial, there may be but little damage done. It remains to be seen. However, the longer Republicans maintain absolute power over the White House, the Congress, the Judiciary, the states, the media, and the religious establishment, the deeper their damage will become, and the harder it will be to unmake.

An uncertain future, definitely. That is the legacy of September 11. I lost no family, no friends, but perhaps I lost my country.

Sentenal

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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2005, 05:38:20 pm »
I don't want to argue here.  I really don't.  I had to force myself to stop reading half-way through.  I'll only say that by not attacking these people who come agianst us is wrong.  It shows weakness.  It shows that you can do whatever you want to us, we will ignore you.  These terrorist arn't out for attension.  Us ignoring them will not stop them from attacking us.

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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2005, 05:42:05 pm »
Quote from: Sentenal
Us ignoring them will not stop them from attacking us.


Did we ignore them? I don't think so! We bombed Afganistan to bloody pulp! We took down Saddam Hussein! One of the biggest dictators out in this day and age! We took him down! Where the fuck were you the past 4 years?