Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dear Mr. Bykofsky

Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky wrote a column saying this country needs another 9/11 to snap us out of apathy. Outrageous, isn't it? I wrote Stu the following reply:

Mr. Bykofsky,
I read with dismay your Aug. 9 column "To save America, we need another 9/11." Wishing a another disaster like the 9/11 terrorist attacks is an insult to those killed on that terible day. It is also an insult to the victim's families.
True, America did rise up after Sept. 11, 2001 and band together. Despite what the pundits and political hacks will tell you, Americans are basically a good people who come together in a crisis. Political affiliation, religion, race and economic status don't matter in a crisis. We are all Americans helping each other with a kind of compassion the government is incapable of.
You lament this country is fragmented and divided politically. Is this really the case, or what the political pundits will have us believe? Do Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Michael Moore and Al Franken really speak to America or a selective audience whose mindsets are unalterable?
If a fellow human is on the ground bleeding, you help them regardless of their political party or where they go to worship.
We don't need Islamic fundamentalists flying airplanes into skyscrapers or setting off bombs to bring this nation together. We need a concerted effort to rid ourselves of the entrenched political powers steering this country in the wrong direction. Better people need to run for office and we need to elect them. Only by losing our apathy and voting for people who will actually work to save this country will we truly preserve the highest forms of American principles - freedom, liberty and prosperity.
We need to decide what kind of place we want America in the 21st century to be - a place of ideas and open government, or an entrecnhed oligarchy filled with sound bites and little substance.
It's been suggested we're trying to change the culture in the Middle East, to transform their societies into more democratic ones. Can't we change our own country with leaders who don't care about political parties or pundits or polls and instead do the right thing - keep us safe, secure and preserve our common values? Can't we rid ourselves of cynicism and doubt and bitterness by creating policies that make sense and ensure a better quality of life? I think we can, and it doesn't include another attack by terrorists. If you want people to unite against Al Qaeda, the war should not be about politics. The war is bandied about like a political football, but both Democrats and Republicans got us there. The strategy was short-sighted and cooked up by think tanks and civilians instead of our military. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. We should refocus our efforts on where Al Qaeda is hiding, in Afghanistan and other isolated pockets in the Middle East and throughout the world.
We should convince other countries that 9/11 can happen in their countries, too, just like the bombings in Spain and the United Kingdom. Al Qaeda presents a threat to civilization and it requires a broad-reaching effort from different nations to combat global terrorism.
It is not our fight alone. It's the world's fight, and it doesn't require more bloodshed to spark outrage.
The people are already outraged.

1 comment:

Cerebus said...

I agree with your response to Mr. B. Tell me what is wrong with American Nationalism? Why am I supposed to feel a need to either be ashamed of my country or to angrily defend it? I am proud of it. Simple as that. This is my country.