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Never again
It is not enough to condemn these acts

By David E. Price
September 18, 2001
The Iranian

The first patriotic duty of every non-Arab non-Muslim American is to embrace his fellow Muslim and/or Arab American. Now is the time for every non-Muslim family to walk across the street to their Muslim neighbor's house with love and the ability to embrace him, as your neighbor and fellow American.

In this way, we actively physically and emotionally demarcate ourselves, show how we are different from every other Western country. By this deed at this time, we reiterate why you chose to come to this country, to become one of us. I say this not only as an American, but proudly as a Jew.

It is particularly important that we do this precisely because the animals who did this horrific act, were Muslim Arabs. If we begin to view any one of us as a fifth column, or have open hatred or distrust amongst us, then the destruction done will not have ended when we bury the bodies of our loved ones. Our enemies, process of hatred can begin to spread amongst us, like a cancer, and we will no longer freely openly act as one, but like a cancer, cut off one part of our whole.

We must have peace between us here and embrace each other closely if we are to now turn and heave the broadsword together to sever this snake's head. We must have as much love and respect for each other in peace, as we shall have to have resolve and anger in war, else the balance shall fall heavier in anger, pulling us down as a people.

And much resolve we will need, as much blood shall have to be spilt. Therefore let us now begin the process with love, and never lose sight of the balance. It is not enough to condemn these acts. We must condemn the mentality of the acts.

Never again do I want to hear that we Americans need to "understand the root causes of terrorism". Blowing innocent people out of buildings cannot be dignified by pathetic attempts at ethnic or religious rationale. Nor does it only effect we here: Algeria has lost more civilians in the past three years than all of American dead in Vietnam -- Muslims slaughtering whole Muslim families -- women and children, all in the name of God. This aberrant form of Islam is just that. It is not fundamental, it is radical and did not exist in our grandparents, day.

And to the Taliban... what should I say? You are an uneducated and unimportant people of the poorest nation on Earth, 1/3 of your population lives outside your borders and the other 2/3s is starving. Do we, the most powerful benevolent nation need to negotiate with you? For what? It is because of you that we are burying our dead.

I say openly to the Taliban, we are a good and decent people by nature. You give us Bin Laden's head in a bag, and Kabul shall stand, resist and you and your whole capital can join him in hell. That's it. And if Kabul shall burn, then Tripoli, Damascus and Tehran shall draw their lessons. They are great and ancient cities, and their people are not starving as in Kabul.

Having something to lose can make one suspiciously rational. They must understand that we are not afraid of making them suffer. It is not our choice, but theirs. But if they continue to give refuge, provide false passports, send weapons in diplomatic pouches and we continue to bury our dead... then they write their own epitaph.

So I say as of this moment at least be on notice and don't claim that our action is based on hatred of the way you look or speak. That is both morally and intellectually offensive as well as counterfactual.

Autumn is now among us, and as the leaves fall, it is time for us to turn many leaves. The way we treat our neighbors, the way we allow ourselves to be treated. And never to forget, just as King Solomon wrote in Kehilot, or Ecclesiastes, just as there is a time for love, and to build things up, so too there is a time for war and bloodshed. This is, unfortunately, also part of the balance of life.

More important even than the outcome of this war, is it's definition. It must be, without any obfuscation, a war in which, we, the multiethnic, multilingual and multireligious of the free and democratic America strike hard against a band of criminals who pervert to name of God in seeking rationalization for their crimes.

The first call is not Semper Fidelis, but E Pluribus Unum.


David E. Price is an attorney in Washington DC.

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