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Can Any Good Come from a Terrorist Attack?

Follow up: Now that three years have passed since September 11, 2001, it would be harder to see if any good did come from that terrible day.

After two wars, we find ourselves divided, isolated from the rest of the world, and more vulnerable. Our enemies seem stronger, bolder, and more determined.

Even in our darkest moments, we can still find at least one glint of hope. It was in that spirit, that I wrote this essay shortly after the terrible events of 9/11. Even after what has happened in the subsequent years, the sentiments hold true.

With this in mind, I'd like to share with you again my thoughts of that day:

*   *   *

Can any good from the 11 September terrorist attack on America? Although it is hard to see any good that could come from such the horrific and wanton destruction of human life, there are a few positive things:

  • There are more American flags on cars in the past week than Laker flags during the NBA finals.
  • We have seen how the Internet can be used for sharing information, mobilizing charity and support, and building communities.
  • We have seen true "reality TV" and learned that survival has nothing to do with forming alliances and voting people off. It has to do with working together.
  • We will think twice before labeling athletes, pop singers, and movie stars as "heroes" and "role models."
  • We've done away with the stereotypes of New Yorkers as pushy, obnoxious, and selfish.
  • We will do away with the stereotypes of Arab-Americans and American Muslims as sneaky and disloyal.
  • We have the opportunity to liberate Afghanistan from the brutal, xenophobic Taliban regime that has subjugated women and religious minorities, retarded global aid and reconstruction efforts, and further destroyed this suffering country. If we are going to pursue military action against Afghanistan, it should be to help their terrorized citizens, not merely to punish terrorists.
  • We won't be incessantly bombarded with stories about politicians' sex lives.
  • Democrats and Republicans are finally working together. The 28 years of increasingly hostile partisanship are over.
  • We see ourselves as one nation, indivisible. We see ourselves as Americans.
  • We see that our country is not alone and invulnerable. We have the opportunity to reach out to the rest of humanity, heal the rifts that divide us from other nations, and work together to eliminate this common danger.

Related Topics




Charity Links


America's Fund for Afghan Children

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan

American Red Cross


Daryl Cagel's Cartoon Site of September 11 memorial cartoons

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