23 September 2001
I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I agree with your views very very much.
I very much agree with you about the dangers. These are very very real. (The views expressed by people like Bill O'Reilly on Fox News with their instant solutions like "wipe Afghanistan off the planet and put the military on our borders" are broadly destructive and bring tremendous risk to both our lives and our way of life.) We will not keep our freedom if we act to enslave others with our acts.
... The fate of every common man, woman and child in these countries is within our realm of influence and therefore very much our responsibility. I know that most are woefully ignorant of the outside world and are so often pawns in the hands of their more powerful and often suppressive leaders - demagogues really. This extremist version of Islam is incredibly suppressive to women as I'm sure you know - but also to the future of humanity in general. The product of such ignorance is always slavery. There can be no real freedom (there or here) when there is inadequate education and particularly little or no exposure to other ways of participating in and viewing life (political, economic, philosophical and religious).
The constant fighting in Afghanistan has left that country and its citizens incredibly impoverished and ignorant as has the constant wars in the Middle East in general. This is man's reactive mind (as described in Dianetics) on full display. It's quite a situation and it is why I so strongly oppose the governments which do these things to their citizens and then dare to reach out with their destructiveness to the rest of the world. The free world must at a minimum ensure that it does everything possible to remove all external AND INTERNAL support for those who do such harm to their own and others. Violence so often begets violence -- even violent revolutions have historically generally brought only more misery (the American revolution being a rare exception) -- that it is rarely the best solution and, if used, must be used only to achieve ethical and immediately obtainable objectives.
But, I think you have perhaps best summed it up in the last two lines of your message: "The leaders must be held accountable. I hope all our decisions will always be made from the perspective of what is best for all people, not just those of us fortunate enough to live in the United States."
In a recent message, you wrote:
You asked how I feel about all this. My view is not the common one or even one I'm sure most could understand or related to, but it is none the less myview. I don't feel like I have any answers about what and how we should react militarily to the Sept. 11th disaster. I do know one thing. I lived during the Vietnam War, it touched me deeply and I am not anxious for our country to go to war again. I am saddened. Saddened by the loss of life, the situation for the people in Afghanistan and other Middle Easter Nations, especially for the plight of the women and children there. I fear that if we go off half cocked, we will be facing nuclear weapons, biological warfare and many many more terrorist attacks. I see the death toll only rising if we go to war. It will not be "clean" it will not be "surgical" - that is a preposterous idea to me. I hope I am wrong. I hope we can do it. I think our President ... I have no faith in him, but I do have faith is some of our great leaders that surround him and I hope and pray that he will seek and listen to wise counsel. Potentially our reaction to the attack on Washington and NY could ultimately change the world. I pray for our President, I pray for my friends and loved ones, I pray for all of us. Anyway, I haven't been keen to voice them, but those are my thoughts. I think it is wonderful you are taking action and writing to our leaders. They will need our input to guide them in whatever decision they make. I liked much of what you had to say. Your kindness and world view were reflected in it. It is not the fault, nor should it be the punishment of the innocent. The leaders must be held accountable. I hope all our decisions will always be made from the perspective of what is best for all people, not just those of us fortunate enough to live in the United States.>