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September 13, 2001 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-13

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4A - The-Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 13, 2001


Uwe Eirbtu aa tiI

daily. letters@umich.edu

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Once the shock
begins to wear off,
America seems fated to a
prolonged period of
painful self-examination
about its security,
about its place in the
world, about the burdens
as well as the benefits of
being the sole remaining
- The Economist

...... '
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...., : s
.. ...
;. ......................... 1.


United States of Vulnerability

nce on a visit to
New York, I hap-
pened to stay at
the Marriott Hotel located
next to the World Trade
Center. After an evening
out, my friend and I thought
it would be fun to go down
to the Plaza at the foot of
the WTC and walk around.
The New York skyline is strange. The dis-
tance you are from many of its most architec-
turally and physically imposing buildings does
not necessarily have any relation to your sight-
line of the particular building. As you approach
the city from northern New Jersey, the skyline
begins to emerge from what is sometimes a
beautiful blue sky. White clouds rest peacefully
above 110 stories of soaring, almost mythical
majesty. From certain vantage points much fur-
ther uptown, you could peek through buildings
and make out the WTC's top-most points. In the
other boroughs, a terrace on any of the taller
apartment buildings would earn you a relatively
unobstructed sightline. But when you're Down-
town or Midtown, there are too many other tall
buildings, densely packed, and you would forget
just how tall the WTC, just a few blocks away,
really is.
But on this particular evening my friend and
I lay, with our backs against its concrete wall,
below one of the Twin Towers and gazed up at
this surreal road to the heavens that stood above
us. On Tuesday night, when I stood at the vigil
in the Diag and tried to conjure up how I could
possibly approach this unfortunately unap-
proachable subject in today's column, I again
looked to the sky. And I remembered that night,
and my proximity to the crown jewel in New
York's million-dollar skyline.

Anyway, that's an introduction to a story I
can't really tell, a point I can't really make. It is
probably callous to discuss architectural loss in
the midst of the worst terrorist attack ever, but
the loss of the WTC - the building itself -
from downtown Manhattan is more than an
architectural loss. It is the loss of a crucial ingre-
dient of our civilization's stew of achievement.
And callous as it may be, it is as far as my com-
prehension of what happened Tuesday morning
has taken me. The numbers - of bodies, of dol-
lars - will start to become known, and hopeful-
ly then I can begin to appreciate the scope of
what happened, its sickening horror and the
ensuing grief. But for now, all I can deal with is
what I see on the television.
Even now I understand that the devastation
of Tuesday marks the loss of a security and
piece of mind that we - America, Americans
- never deserved to have. Part of me is keeping
myself from becoming too rattled, maybe too
outraged, by acknowledging that the action
taken by the terrorists on Tuesday was not com-
pletely unwarranted. We don't deserve some-
thing as severe as what happened in New York
and Washington. No nation, no people, does.
But there was an important lesson that our
nation's leadership, and our nation's general
consciousness, needed to learn. It is that we are
not immune from international scrutiny. I am
not bothered by that statement's obviousness.
But it is one that everyone in this country -
from President Bush to you and me - need to
realize. We try to forget about the way this
country behaves internationally - that we too
often behave as terrorists. We are encouraged to
ignore that behavior by the national media, by
government propaganda, by schoolbooks and
by each other. This world is not safe, and this
country is certainly no exception. It wasn't

Tuesday, it isn't today, and it won't be in 50
years - unless things change. The laundry list
of American misdoings is for another time in
another column - probably one that is not
If the leadership of our country has its way,
a dangerous cycle will be allowed to continue. It
is one in which America makes enemies abroad,
via broken treaties, unattended summits and
tyrannical international policing. Terrorism fol-
lows, allowing leaders to call for appropriations
to "fix" our national defense. The cycle needs to
end, and it ends at the beginning. Funding the
military at this point is a band-aid solution to a
more complex problem. The problem can be
traced back to our cockiness and arrogance in
international matters, and it needs to end.
When we celebrated my mother's birthday,
we celebrated it in the city she had grown up in
- a city thousands of miles and decades
removed from Pearl Harbor. It was a city that
was safe - but safe only in our minds. This
wave of terrorism may not be over - let's learn
from Tuesday and not fall back asleep; not con-
vince ourselves that what happened two days
ago can't happen again today. We won't panic,
but we won't become complacent, either. This
is a frighteningly imperfect world, which fosters
an environment where something like what hap-
pened in Manhattan and Arlington can happen.
But we as a nation play a major part in that
world, and our actions can shape it.
My condolences are with the friends and
families of the victims of the WTC and Penta-
gon attacks, and my faith is in an American peo-
ple and an American government that can learn,
change, and improve.
David Horn can be reached via e-mail at


Reflecting on



In light of Tuesday's tragedy, we stand unitc
in condemnation of these heinous attack
Together, we must grieve and ultimatel
overcome. This crime forces us to contemplat
every held belief about ourselves, our commun
ty, our nation, and our world.
This attack could make our world appear dar
and dismal, or could be an opportunity for cohe
sion and growth. It is vital that we stand togethe
as a united community, held together by th
bonds of humanity, love, and compassion.
By virtue of the community in which we are
part, the value of diversity has been deepl
embedded within all of us. The University o
Michigan is unique, special, and a place whic
we are proud to call our home, as a result of th
diversity, but also tolerance. This tolerance ha
never been more crucial than now. The micro
cosm that we call our home can serve as an inter
national example of diversity, tolerance an
peace. It is in our hands.
In solidarity
LSA Student Governmen
Muslim Students Associatio
This statement was co-signed by th
following student groups
ACLU of the University of Michigan
Adventist Students for Christ
Alice Lloyd Hall Council
Alpha Epsilon Delta
Alpha Iota Omicron
Alpha Kappa Psi
Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Sigma Mu
American Movement for Israel
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee
Black Student Union
Black Volunteer Network
Billiards Club
Biomedical Society for Under-Represented Engineers

d Gamma Sigma Alpha
Get Outdoors
.y Graduate Org. of Students in Higher Education
e Headnotes
Homecoming Committee
Indian American Student Association
Interfraternity Council
*k Islamic Education Society
Israel-Michigan Public Affairs Committee
- Jewish Business Students at the Business School
er Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Sigma Chapter
e Kinesiology Student Government
Korean Students of Culture
La Familia
a La Voz
Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity
y League of Women Voters
)f Lebanese Student Association
h Malaysian Students Association
Medical School Student Council
is Men Against Violence Against Women
as Michigan Argentine Tango Club
- Michigan Cycling Club
Michigan Internship Fund
Michigan Journal of International Law
d Michigan Sailing Team
Michigan Student Assembly
Minority Youth Striving to Incorporate Cohesiveness
Mortar Board
Y, Musicology/Ethnomusicology League of Students
N Muslim Engineering Students Association
t Muslim Law Students Association
it National Council of Negro Women
nt National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Phi Chapter
N Organizational Studies Student Assembly
t Orthodox Christian Fellowship
>n Pakistani Students Association
Persian Students Association
Pharmacy Student Government Council
e Phi Alpha Delta
s. Pierpont Commons Program Board
Pre-Med Club
Project SERVE
Public ealth Student Association
Puerto Rican Association
Punjabi Student Organization
Rackham Student Interdisciplinary Group
Residence Hall Association
School of Nursing Doctoral Student Organization
Shipman Society
Shotokan Karate'
Sigma Phi Omeg'a
Society of Biology Students .
Students Against Violence Everywhere
Students Allied for Freedom and Equality
Student Association for Health Policy
Studen Mediation Services

Palestinians unfairly
being typecast as
supporting attacks
One cannot express enough horror and dis-
belief at the events that we have been witnessing
over the past 48 hours. However, I would like to
wam of the repercussions of irresponsible jour-
nalism in the case of the unfolding tragedy in
the United States. Reporting on the fact that
some Palestinians may have been celebrating
the attacks on the U.S. is not representative and
very dangerous. It will only fuel the backlash
and attacks that Arab-Americans are sure to face
and have already been facing in the U.S.
I live in East Jerusalem and have friends
throughout the West Bank who reported quiet.
For the most part Palestinian are glued to their
television sets like the rest of the world. There
were a few Palestinian youngsters in the streets
and that's what the media has chosen to focus
on. I do not doubt that some Palestinians, who
see American support for Israel as the main
cause of their continued suffering and oppres-
sion would feel like the United States was get-
ting a dose of her own medicine. But without
attempting to explain the oppressed mentality
that would drive a human being to celebrate
such a human tragedy is not fair. Myself and
other American citizen friends here in the Occu-
pied Palestinian Territories have been receiving
numerous phone calls from Palestinians con-
cerned about our families and friends, and
expressing their shock, condemnation and con-
dolences. Whereas my mother in Michigan
reported a verbal attack at her workplace and
my sisters in University are afraid of the looks
that they have been receiving from their fellow
Please be more careful with your reporting.
I ask that you cease referring to Palestinians cel-"
ebratiig. It is not relevant. It is not represent-
tive and it is mo::st irresponsible.
My prayers are withsythe;victims, their'fami-
1 1 P11 . A .. . -.

will soon learn of someone
that was killed, or hopefully
of someone that escaped nar-
rowly. To those of us who
already have, my deepest and
most sincere condolences. I
lost an old karate partner
who has known me since dia-
pers. My friend's cousin was
late for work that day and
was opening the door to one
of the towers as the plane
In his case, it was better
late than "never." Even those
of us from the northern sub-
urbs and cities on Long Island will soon hear
of tragedies whom we know of only as fami-
ly of that girl we were friends with in grade
For those of us who call Manhattan or
D.C. home, we responded as if our homes
were tresspassed, our families violated and
our possessions destroyed. For those of us
who don't live in those two cities, I sense the
general reaction will be almost as equally
passionate, whether in grief or in anger. This
makes me very proud, and I find my grief has
to share my heart with something that could
very well be patriotism.
Waking up the day after this cowardly
terrorist act, I had a reaction similar to the
morning of Sept. 11; I cried. Trying to under-
stand what moves a man to unabashed tears, I
realized that this is the first time our genera-
tion has banded together for a patriotic cause.
We were really too young to remember the
Gulf War, or maybe the only way that war
penetrated our homes was through the televi-
sion set. All I know is American blood has
been spilled on American soil, and while it
may be my backyard that runs red, it filled
my eyes with tears and my heart with pride to
see the bonding of my generation Americans
at the Diag Vigil Tuesday night. I now under-
stand;. my tears do not taste simply like tears
of sorrow; They are symbols of a patriotic
strength, confidence and fearlessness I never
knew existed

Harassment of Arab,
Muslims students
must end
It has been brought to our attention that
in response to Tuesday's tragic terrorist
attacks, Muslim and Arab students have
been harassed and subject to threatening
As of right now, we do not know the per-
petrators of these heinous acts and ask the
community not to jump to conclusions. We
urge everyone to keep an open mind and not
to lash out at students who neither condone
nor were in any way involved with these ter-
rorists attacks.
Furthermore, we urge students and com-
munity members to stand together against all
forms of terrorism. All citizens of the world
deserve freedom from fear. Our thoughts and
prayers go out to the victims and their fami-
lies on this tragic day.
Bukstein is chair of IMPA C and vice-chair ofthe
Hillel Governinz Board. Katz is chair of the Hillel


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