I am writing in response to the interview with Professor Michael Ceriello about the acts of war against our country in Tuesday's paper. First of all, I am just a middle school teacher whose intellect would pale in comparison to the professor, but I will try to rise to the occasion.
Professor Ceriello is quoted as saying, "All the rest of the world disagrees with us (the United States); I don't condone what they did, but given the U.S.'s recent stance it is understandable."
Professor Ceriello, how can a man with your education and with your responsibility to teach tomorrow's leaders arrive at such a dangerous rationalization of evil? No professor, you are wrong! This act of cowardice against the greatest nation in the history of the world is not understandable. The killing of thousands of innocent people is not understandable. And it is certainly not understandable how anyone living under the blanket of freedom that is provided by this great country can think in this dimension.
We can theorize until the cows come home as to why evil people commit evil acts and we will never understand. This is not a time to psychoanalyze evil. This is rather a time for prayer and patriotism.
Dare we ask why?
The recent attacks on America, while tragic, horrific and abominable, were also inevitable. Dare we ask why?
Millions of people in many lands and myriads of cultures find some facts about Americans as unacceptable. They know that while Americans comprise a mere 5% of the world's population, we consume 30 percent of the world's goods, but, more importantly, our corporations control 55 percent of the world's resources. The World Trade Center Towers must look to them like bloated wood ticks do to concerned dog owners.
Many Americans persevere in calling the U.S. a "Christian country". That is no more fair than calling the U.S. a "white country". While most Americans would respect the rights of Muslim Americans to worship Allah in their mosques, I don't see Allah being praised in public schools classrooms anytime soon.
In the movie, "The Formula," Marlon Brando played an executive of a major American oil company. When another character lamented that the Arabs and OPEC were manipulating the oil markets, Brando replied, "We are the Arabs."
Many people are saying they now know how the Pearl Harbor attack affected people. I think we are learning how the people of Japan felt about Nagasaki and Hiroshima as well. You could argue that those attacks occurred during wartime, but no amount of justification will reconcile the fact that they were civilian, not military targets.
While America is a melting pot of cultures, maybe it's time we research what it truly means to honor and respect all cultures. Nothing excuses these attacks on us. But we also must realize that the Christian cross to many Muslims is the same as the swastika to the Jewish people. The Stars and Stripes are like the Nazi Flag to many others.
If you want to change the world change yourself.
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