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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

With Liberty and Justice for all

First, let me extend a truly heart felt thank you to people all over the world who shared a moment of silence today. As Perry’s pictorial post shows, although the loss was centered on America, the grief and the support is global.

One of the things they teach in the modern American corporate culture is Franklin Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit number 5 is Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Over this past year, I have struggled to apply that habit to the September 11 attacks. Albeit simplistic, this is so far the best I could come up with.

It came to me this morning as a local radio station played some school children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which ends “with Liberty and Justice for all.” That in a nutshell is what America is all about. A fact verified by the millions of immigrants who arrive destitute on her shores and build a life of peace and prosperity within her borders. And that, in a nutshell, is what her enemies hate. It is not just that we own color TVs, drive big cars and live in relative peace in nice houses. It is that ANYONE, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, political inclination or background, ANYONE who comes here can, with a little effort, share that same life.

These terrorists know in their hearts they can never contribute anything positive to the world and instead hate all those who try. Like the vandal with a sledgehammer defacing a statue, they have decided it is easier to destroy than create. Instead of swearing allegiance to a nation that values its citizens, they swear allegiance to a crazed individual who lashes out at the world to fulfill a personal vendetta.

What they have yet to realize is that reducing tall buildings to rubble and snuffing out innocent lives does not make a profound political statement. But it does speak volumes about the tiny, hateful, cowardly minds that conceived of and carried out the destruction. Evil minds that, once eradicated, the world will neither long remember nor ever lament.

3 comments to With Liberty and Justice for all

  • theecmo

    I much prefer Covey’s comment of:
    “You can’t talk yourself out of something you behaved yourself into.” :-)

  • A_t

    Hmm… i’m still not convinced by all this “they hate freedom” thing. Sure, they may hate some of the freedoms that exist in the US, but the equal opportunity to make something of yourself? Do you think they destroyed the towers in order to stop people from having these opportunities?

    Do you not think that perhaps changes in the US’s foreign/middle east policies might have been somewhat more on their minds? How many times has Bin Laden spoken out about the need for less opportunities for all in America? Compare this to the number of times he’s mentioned US foreign policy, specifically in the Gulf.

    The terrorists are certainly attacking freedoms & opportunities indirectly, and for sure they don’t like much of what goes on in the West, but I don’t believe it’s solely the sight, at some distance, of our freedoms & privileges which led to these events.

  • “Like the vandal with a sledgehammer defacing a statue,…”

    That’s a perfect analogy. The vandals used high explosives to destroy the 1000-year-old giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan.

    With the WTC, they just confirmed our opinion of them.