After September 11, We 'Lost What We Wanted to Defend'
people disappear; when secret airplanes transport people who are haphazardly
accused of terrorism; when interrogation methods must be called torture; when
779 people are imprisoned in Guantanamo beyond the ordinary principles of law;
when Osama bin Laden is killed rather than forced to stand trial, then the
moral advantage of the Western democracies is diminished."
"If one man can create
that much hate, you can only imagine how much love we as a togetherness can
If she hadn't
just survived hell, the quote would probably be perceived as exaggerated and
naïve. Instead, the quote spread
like lightning on Youtube. After all, what she said was spot on, given the atmosphere
of grief, anger and sheer evil.
At a memorial
service after the bombing of parliament offices in Oslo and the murders at the
Socialist Youth League summer camp, even Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg spoke
along the same lines:
respond to hatred with love are our heroes, and we shall forever praise them."
Håheim touches on something that should have changed global politics over the
This is not about
the Christian ideal of turning the other cheek, or being a coward, being magnanimous
or just forgiving. It's about
something even more important.
Tomorrow is the tenth
anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States. Four planes were
hijacked and two of them were flown into the twin towers of New York's World
Trade Center, the third into the Pentagon, while the fourth crashed in
It's a story that
almost everyone knows. Most people remember exactly when they first saw the
horrific television images from Manhattan.
remember the official death toll: 2996 people, including the 19 hijackers.
It doesn’t take
much empathy to understand that those who lost someone they love can never forgive
It doesn’t take
much imagination to understand why those who survived don't use the words "love"
and "terrorists" in the same sentence.
The same goes for
the many heroes that gave everything they had to help others during this day of
hell, and who now live with the consequences. The Dagens Nyheter wrote
last Sunday about Police Officer Christopher Baumann who saved the lives of
more people than he can remember. Yet he himself has suffered mental and
physical problems that have ruined his life and forced his family to live in
It seems obvious
that those who never saw their sons or daughters return after the Utöya
massacre will never forgive Anders Behring
But those of us
in the rest of the society must meet hate with a love of a particular kind.
of the September 11 attacks have touched us all. Personal integrity, openness
and human rights are endangered and the world has become the poorer for it.
The attack on the
World Trade Center was an attack on the world's financial heart. But few
realized then how seriously - with a comprehensive counter-terrorism effort and
two wars in its wake - it would impact the U.S. economy.
has been weakened: The U.S. has been transformed from the largest creditor in
the world to its largest borrower - and the center of economic power has
shifted toward non-democratic China.
Now when we stand
there at the security check with our shoes in one hand, a little plastic bag
with mini shampoo bottles and toothpaste in the other and have our bodies
scanned, our integrity is endangered. The same can be said when out Internet
traffic and phone calls may no longer be private.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
disappear; when secret airplanes transport people who are haphazardly accused of
terrorism; when interrogation methods must be called torture; when 779 people
are imprisoned in Guantanamo beyond the ordinary principles of law; when Osama
bin Laden is killed rather than forced to stand trial, then the moral advantage
of the Western democracies is diminished.
Then we have lost
what we wanted to defend.
It's hard to
defeat terrorists who say, "You have watches, we have the time,” or "You
love life, we love death.” But when we voluntarily tamper with the fundamental
principles of our open democratic societies, then we are handing them a walkover.
Love is not permissiveness.
Love is built on
respect, not the least of which self respect - we must believe in our system
and show that it is superior, even in difficult times.
Håheim is right. Hate must be met with love. In particular, the terrorists’
hatred of our social order. Not for them, but for us.
Help Support Worldmeets.us
Worldmeets.us is a non-partisan, volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that operates solely in the public interest. The opinions expressed in articles posted by Worldmeets.us are not necessarily those of Worldmeets.us, its sponsors or its volunteers.