Andreas Milles on 13 Sep 2001 09:40:39 -0000

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[rohrpost] [Fwd: Pass this on till it gets in the hands, that did this to mypeople! Please]

The United States of America

In Miami Herald by Leonard Pitts, Jr.:

We'll go forward from this moment; It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles
American soul.

But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving
the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must
addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.
What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our
Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn?
Whatever it was, please know that you failed.
Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a

family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a
nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous
energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball
misfortune, a cartoon mouse.

We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and
material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a
certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though
peace-loving and compassionate.

We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the
overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us
You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that
be measured by arsenals.

Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're
grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working
make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some
Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy
Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable
death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of
terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history
the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us
fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last
anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and

monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible
our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any
suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you,
think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble
dread of the future.  In the days to come, there will be recrimination
accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to
happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There
be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll
forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too.
Unimaginably determined.

You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of
character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this

day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans,
will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that
maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's
case, consider the message received.
And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't
what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.


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