Saturday, September 12, 2009


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Peninsula readers' letters: Sept. 12

From Daily News Group readers

Posted: 09/11/2009 07:23:22 PM PDT
Updated: 09/11/2009 07:23:23 PM PDT

Reflecting on Sept.11

Dear Editor: It's a time of reflection for many in the selfish western world. The towers have fallen and are yet falling — not only these physical towers, but also the towers of democracy and of the free world. Given the U.S. government's pledge to wage a war against terrorism, it is important to look at its definitions.

According to both the Department of Defense (DOD) and the FBI, terrorism is "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." The DOD definition adds that a goal of terrorism can be "inculcating fear," include the use of biological, chemical or nuclear devices as well as the act of "assassination." The latter would suggest that assassinating Osama bin Laden would be a terrorist act. We all have heard the saying, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." And indeed, Osama bin Laden and his comrades were hailed as freedom fighters in the 1980s by the American government. Bin Laden didn't carry out the attacks on the U.S., nor did the Afghanis, but they're bearing the brunt of American wrath and warfare, and the Arabs and Muslims of the world think it's unjust — and they're right!

Ted Rudow III,MA

Palo Alto

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