It is a truly horrific day: the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York have collapsed after two planes collided with them, an aircraft has crashed into the Pentagon building in Washington D.C., a passenger plane has crashed in Pennsylvania, and I have heard other reports, probably spurious, that haven’t been confirmed by any news organizations. My professor, who was due for a trip to Europe Thursday, was visibly shaken this morning; before class, I overheard students expressing their fear but also chattering already about how “we need to go to war” with whomever is responsible. The latter feeling of fear is understandable, and I’m sure plenty of people all over the rest of the world who have lived under the same fear can empathize. And of course, we’re hearing much of the former talk on the news; pundits are fingering Osama bin Laden and his organization, perhaps prematurely, perhaps not, and Richard Holbrooke, among others is calling for retaliations against Afghanistan for harboring Osama bin Laden, using the reasoning that the Taliban shares culpability for this series of attacks if Osama bin Laden is indeed responsible. My only comment on that is that this line of reasoning was probably shared by those who carried out these attacks, whoever they are. It is a foregone conclusion that the U.S. government will respond forcefully and probably rashly, and I don’t know if individuals will ultimately react levelheadedly or not; to this I can only say that whatever forms these responses take will be marks of this nation’s maturity. My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones, and I’m hoping for peace.
chris adds: A phone call from Dad woke me up this morning, which is never a good sign. But I didn’t think it would be as bad as this. And me off the information grid. I’ve been in the Union on campus all afternoon watching CNN and listening to students talk it over. I second Jacob’s excellent commentary, and remember that it’s better to give blood than demand it.
jacob adds: Besides giving blood, you can also donate money to the Red Cross online via Amazon or PayPal.
Attacks on United States