From the Eastern Daily Press, Saturday, September 15, 2001:
TERROR IN THE USA
US was singled out for attacks
MICHAEL HALLAM, Sycamore Avenue, Wymondham.
After the horrifying events in America, there is a great deal of solemn nonsense being uttered.
Your leader of September 13 announced "US goes to war against terror" but we should be under no illusions. It is terror in their own cities that they are rightly concerned about, dreadful though these atrocities are, it is the question of scale and self-interest that is forcing the issue.
While the leaders of the United States and out nation talk about it being "an attack upon the whole civilised world" it was only the US that was attacked. That was not accidental. It was almost certainly due to the policies of that nation in the Middle East and elsewhere that are widely perceived in the Arab world as being deeply biased and unfair.
In Israel, tanks were loosed upon Palestinians on the very evening of the American tragedy in contravention of United Nations resolutions. Are Arab widows less deserving of justice?
Even many of its own people are now deeply ashamed of Israeli policy which is underpinned with American finance and arms.
Sadly, the united States is yet again not addressing the faults of its foreign policy but falling back on threats of retaliation.
That is natural enough, for its people have suffered a grave injury, but it should ponder on the fact that although it is a mighty nation it is not almighty.
First, it was humbled in the recent past by a third-rate agrarian economy, Vietnam. Bombing everything in sight failed to overcome a single-minded, well-led enemy.
Second, it has failed to topple its sworn foes in Libya and Iraq despite its huge resources. Third, and most important, it is a highly vulnerable nation with many huge, overcrowded cosmopolitan cities.
It faces a fanatical enemy who, unable to combat it in the normal fields of conflict, will resort to all manner of suicide methods. In Israel the car bomb has brought terror on the streets but it is but a small step in imagination to the hijacked airliner and then (dare I say it?) to the suitcase nuclear weapon or chemicals in water supplies.
This is the reality we have to face. Those who appear to be strongest may prove to be weakest. But almost inevitably there is the idea of bombing or invading that most desolate nation Afghanistan, the graveyard of foreign armies. Ask the Russians what they think of that - they brought back their young soldiers in their thousands in body bags. In the final analysis we have to find a peaceful solution, a way of building bridges. But in the way of thisworld we will probably go the way of yet more violence.