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Posted by ezekiel 25:17 on September 14, 2001 at 07:36:53:

It is now almost 4 days after the deplorable events that has changed the face of international terrorism forever. I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of those missing or dead.

The laxness of security at airports has come as a warning too late, that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Perhaps the saddest thing of all is that the hope for a generation of peace following the aftermaths of two world wars has been dashed. For have no doubt, there will be reprisals and in a sense there will again be war.

As of now, there have been no confirmed suspects although despite denials, Osama bin Laden remains the primary suspect. Words have been bandied around describing these atrocious events as 'pure evil' and 'acts of bastardry'. Yet the intricacy of this plot in itself defies passing off this act as one of ignorant peasants. It is essential that we discover the motives behind this act, for only then can we act positively to dismantle such acts in the future.

Indiscriminate bombing of Afghanistan or any area with civilians is not a long-term answer. Violence begets violence, and can only foster greater hatred and resentment. Whilst it is true, that sometimes violence is the only resort and message that is understood, it is at best a short-term solution. Ultimately, it is leading to a form of genocide.

The question remains: What drives men to such desperate acts in which they are willing to sacrifice their own lives?
Perhaps an answer can be discovered in the extreme Islamic belief system. Suicide bombers are actually revered in their culture and receive Seven rewards which include:
1. Forgiveness of all sin
2. Place reserved in paradise
3. Crowned with glory with a holy stone
4. 72 of the most beautiful virgins for wives in paradise
5. Spared the suffering of the grave
6. Spared the horror of the Day of Judgement
7. Allowed to bring with them to paradise 70 members of their family.

Young men are indoctrinated in their beliefs from an early age and do not fear death when it comes.
Only by understanding these cultural and religious differences can we even begin to search for a reason. Without religion, is it likely these acts would still have occurred?
Undoubtedly, but who can say without doubt that these beliefs are any less justified than those shared by the Western world?

The long-term future of the world is ours to decide. Retribution and vengeance are undoubtedly warranted and should be executed with due speed and diligence once the true suspects are discovered. It won't stop terrorism though and generation after generation will suffer cruelty and violence unless we can change the cultural heritage of the world. Only with education, gaining perspective and discovering the value of every human life can we possibly have any chance of worldwide peace. Although, I realise this is a lot easier said than done.

However, it has also been said that if everyone woke up at 9 a.m. one morning, the same sex, race and religion that by noon we would have discovered something new to fight about. I pray if for nothing else that if not in my lifetime, but in the lifetime of following generations that eventually we can all find some common ground.

Perhaps it is time to depose the heads of any country which overtly supports terroism, yet how can we impose our sovereignty on another country, and what gives us the right to change their culture to match ours?
It is a difficult situation and I'm trying desperately to find any slim hope for the future.
How can we truly fight a faceless foe, in a society indoctrinated in killing?
Truly at times the gift of prophecy would be useful, yet all I can see in the future is pain, suffering, misery and the deaths of innocents.
If God did create man, after all our history, I wouldn't blame him for forsaking us.

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