September 12, 2001
I think that it's very important to view what happened yesterday with clarity of thought and a vision to the future. In all probability, the people behind the attack had many reasons for hating the U.S. But at its core, the major point to their grievances most probably is America's continued support of Israeli injustice toward the Palestinians.
I believe that the events of September 11 are a direct result of a blind American pro-Israeli policy, specifically and particularly the policy of the Bush Administration. W's program of providing a free hand to Ariel Sharon's extremist government while it has hammered Palestine left its most extreme elements and supporters with no justification at restraint. At least President Clinton devoted much of his time and efforts at trying to craft some kind of agreement. With Bush, Palestinian supporters see absolutely no hope for any kind of even-handed treatment.
At this time, I am reminded of Malcolm X's statements in the aftermath of Kennedy's assassination when he said that America's "chickens had come home to roost." I'm afraid that this all too clear assessment of America's unrestrained support of injustice domestically and abroad also applies here. America has been wholely suckered into the wrong side of a horrible conflict, as evidenced by the almost immediate response of our corps of conservative pundits who have chimed in with their "see, I told you so" columns which are almost gleeful in their anticipation of draining our diplomatic and military resources lock-stock-and-barrel into this unending maelstrom.
Of course, we must punish the people who have attacked America. Just as importantly, it's equally vital to fairly deal with the underlying causes to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Otherwise, our involvement in this bloody mess will never end.
Lawrence J. Maushard
"God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the Towers, but after the situation became unbearable—and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon—I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed—when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. Sixth Fleet.
"As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way: to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women."
— Osama bin Laden, 2004
Lawrence J. Maushard is an author and journalist who lives in Portland, Oregon.