Thursday, July 07, 2005

After Today's Attack in London, A Prayer For Our Leaders

Dear G-d,

I do not pray often. The series of events in 2001 and 2002 -- my leukemia, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, my father's fatal leukemia -- shook my faith. Even now, I make excuses to duck out of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, and seldom light the Sabbath candles or attend synagogue.

But, as you know, I have a beautiful four-year-old son and a newborn daughter. And I want them to live full lives.

After hearing this morning about the terrorist attack in London, I found myself turning to you.

I pray that the loss of life in London is minimal, and that those who are injured recover.

But I also pray that our leaders learn from today's bombings. They didn't learn after the Madrid train attack, or the attacks in Bali, Riyadh, Jakarta and Istanbul. They have misled a nation by implying that Iraq was behind 9/11, and perpetuated a falsehood that defeating the Iraqi insurgency is akin to defeating terrorists who have struck worldwide. They have stubbornly concentrated their resources in Iraq, decreasing their focus on Osama Bin Laden and the effort to dismantle Al Qaeda and its allies. They have told us we're safer, but failed to protect airports, train stations, ports, chemical plants and nuclear plants, or to sufficiently guard our borders.

Please give our leaders the wisdom to realize that today's attack on London could have just as easily come on our shores. Please don't let us suffer through another 9/11 for our leaders to understand that defeating the Iraqi insurgency does little to end the "war on terror."

I pray that our leaders do not use today's bombings as a rallying cry for staying the course in Iraq. Please understand, I hope you look out for our troops. I want them to succeed in bringing peace to Iraq.

But I don't want our leaders to wrongly suggest that by fighting in Iraq, we are ending terrorist attacks such as today's London bombings. Instead of using today's horror for a political agenda, I pray they reach out to other world leaders to build a true coalition to stop terrorism, even if it means rooting out patrons of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, Iran and elsewhere, and those who shield Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

That is my prayer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in England, and I can say it's just a matter of time. New York, Bali, Madrid, London... It is only pure luck that has kept it "from your shores" again. The idea that a war is going to stop the next one is absurd. Even the idea that regime change will stop terrorist attacks makes no sense whatsoever - I guarantee none of the bombers in any of the previous attacks were from Iraq. So the question is how long are we willing to waste time on blood-for-oil while bin laden, taliban and al quaeda continues unstopped?

11:36 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Can the average American even define the difference between a "terrorist" and an "insurgent"? I've read comments here saying, in effect, "kill them all!" as if there is no difference.

The problem with that sort of ignorance should be more obvious today: we don't have unlimited resources (of money, time, allies, or blood) to "kill them all" so we should be focusing on terrorists (those seeking to cause fear in our cities) not working to create more insurgents (those seeking to eject our troops from their cities).

I just hope London can forgive us for re-electing Bush. Today they are paying for our ignorance.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a little off the main point, but JABBS, sorry about your loss, good luck with your recovery, and keep the faith.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, dissident, you are so correct. There were never any terrorist bombings in Europe prior to President Bush taking office.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

You have to love sarcasm.

To defend dissident, I think the key is Al Qaeda-related terrorist attacks, vs., say PLO attacks.

No one is going to blame Bush or Blair for things the PLO and its allies did in the 1970s. Nor would anyone blame Bush or Blair for the IRA bombings, or for anti-government groups in Spain.

But Al Qaeda attacks? Before 9/11, and before Bush and Blair, I believe there were 8 attacks worldwide associated with Al Qaeda. Since 9/11, not including today, I believe there have been roughly 35 attacks, the vast majority of which have been completed against U.S. allies, including Madrid, Riyadh and Istanbul.

Now, if someone wants to defend Bush and Blair on their execution of a "war on terror," fine, but let's do so working with facts.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Also, I agree with anonymous' thoughts to JABBS on his loss.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Sarcasm and being-wrong, yeah, it's actually starting to be a pattern from our little anonymous ditto-head. Today's attack was just another in a series of continuing attacks from (most likely) Al-Qaeda, you know, the one's your president invoked when he stood on the smouldering remains of the Twin Towers and swore he would "hunt them down"? We could have done it but unfortunately for the Londoners hurt and killed today he chose to start a failed nation-building project instead.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Gotta love those tough anonymous posters with the strong words from behind their computer screens! I would laugh, but I'm too incredibly sad at the sheer amount of death and destruction going on in the world today.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their friends and families...and to all who have suffered losses in this horrible time in the world's history.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First to David: This blog is so important, I want you to know how many people you have helped by your work.

Then I want to agree with dissident, also rob and tracey. But just one reminder to all the commenters is that this day of random destruction and sensless death in London is only one day, but with the chaos in Iraq since the invasion this is how everyday is to Iraqis.

Of course I don't mean to detract from the losses in London, but neither should we forget the people being killed in suicide bombings in Iraq either.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The commentary today is an utter disgrace. Preached by a bunch of appeasing cowards. I say fight fire with fire, and stop blaming the only country with the nerve and men and military might to take the fight to these scum bags.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll bite. How exactly is it "appeasing" to argue that Bush is diverting attention from Bin Laden by committing our military to a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. That seems like the opposite of "appeasing" to me.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is difficult to match JABBS initial posting on this topic. I will throw in my reaffirming thoughts.

Now that London has been attacked by Al-Qaeda, the mainstream media and world leaders better take a long hard look at whether the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are in effect creating MORE not less terrorism.
And they better conduct this research NOW before repeating more empty Bush rhetoric about "staying the course," etc.
They better examine the lack of any evidence -- outside of Bush Administration rhetoric -- that the dubious strategy to create a Democratic Iraq would contribute in anyway towards resolving the terrorism problem. (Of course, the sudden motivation for the Iraq War after the one about WMDs failed).

Look at the hard evidences and my apologies if old news to you:

Iraq is now a terrorist training ground, CIA says:
Summary: June 2005 report from the CIA finds the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise in Terrorism
Summary: April 2005 State Department statistics, which the Bush Administration conveniently left out of its terrorism report submitted to Congress at the end of April, reveals the number of significant terrorist attacks grew to about 655 in 2004, up from the record of around 175 in 2003.

In addition, on November 4 2002, Bush offered as one of his justifications for attacking Iraq to prevent Sadaam from turning the country into a training ground for terrorist groups. Time Magazine reported in a July 2004 article of an investigation of the insurgency, based on meetings with insurgents, tribal leaders, religious clerics and U.S. intelligence officials, that the militants are turning the resistance into an international jihadist movement..."Their goal now, say the militants interviewed, is broader than simply forcing the U.S. to leave. They want to transform Iraq into what Afghanistan was in the 1980s, a training ground for young jilhadists who will form the next wave of recruits for al-Qaeda and like-minded groups."

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this posting above. This is so godamned true and to the point that I felt justified in posting it again so it might have a better chance of surfacing among the many responses:

The American Dissident said...
Sarcasm and being-wrong, yeah, it's actually starting to be a pattern from our little anonymous ditto-head. Today's attack was just another in a series of continuing attacks from (most likely) Al-Qaeda, you know, the one's your president invoked when he stood on the smouldering remains of the Twin Towers and swore he would "hunt them down"? We could have done it but unfortunately for the Londoners hurt and killed today he chose to start a failed nation-building project instead.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

If I can just echo the thoughts of a few people here:

I am a Democrat. I want to win the war on terror. I agreed with the idea of invading Afghanistan, and if need be, working with our "friends" in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to root out Al Qaeda in those countries.

I did not understand why we had to attack Iraq in 2002. I understood the Bush reasoning about WMD, but I felt the country was contained, and I didn't think it wss necessary to divert our troops away from the central goal of bringing to justice those who had attacked us in 2001 -- Al Qaeda. I did not think, in 2002, that the Bush Administraiton had made a strong enough case linking Iraq with Al Qaeda, and I was worried we would spread ourselves too thin.

That does not make me anti-American.

Since we cannot go back in time and not go into Iraq -- I fully expect we'll be there another five years, hopefully at reduced troop levels -- the only avenues to take are:

a) go it alone, which would mean a draft

b) go with our allies, with the sole purpose of trying to root out and dismantle Al Qaeda and its splinter affiliates. In this scenario, the U.S., Brits and the handful of other countries remaining in Iraq would continue that fight -- independent of the greater "war on terror."

This does not require bombing dozens of countries into smithereens. It requires intelligence gathering, working with our "friends" and rooting out terror cells. It requires continued efforts to isolate countries that harbor terrorists, stop flows of money by freezing bank accounts (something the Bush Administration has not been vigilant in doing). It requires cooperation and a single goal -- to make the world safe from those that wish to terrorize it.

I don't know JABBS' two kids. I know mine, though. I'm with him. I don't want to be scared every time my family goes to New York or Washington (let alone some foreign country), or take a cross-country airplane trip.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with the blogger just above. sound reasoning. not worth looking back now. we need to join forces with civilized societies to figure out how to win both in iraq and against the other terrorist groups that threaten us. no blaming london on bush or anyone other than those who committed this heinous act. very sad time in our world.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Kav said...

Hi, this is a little off-topic but is aimed at the blog administrator. I note that a couple of comments have been removed here. I am guessing that is because they were inflammatory, insulting or used foul language.
Now whilst it is your right to purge your weblog of any post that you do not like may I suggest that after each purge you post a comment explaining why comments have been removed. This is likely to forestall accusations of censorship of ideas contrary to your own; especially as I don't think that is what you are doing.

5:15 AM  
Blogger David R. Mark said...

To answer kav's question, I remove comments for one of three reasons:

1) Spam, such as when someone posts identical responses to multiple posts to draw attention to their blog or website.

2) Inflammatory comments, such as when someone is not responding to a post, but hurling an expletive-laden insult at the blog or a fellow commenter.

3) Duplication. Some people accidentally post the same comment two or more times. I eliminate the duplications.

Hope that helps.


11:42 AM  
Blogger Kav said...

They were pretty much the reasons I thought, but I figure that since the blogger comments leave the comment deleted marker in it is worth explaining after each one why. Its more for your own benefit since it heads off accusations of censoring.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with those bloggers who say, "we can't look back" and doing so is a counterproductive way to bash Bush.
We must indeed look back in order to determine what caused the London attacks. The way to solve any problem is to first determine what caused it.
This is only common sense.

6:18 PM  

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