On September 11, 2001, 4 freedom-hating zealots tried to snuff out 4 freedoms that are foundation of, not only U.S., but of all freedom-loving countries around Globe. The terrorists hijacked 4 airplanes and crashed them into 3 of their 4 planned targets: Pentagon and 2 financial towers in New York. This attack shocked U.S. and shocked world. It produced death and destruction, anger and misery, defiance and calls for revenge.
Although some military strikes may be needed, best way to fight terrorism is by stoking and fanning 4 flames of freedom everywhere.
The 4 Freedoms are Attacked
Why was U.S. attacked? Because U.S. is leader of free world. It stands for ideas which are contrary to what radical terrorists believe. They consider U.S. to be devil that must be obliterated. What are ideas U.S. stands for? It stands for, it burns, 4 flames of freedom:
1 - FREEDOM OF SPEECH - The terrorists hate idea of free speech. Free speech implies disrespect for authority. Free speech means you can utter blasphemies. Free speech means you can be subversive.
To freedom-loving countries, however, free speech is our strength. By criticizing authority we reduce corruption. By allowing people to speak freely about religion, we keep our spiritual environment strong. By allowing people to speak their mind, we learn to get along better with each other.
2 - FREEDOM OF RELIGION - The terrorists probably hate this freedom most of all. According to them there is only one religion and everyone in world must agree with them and practice this religion way THEY see it. They do not practice Islam, but a corrupted form of Islam. Islam does not advocate killing people whose beliefs are different from yours. Like other big religions, it favors peaceful communication.
In U.S. and other freedom-loving countries, members of all major religions live together in harmony. Each person practices his or her religion as he or she sees fit. Like freedom of speech, freedom of religion builds true communities.
3 - FREEDOM OF SELF-GOVERNMENT (DEMOCRACY) - Terrorists are unqualifiably against democracy. They believe that "spiritual" leaders deserve a greater voice than others. The average citizen should do as he is told.
We, in free world, relish our democracy. It means that everyone has rights as well as responsibilities. We argue constantly about best way to do things. But, as a result, when we do make a decision, we support it. We realize, especially at a time like this, that we are all in this together. Democracy gives us unity.
4 - FREEDOM OF INDIVIDUAL OPPORTUNITY - Terrorists do not understand this concept. They believe one should subordinate oneself to group and to one's god. Thus they eagerly become martyrs.
Freedom-loving countries, especially U.S., thrive on individual opportunity for all. This concept has led to growth of great corporations and to many rich citizens. Even very poor in freedom-loving count ries live better than many in poor countries that harbor terrorists.
How should U.S. and other freedom-loving countries respond to attack? Many see start of a war. But no country has declared war. A network of terrorists is responsible for atrocity. Some call what happened evil and that we should eliminate evil. This scares me. Who defines what is evil? The terrorists have defined U.S. as evil and look what it has led to.
We are not fighting another country. Some military strikes may be needed to show terrorists we mean business. But this fight will not be won by military means. Neither should we fight evil with another crusade. We are fighting a monstrous attack on our way of life. Therefore, we must: