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opinions from the head lemur
[Posted] Friday, September 14, 2001

Terrorism and Responsibility

We have spent over 200 years building a country whose guiding principles are the pursuit of Individual Liberty and Freedom. It is has worked very well. We have become the most powerful nation in the world. We got here by having open borders and welcoming people from other lands come here and become Americans. We got here by being Americans who believe in these principles.

Article 1 of the Bill of Rights says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Destroying buildings is not exercising religious freedom. Using Commercial Airliners to destroy these buildings is not free speech. Neither of these can be called a petition to redress grievances. When you threaten our ability to have opinions and disagreements, we become one people, we are Americans.

The tragedy in New York City was an act of Terrorism. It is being called an act of War. So be it. This terrorist attack is demonstrating the character of the American People. We can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

As we pull the survivors and the dead from the rubble, zip up the body bags and begin the notifications of the next of kin, a short lesson in what Americans are and what that really means.

Americans are a people who, when left to their own devices are hardworking, inventive, petty, devisive, open and childlike. We work together, we respect others, we help our friends, we bicker, we squabble, we laugh at ourselves. We do not keep secrets very well. We have opinions, we have disagreements. We do not hide these things. This is all part of a Free and Open Society. We believe that all people should have these freedoms.

When tragedy strikes around the world, we are the people who empty our closets, open our pocketbooks, take time from work, and send aid around the world to you in your time of hardship. We do this because we are Americans. Not Fill in the Blank-Americans, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Capitalists, Libertarians or lunatics. Just Americans.

Today we are mourning and reflecting on this tragedy. Tomorrow we will begin to change the world. It is time to loose the dogs of war and eradicate the places where these people hide.

Our response will be united. We are embarking on the largest manhunt in history. We will track you down. We will eliminate your camps, we will destroy your ability to wage terrorism. We will punish you. We will punish the countries who have given you safe harbor. We will make terrorism as a tool of change a ugly footnote of history.

We will take responsiblity for our actions. When we are done, we will talk and extend the hand of friendship and charity once again. We will do this because we are Americans.

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