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The Attacks on NY & Washington
Thursday, September 13, 2001

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NHNE: The Attacks on NY & Washington
Thursday, September 13, 2001
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Like many of you, I've been inundated with email concerning the attacks in New York and Washington. I've also spent hours watching CNN and the other major television networks. Everyone, it seems, is trying to make some sense of these traumatic events.

Predictably, the mainstream media is primarily focused on the extraordinary, emotionally-charged outer events: the horrendous crashes, the loss of life, eye-witness accounts, rescue efforts, analyzing the events that precipitated the crashes, guarding against future attacks, restoring normalcy and, of course, efforts to locate and "punish" those responsible.

But behind the scenes another kind of processing has been going on: many people, from a variety of religious traditions and philosophical perspectives, have been attempting to identify the deeper, unseen forces that produced the outer infernos.

What has America done to engender such hatred and wrath? What valid grievances do "terrorists" have and how can their concerns be holisticly responded to? How can the endless cycles of violence be stopped -- in the outer world where they manifest as airplanes full of "innocent people" being hijacked and crashed into buildings full of other "innocent people", and deep inside ourselves where they first appear as dogmatic ideas, self-righteous perspectives, and the universal human tendency to blame others for whatever ills have befallen us?

This two-part special report contains news, resources, and heartfelt comments from both mainstream and alternative sources, with a special focus on the deeper issues that are often overlooked by the culture at large. My hope is that this information will not only give us deeper insight into the painful events that are unfolding in our external world, but, more importantly, help us see, understand, and heal the forces, deep inside, that are the true source of our individual and collective pain.

Special thanks to Tom Atlee, John Steiner, Halim Dunsky, Gary Gach, Diana Brock Makes, Art Rosenblum, Chester Hatstat, and many others who sent in many of the posts that appear in this report.

--- David Sunfellow





- Attacks Show That Political Courage Is The Only Real Defense
- Understanding Osama Bin Laden
- Is The World's Favorite Hate Figure To Blame?
- For America, A Dose Of Reality
- What Is The Right Us Response?


- Deepak Chopra
- Paul Von Ward
- Michael Moore
- Gary Zukav
- Sharif Abdullah
- Lama Surya Das
- Marianne Williamson
- Steve Hassan
- Doug Carmichael
- Jennifer Hadley
- Nicholas Longo
- 11
- John Perry Barlow
- Chris Stout
- Mark Gerzon
- Halim Dunsky
- John Atlee
- Diana Morley
- Vicki Robin
- David La Chapelle
- Neale Donald Walsch
- Tom Atlee
- CarTheo@aol.com
- Pennie Stasik O'Grady


The New York Times
Tuesday, September 11, 2001


7:55 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 leaves Boston bound for Los Angeles

8:00 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 departs Newark bound for San Francisco

8:10 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 departs Washington bound for Los Angeles

8:15 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 departs Boston bound for Los Angeles

8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 strikes the north tower of the World Trade Center.

8:55 a.m. According to wire reports, President Bush, who is in Sarasota, Fla., is informed of the attacks

9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 strikes the south tower of the World Trade Center.

9:15 a.m. President Bush makes statement condemning terrorist attack.

9:25 a.m. FAA shuts down all New York City area airports.

9:35 a.m. All bridges and tunnels in the Manhattan area closed.

9:40 a.m. FAA halts all flight operations at U.S. airports.

9:55 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 hits Pentagon.

10:05 a.m. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

10:05 a.m. President Bush leaves Sarasota; White House evacuated.

10:15 a.m. A portion of the Pentagon collapses.

10:24 a.m. The FAA reports all inbound transatlantic aircraft are being diverted to Canada.

10:25 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh

10:27 a.m. The World Trade Center's north tower collapses.

10.46 a.m. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell cuts short his trip to Latin America to return to the United States.

10:53 a.m. New York's primary elections scheduled for today are postponed.

10:55 a.m. Financial Markets closed in New York

11:02 a.m. New York Mayor Rudy W. Giuliani urges citizens to stay at home or work and orders an evacuation of the area south of Canal Street.

11:15 a.m. U.N. headquarters in New York is fully evacuated

12:04 p.m. Los Angeles International Airport, the destination of three of the hijacked American Airlines flights, is evacuated.

12:25 p.m. San Francisco International Airport is evacuated and shut down.

1:04 p.m. President Bush speaks from Barksdale Airforce Base in Louisiana.

1:45 p.m. Pentagon announces that warships and aircraft carriers will take up positions in the New York and Washington areas.

8:30 p.m. President Bush addresses nation from White House


New York Times
Wednesday, September 12, 2001


Main New York City Numbers:

- NYC Emergency Information: 212-560-2730
- NYPD Emergency Information: 212-741-4626 or 866-856-4167


- American Airlines: 1-800-245-0999
- American Airlines Statement: http://www.aa.com

- United Airlines: 1-800-932-8555
- United Airlines Statement: http://www.ual.com

United also has established its international toll-free
numbers for friends or family members who want more
information. Those numbers are:

- The Netherlands: 020504051
- Germany: 06966985407
- Italy: 024829813
- Belgium: 027133646
- France: 0169199659

Victim Information:

- Red Cross WTC Victim Information: 212-604-7285
- WTC: AON Employees: 203-863-6380
- WTC: Morgan Stanley Employees: 888-883-4391
- WTC: Carr Future: 800-755-7620
- WTC: Cantor Fitzgerald: 866-326-3188
- WTC: Pitney Bowes: 800-932-3631
- Pentagon Employees: 1-877-663-6772
- Fire Department and EMT Employees: 718-999-2541
- Police Department Employees: 718-677-8238

New York City Hospitals:

- St. Vincent's Hospital: 212-604-7285
- Bellevue Hospital Center: 212-562-4141
- Coler Memorial Hospital: 212-848-6300
- Goldwater Memorial Hospital: 212-318-8000
- Gouverneur Hospital D&TC: 212-238-7000

Other New York City Services:

- City Mortuary: 212-562-3051
- Chief Medical Examiner: 212-447-2030

Grief Counseling:

- Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center: 718-579-5000
- Metropolitan Hospital Center: 212-423-6262
- St. Vincent's Health Crisis Center: 212-604-8220
- Department of Mental Health Services: 212-442-5000



By William Pfaff
International Herald Tribune
Wednesday, September 12, 2001

[Thanks to Tom Atlee and Mark Robinowitz.]

The first thing that must be said about the attacks in New York and Washington on Tuesday is that they have demonstrated the vulnerability of the United States, as of any modern society, to an intelligently prepared and determined attack.

Military officials and the uniformed and civilian analytic agencies attached to the U.S. defense establishment have for decades formulated speculative scenarios of attack on the nation, but their work has all but invariably been dominated by the high-technology mind-set of the Pentagon and by the engineering ethos of American society.

The planning has always suffered from the planners' assumption that their opponent would attack them in a manner symmetrical to the defenses they already had or that they planned to have.

Thus they concentrated speculation and planning on the danger of attack with mass-destruction weapons, probably using more or less high-technology methods. The discussion has almost entirely concerned missile attacks, rogue nuclear weapons and chemical and biological agents. Rogue commercial aircraft were not interesting to defense planners.

The real lesson, which was not learned, was provided nearly 60 years ago, shortly before the end of World War II, when an American medium bomber, lost in the fog, crashed into the Empire State Building in New York City -- then the country's highest building.

The lesson was that exotic methods and high technology are not necessary to produce devastating results. On Tuesday the lesson was validated. You merely need to crash three old-fashioned airplanes into vulnerable targets to produce mass panic in the United States, shutdown of most of the government and evacuation of the centers of Washington, New York and other major cities.

The second lesson was that the psychological and political consequences of such an event are not primarily measured by the scale of the casualties but by the unexpectedness and drama of the attack. So long as the attack remains anonymous, the fear and panic increase.

The effect sought is demonstration of the vulnerability of those who are targeted -- and the continuing vulnerability of those who might be targeted the next time. It is to demonstrate that high-technology defenses, of the kind in which the United States takes pride, can easily be circumvented, using simple methods. It is to demonstrate that there is no real defense against an anonymous attack that makes use of the ordinary functioning of civilian society.

Such an attack is possible so long as civil airplanes fly, trains run, power systems and utilities function, people go to work and business and markets continue. Each can be subverted, or intervened in, or exploited in ways that damage their users and the larger society.

Even a totalitarian security state cannot deal with this -- even if it were to suppress basic civil liberties. It is extremely important to understand this, since there will be two natural reactions to what has happened, both of them essentially futile.

First there will be continuing calls for revenge against whomever is responsible, presuming that the author is eventually identified.

The practical uselessness of revenge has repeatedly been demonstrated, and continues to be demonstrated in the Middle East, since those who employ terrorism are not functioning on a pragmatic scale of reward and punishment. As the Israelis find, making martyrs of your enemies invites further martyrdoms.

The second reaction will be that the United States needs even more elaborate defenses than now exist. Yet the Pentagon, CIA, NSA and the rest of the American apparatus of national security proved incapable of preventing the attacks Tuesday. They are incapable of preventing their repetition in some other version.

There are no technological defenses, as such, against this sort of thing. Surely, if nothing else comes out of the attacks Tuesday, they ought to have demonstrated to Americans the irrelevance of national missile defense.

There are ordinary security measures that can be taken or improved, but the nature of attacks mounted from within the regular functions of society, means that no comprehensive or conclusive defense exists. The entire history of terrorism in both 19th and 20th centuries has demonstrated that.

The final and most profound lesson of these events is one that it will be hardest for government to accept -- this government in particular. It is that the only real defense against external attack is serious, continuing and courageous effort to find political solutions for national and ideological conflicts that involve the United States.

The immediate conclusion nearly everyone has drawn about the origin of these attacks is that they come out of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. It is reasonable to think that this is so, although there is as yet no proof.

For more than 30 years the United States has refused to make a genuinely impartial effort to find a resolution to that conflict. It has involved itself in the Middle East in a thousand ways, but has never accepted a responsibility for dealing impartially with the two sides -- locked in their shared agony and their mutual tragedy.

If current speculation about these bombings proves to be true, the United States has now been awarded its share in that Middle Eastern tragedy.


By William O. Beeman
Pacific News Service/Alternet
September 12, 2001


The United States risks a severe miscalculation in dealing with the destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon on Tuesday.

This event is not an isolated instance of violence. This is not an "act of war." It is one symptom of a cancer that threatens to metastasize.

The root cause is not terrorist activity, as has been widely stated. It is the relationship between the United States and the Islamic world. Until this central cancerous problem is treated, Americans will never be free from fear.

Merely locating and hunting down a single "guilty party" in this case will not stop future violence: such an action will not destroy the organization of terrorist cells already established throughout the world. Of greater importance, it will do nothing to alleviate the residual enmity against America.

The perpetrators of the original attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 were caught and convicted. This did not stop the attack on Tuesday.

The chief suspect is the Saudi Arabian Osama bin Laden, or his surrogates. He has been mischaracterized as an anti-American terrorist. He should rather be thought of as someone who would do anything to protect Islam.

Bin Laden began his career fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979, when he was 22 years old. He has not only resisted the Soviets, but also the Serbians in Yugoslavia. His anger was directed against the United States primarily because of the U.S. presence in the Gulf region, more particularly in Saudi Arabia itself -- the site of the most sacred Islamic religious sites.

According to bin Laden, during the Gulf War America co-opted the rulers of Saudi Arabia to establish a military presence in order to kill Muslims in Iraq. In a religious decree issued in 1998, he gave religious legitimacy to attacks on Americans in order to stop the United States from "occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places." His decree also extends to Jerusalem, home of the sacred Muslim site the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Bin Laden will not cease his opposition until the United States leaves the region. Paradoxically, his strategy for convincing the United States to do so seems drawn from the American foreign policy playbook. When the United States disapproves of the behavior of another nation, it "turns up the heat" on that nation through embargoes, economic sanctions or withdrawal of diplomatic representation. In the case of Iraq following the Gulf War, America employed military action, resulting in the loss of civilian life.

The State Department has theorized that if the people of a rogue nation experience enough suffering, they will overthrow their rulers, or compel them to adopt more sensible behavior.

The terrorist actions in New York and Washington are a clear and ironic implementation of this strategy against the United States.

Bin Laden takes no credit for actions emanating from his training camps in Afghanistan. A true ideologue, he believes that his mission is sacred, and he wants only to see clear results. For this reason, the structure of his organization is essentially tribal, or cellular, in modern political terms. His followers are as fervent and intense in their belief as he is. They carry out their actions because they believe in the rightness of their cause, not because of bin Laden's orders or approval. Groups are trained in Afghanistan, and then establish their own centers in places as far-flung as Canada, Africa and Europe. Each cell is technologically sophisticated, and may have a different set of motivations for attacking the United States.

Palestinian members of his group see Americans as supporters of Israel in the current conflict between the two nations. In the Palestinian view, Ariel Sharon's ascendancy to leadership of Israel has triggered a new era, with U.S. government officials failing to pressure the Israeli government to end violence against Palestinians. Palestinian cell members will not cease their opposition until the United States changes its relationship with the Israeli state.

Above all, Americans need to remember that the rest of the world has an absolute right to self-determination that is as defensible as our own. A despicable act of terror such as that committed in New York and Washington is a measure of the revulsion that others feel at U.S. actions that seemingly limit those rights. If we perpetuate a cycle of hate and revenge, this conflict will escalate into a war that our great-grandchildren will be fighting.


Osama bin Laden
By Robert Fisk
12 September 2001

[Thanks to Art B. Rosenblum.]


I can imagine how Osama bin Laden received the news of the atrocities in the United States. In all, I must have spent five hours listening to him in Sudan and then in the Afghan mountains, as he described the inevitable collapse of the US, just as he and his comrades in the Afghan war helped to destroy the Red Army.

He will have watched satellite television, he will have sat in the corner of his room, brushing his teeth as he always did, with a mishwak stick, thinking for up to a minute before speaking. He once told me with pride how his men had attacked the Americans in Somalia. He acknowledged that he personally knew two of the Saudis executed for bombing an American military base in Riyadh. Could he be behind the slaughter in America?

If Mr bin Laden was really guilty of all the things for which he has been blamed, he would need an army of 10,000. And there is something deeply disturbing about the world's habit of turning to the latest hate figure whenever blood is shed. But when events of this momentous scale take place, there is a new legitimacy in casting one's eyes at those who have constantly threatened America.

Mr bin Laden had a kind of religious experience during the Afghan war. A Russian shell had fallen at his feet and, in the seconds as he waited for it to explode, he said he had a sudden feeling of calmness. The shell never exploded.

The US must leave the Gulf, he would say every 10 minutes. America must stop all sanctions against the Iraqi people. America must stop using Israel to oppress Palestinians. He was not fighting an anti-colonial war, but a religious one. His supporters would gather round him with the awe of men listening to a messiah. And the words they listened to were fearful in their implications. American civilians would no more be spared than military targets. Yet I also remember one night when Mr bin Laden saw a pile of newspapers in my bag and seized them. By a sputtering oil lamp, he read them, clearly unaware of the world around him. Was this really a man who could damage America?

If the shadow of the Middle East falls over yesterday's destruction, then who else could produce such meticulously timed assaults? The rag-tag Palestinian groups that used to favour hijacking are unlikely to be able to produce a single suicide bomber. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have neither the capability nor the money that this assault needed. Perhaps the groups that moved close to the Lebanese Hizbollah in the 1980s, before the organisation became solely a resistance movement. The bombing of the US Marines in 1983 needed precision, timing and infinite planning. But Iran, which supported these groups, is more involved in its internal struggles. Iraq lies broken, its agents more intent on torturing their own people than striking at the the US.

So the mountains of Afghanistan will be photographed from satellite and high-altitude aircraft in the coming days, Mr bin Laden's old training camps highlighted on the overhead projectors in the Pentagon. But to what end? For if this is a war it cannot be fought like other wars. Indeed, can it be fought at all without some costly military adventure overseas? Or is that what Mr bin Laden seeks above all else?


By Derrick Z. Jackson
The Boston Globe

[Thanks to Tom Atlee.]


The United States is wailing and wrenching, caught in its most bewildering moment of war. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians, the most ever killed on our shores, died within the space of a few hours by a violent act. But the enemy carried no Union Jack, no Stars and Bars, no Iron Cross, no rising sun, no swastika. It involved no visible army at all.

It is the most bewildering moment because we have the world's mightiest army, yet the Pentagon was bombed. It is bewildering because America is the world's richest nation, yet its greatest twin symbols of capitalism no longer stand. It is bewildering because the president says terrorism will not stand, yet he knows not where the enemy stands.

It is bewildering because we have fantasized, through our shelves of disaster movies, from ''King Kong'' to ''Independence Day,'' that America could be attacked by everything from gorillas to aliens, but most of us would always be saved. ''Independence Day'' has now happened for real, and we are bewildered because there are no spaceships for Will Smith to shoot at. No spaceships are needed when you can simply fly a jetliner.

It is bewildering because in a nation so numb to celluloid violence, gun violence, and even genocide abroad, no one can now be detached from the effects of violence. Fifty thousand people work in the World Trade Center. Hundreds more people were in the air when four passenger planes were deliberately crashed. Well within the six degrees of separation, all of us were somehow connected to someone who was in there or up there and prayed that they came out or came down alive.

Nearly all of us fly, and there could not be a person in this nation who did not cringe over replays of one of the planes exploding into the World Trade Center. In this modern world, airplanes simultaneously symbolize our faith in technology and the terror of helplessness. We cringe because an unseen roll of the dice could have put any one of us on board those airplanes. Here in Boston, it is sickening to think that the hijackers of the two flights from Logan may have slept comfortably in our midst the night before.

America now knows, in the most personal way, to the depths of its civilian vulnerability, that it is part of the world. Obviously, whoever did this must be found and put away forever. That only partially solves the problem. If one recalls, America was originally reluctant to enter what became World War II. Pearl Harbor changed all that. Now America has been forced into the world again, at a probable loss of life worse than Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 1941, 2,400 soldiers and 49 civilians were killed.

The question is, what world are we joining? The smoke has not cleared, and our more hawkish leaders are whipping up the winds of revenge. A senator was on CNN railing about the ''bastards.'' Security experts were bellowing about holding fully responsible any nation that has ever given comfort to Osama bin Laden, the most talked about suspect.

Since most states in this nation employ the death penalty, the term ''fully responsible'' is a perilous term. In the Gulf War, the United States killed thousands of Iraqi civilians in ''collateral damage.'' If we did that merely over oil, does that mean we should bomb women and children in, say, Afghanistan?

Revenge will be an understandable emotion in the coming days, as the body count and the saber-rattling mount. But it is also eerie that, suddenly, we want help on terrorism at the very time when we have been isolating ourselves from the world stage, from the environment to racism to missile defense. Missile defense would not have prevented the worst peacetime act within the lower 48 states.

Whoever attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and our sense of daily trust and freedom, must be found. But America must find itself, too. The targets clearly represented America's global power, a power that is not innocent of arrogance, either militarily or economically. With all the condolence that can be offered, it is incongruent to think that the world's leading exporter of the tools of death and destruction would not someday be visited with an evil in return.

Yesterday America learned that its soul could be momentarily leveled, humbled, and reduced to rubble. How we pick ourselves up will determine how long this war will go on. It will depend on how humbly we handle our power, which by definition makes us a target. What we know more clearly than ever is that no matter how much we withdraw, the most terrible evils can still come to us.


By Brad Knickerbocker
The Christian Science Monitor

[Thanks to Tom Atlee.]



To some experts, the main response needs to be more diplomatic than military.

"The most constructive response for the president and government would be to become much more engaged in the Middle East," says Emilio Viano, a terrorism expert at American University in Washington. "The region has been neglected," he adds, "and to the extent we have been involved, it has been increasingly interpreted as acting on the side of Israel."

"There is tremendous rage among Palestinians, and that has fueled the fires of fundamentalism," explains Professor Viano. "It would be more constructive to go to the root of all of this, and that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Going to the root of a problem that has simmered -- and often flared -- for decades and generations is difficult under far simpler circumstances than American now finds itself confronting.

And a military response, whether it is a quick retaliation or a protracted response meant to permanently change the geopolitical landscape, nonetheless brings with it the questions of balancing a nation's fundamental values.

"We have to be true to our principles, take into account the fact that people will be vulnerable and without offense and themselves at risk," says former CIA and FBI director William Webster. "We should avoid doing to them what they did to us, which is to take innocent lives."



[Thanks to Tom Atlee.]


In the aftermath of the ruthless attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, we implore the leaders of the United States to ensure that justice be served by protecting the innocent citizens of all nations.

We beg that the President maintain the civil liberties of all U.S. residents, protect the human rights of all people at home and abroad, and guarantee that this attempted attack on the principles and freedoms of the United States will not succeed.

We plead for a thorough investigation of the terrorist events before any retaliation.

We call for PEACE and JUSTICE, not revenge.

In Solidarity,
The Undersigned

NOTE: The system centralizes signature collection to provide consolidated, useful reports for petition authors and targets.


By Peggy Holman

[Thanks to Tom Atlee.]

So much of our public discourse today plays out through the media and their broadcasting of politicians. I have been sitting with the question of what happens from here? It occurs to me that rather than watching with great frustration as the politicians and media foment discord and speak of punishing those at fault, it is time to let them know that there are voices who wish to see a different kind of response. I have gathered e-mail addresses for people I thought important to reach. Some are here because they are in positions of power and it seems important that they hear another perspective. I chose others because they seem to be searching for other alternatives and are respected. You may have others you think worth contacting.

So, I ask, as we talk to each other to make some sense out of this, please consider also contacting people in the public eye to let them know we wish to see a different kind of response. The note I am sending follows the addresses I've located.


ABC News:
(I'm contacting Ted Koppel)

ABC World news tonight with Peter Jennings:

CBS News with Dan Rather:

NBC News with Tom Brokaw:

Lots of NBC contact addresses:

CNN News:

Oprah Winfrey:

President George W. Bush:

Vice President Dick Cheney:


House of Representatives:

Working Assets Long Distance:



The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks create an enormous opportunity for unity. These unspeakable acts dramatically draw most of us together in our shock and disbelief. What about those who celebrate it? Who are they? What is it that moves them to joy as the rest of us are moved to tears?

Their stories are a vital part of what happens next. As a person with great influence and power, I implore you to tell us their stories. Why do I want to know? Because it is by understanding their humanity that the greatest chance for healing all of us occurs.

We can respond, as we always do, with swift, and just military vengeance. We have centuries of experience of the results of this course. It simply breeds more of the same.

At this time when we are all grieving for the people directly affected and those close to them, let us respond differently. Help us to understand the anger that turns such atrocity into valid action so that we can face the enemy and see their humanity in ourselves.

Rather than deepen the divide, help us bridge it.

Peggy Holman



The Drudge Report:



AlterNet Headlines:

Dave Winer's Scripting News:

Lyco's News Photos of New York & Washington Disasters:

New York Daily News Online Photos:


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NHNE: Part 2 of 2: The Attacks on NY & Washington
Thursday, September 13, 2001
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By Deepak Chopra

[Thanks to John Steiner <steiner_king@mail.earthlink.net>.]

As fate would have it, I was leaving New York on a jet flight that took off 45 minutes before the unthinkable happened. By the time we landed in Detroit, chaos had broken out. When I grasped the fact that American security had broken down so tragically, I couldn't respond at first. My wife and son were also in the air on separate flights, one to Los Angeles, one to San Diego. My body went absolutely rigid with fear. All I could think about was their safety, and it took several hours before I found out that their flights had been diverted and both were safe.

Strangely, when the good news came, my body still felt that it had been hit by a truck. Of its own accord it seemed to feel a far greater trauma that reached out to the thousands who would not survive and the tens of thousands who would survive only to live through months and years of hell. And I asked myself, Why didn't I feel this way last week? Why didn't my body go stiff during the bombing of Iraq or Bosnia? Around the world my horror and worry are experienced every day. Mothers weep over horrendous loss, civilians are bombed mercilessly, refugees are ripped from any sense of home or homeland. Why did I not feel their anguish enough to call a halt to it?

As we hear the calls for tightened American security and a fierce military response to terrorism, it is obvious that none of us has any answers. However, we feel compelled to ask some questions.

Everything has a cause, so we have to ask, What was the root cause of this evil? We must find out not superficially but at the deepest level. There is no doubt that such evil is alive all around the world and is even celebrated.

Does this evil grow from the suffering and anguish felt by people we don't know and therefore ignore? Have they lived in this condition for a long time?

One assumes that whoever did this attack feels implacable hatred for America. Why were we selected to be the focus of suffering around the world?

All this hatred and anguish seems to have religion at its basis. Isn't something terribly wrong when jihads and wars develop in the name of God? Isn't God invoked with hatred in Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, and even among the intolerant sects of America?

Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying cause? Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity?

If there is a deep wound, doesn't it affect everyone?

When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks, and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons? Who sells them? Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against us?

If all of us are wounded, will revenge work? Will punishment in any form toward anyone solve the wound or aggravate it? Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?

Tribal warfare has been going on for two thousand years and has now been magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end? Is patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another form of tribalism?

What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening? Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?

Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift in our collective soul? Isn't this an attack on civilization from without that is also from within?

When we have secured our safety once more and cared for the wounded, after the period of shock and mourning is over, it will be time for soul searching. I only hope that these questions are confronted with the deepest spiritual intent. None of us will feel safe again behind the shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals. There can be no safety until the root cause is faced. In this moment of shock I don't think anyone of us has the answers. It is imperative that we pray and offer solace and help to each other. But if you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.


By Paul Von Ward
September 11, 2001


[Thanks to Chester Hatstat.]

Today is my birthday. When the phone began to ring, I thought it would be a child or loved one calling with a happy birthday wish. The first calls were from a sister, a loved one, a child and then friends. But the birthday wishes took a far second place. I was breathlessly asked if I had heard the World Trade Center and Pentagon had been bombed, by planes crashing into them. Shocked, I turned on the TV as the callers, frightened and sobbing, inquired if my son and ex-wife were safe in DC and if a former lover and friend who worked in lower Manhattan was alright.

I had no idea how to respond; I had been repainting a bathroom wall. Trying to absorb the devastating news, I frantically started making calls. With no success in New York or Washington. Circuits were jammed or the numbers were busy. I had no idea of their fates, and was forced along with millions of others to await the news of friends and relatives caught in the two separate explosive and fiery maelstroms of death.

My mind and limbs were like water. The cries and moans of the dying and wounded reverberated throughout my cells. A part of my own being seemed to perish with each soul's departure. While one part of me was fighting to express its anger at the deaths and wounds of friends and former colleagues, their names not yet known in both cities, another was feeling the anguish and emptiness that their relatives will experience when they get the news.

At the same time I felt a different sharpness cut through me, the source being another form of soul pain -- the level of despair that causes one to maim and kill a fellow human. My whole being was a microcosm of the self-inflicted pain members of our species inflict on others. Why does the human family live in such a way as to die the way so many of us have to do? It was so clear to me that we were all parts of the same body, but it was not clear to me why this body had turned on itself.

All my adult life when I have mentioned my birthday, I have said I was born along with World War II, as Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939 and Britain and France had to declare war on Germany in the defense of the free world. From that date the world changed forever. From now on my 62nd birthday will mark another date of the world shifting directions. We have no idea where it will end and what global society will be like when the consequences of the principle of cause and effect work their way throughout the human race. The direction it takes will be the legacy this generation leaves to the next.

We now must recognize that the world is one place, that all humans are one family, that no country can be independent of others, and that when the world is finally safe for one it will be safe for all. The academic discussions of interdependence has now been made real; everyone in the world is within two or three relationships of at least one person who lives or works in New York City or Washington, DC. When some of us are harmed all of us are hurt. The new direction the world takes must deal with this reality. Conscious humans everywhere will work to keep this reality in our full awareness.

As we seek justice, as we seek understanding, as we seek revenge, as we seek forgiveness, and as we seek the path to a better future, let us remember that whatever we do consciously and energetically will come back to us manyfold. As we do unto others, so we do unto ourselves. That which we reap one day is the result of that which we have sown on a previous day. May we be filled with love and compassion for all those who were wounded or died, and for their famiiles, for giving us another opportunity to make a different choice for our collective future than we have exercised in the past.

The calls are finally in; though shaken to the core by the horrors witnessed or sensed, members of my extended family are physically safe. My heart goes out to those whose homes tonight are left with places at the dinner table that will never be filled again. But to the survivors are left the task to make sure that those who did not survive did not die in vain. To honor them we must strive to create a world in which justice and peace are the birthright of all people, and in which the many are not left needy due to the way some of us live. To be truly human we must rise above the emotions that divide, accept our part of the responsibility for the whole and learn from today how to create a better tomorrow.


By Michael Moore <mmflint@aol.com>
Wednesday, September 12, 2001

I was supposed to fly today on the 4:30 PM American Airlines flight from LAX to JFK. But tonight I find myself stuck in L.A. with an incredible range of emotions over what has happened on the island where I work and live in New York City.

My wife and I spent the first hours of the day -- after being awakened by phone calls from our parents at 6:40am PT -- trying to contact our daughter at school in New York and our friend JoAnn who works near the World Trade Center. I called JoAnn at her office. As someone picked up, the first tower imploded, and the person answering the phone screamed and ran out, leaving me no clue as to whether or not she or JoAnn would live.

It was a sick, horrible, frightening day.

On December 27, 1985 I found myself caught in the middle of a terrorist incident at the Vienna airport -- which left 30 people dead, both there and at the Rome airport. (The machine-gunning of passengers in each city was timed to occur at the same moment.)

I do not feel like discussing that event tonight because it still brings up too much despair and confusion as to how and why I got to live. A fluke, a mistake, a few feet on the tarmac, and I am still here -- there but for the grace of.

Safe. Secure. I'm an American, living in America. I like my illusions. I walk through a metal detector, I put my carry-ons through an x-ray machine, and I know all will be well.

Here's a short list of my experiences lately with airport security:

* At the Newark Airport, the plane is late at boarding everyone. The counter can't find my seat. So I am told to just "go ahead and get on" -- without a ticket!

* At Detroit Metro Airport, I don't want to put the lunch I just bought at the deli through the x-ray machine so, as I pass through the metal detector, I hand the sack to the guard through the space between the detector and the x-ray machine. I tell him "It's just a sandwich." He believes me and doesn't bother to check. The sack has gone through neither security device.

* At LaGuardia in New York, I check a piece of luggage, but decide to catch a later plane. The first plane leaves without me, but with my bag -- no one knowing what is in it.

* Back in Detroit, I take my time getting off the commuter plane. By the time I have come down its stairs, the bus that takes the passengers to the terminal has left -- without me. I am alone on the tarmac, free to wander wherever I want. So I do. Eventually, I flag down a pick-up truck and an airplane mechanic gives me a ride the rest of the way to the terminal.

* I have brought knives, razors; and once, my traveling companion brought a hammer and chisel. No one stopped us.

Of course, I have gotten away with all of this because the airlines consider my safety SO important, they pay rent-a-cops $5.75 an hour to make sure the bad guys don't get on my plane. That is what my life is worth -- less than the cost of an oil change.

Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on American Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives around $15,000 a year in annual pay.

That's right -- $15,000 for the person who has your life in his hands. Until recently, Continental Express paid a little over $13,000 a year. There was one guy, an American Eagle pilot, who had four kids so he went down to the welfare office and applied for food stamps -- and he was eligible!

Someone on welfare is flying my plane? Is this for real? Yes, it is.

So spare me the talk about all the precautions the airlines and the FAA is making. They, like all businesses, are concerned about one thing -- the bottom line and the profit margin.

Four teams of 3-5 people were all able to penetrate airport security on the same morning at 3 different airports and pull off this heinous act? My only response is -- that's all?

Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the "terrorist threat" and today's scariest dude on planet earth -- Osama bin Laden. Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something just doesn't add up.

Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a desert has been training pilots to fly our most modern, sophisticated jumbo jets with such pinpoint accuracy that they are able to hit these three targets without anyone wondering why these planes were so far off path?

Or am I being asked to believe that there were four religious/political fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots who JUST HAPPENED to want to kill themselves today?

Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause -- but FOUR? Ok, maybe you can -- I don't know.

What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this bin Laden guy except this one fact -- WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden!

Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!

Don't take my word for it -- I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that laid it all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use those same techniques against us.

We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing.

We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me. Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers!

We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt our day one single bit.

We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised when those orphans grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have helped cause.

Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted by a guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of ex-military guys who hated the federal government.

From the first minutes of today's events, I never heard that possibility suggested. Why is that?

Maybe it's because the A-rabs are much better foils. A key ingredient in getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new enemy is the all-important race card. It's much easier to get us to hate when the object of our hatred doesn't look like us.

Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for the military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn't want to hear any more talk about more money for education or health care -- we should have only one priority: our self-defense.

Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes?

In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again. He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you name it, and Baby Bush has blown it all.

The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous version of "God Bless America." They're not a bad group of singers!

Yes, God, please do bless us.

Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!

Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity.

Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate let's examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.

It doesn't have to be like this.


By Gary Zukav

[Thanks to Diana Brock Makes <diana@efficiencyexperts.com>.]

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are occasions of great significance. They are opportunities for you to feel inside, to find those parts of yourself that are in fear, and to make the decision to move forward in your life without fear. That is the challenge for each individual on this planet today. The pursuit of external power -- the ability to manipulate and control -- creates only violence and destruction. The painful events in New York and Washington are living examples of that reality.

The causal chain that created this violence is one in which compassion and wisdom are absent. Are wisdom and compassion present in you as you watch the television, and read the papers? It is important to realize that you do not know all that came to conclusion, or into karmic balance, as a result of these events. Because you are not able to know all that can be known about them, you are not in a position to judge them.

When you are able to look at the events of the Earth School from this perspective, you will see clearly the central importance of the role that you play in it. That role is this:

It is for you to decide what you will contribute to this world. Many will be asking your opinion of these events. Each question is an opportunity for you to contribute to the love that is in the world or to the fear that is in the world. This is the same opportunity that presents itself to you at each moment.

If you hate those who hate, you become like them. You add to the violence and the destructive energy that now fills our world. As you make the decision to see with clarity and compassion, you will see that those who committed these acts of violence were in extreme pain themselves, and that they were fueled by the violent parts of ourselves -- the parts that judge without mercy, strike in anger, and rejoice in the suffering of others. They were our proxy representatives. If you can look with compassion upon those who have suffered and those who have committed acts of cruelty alike, then you will see that all are suffering.

The remedy for suffering is not to inflict more suffering.

This is an opportunity for a massive expression of compassion. It is also an opportunity for a massive expression of revenge. Which world do you intend to live in -- a world of revenge or a world of compassion?


By Sharif Abdullah


[Thanks to John Steiner <steiner_king@mail.earthlink.net>.]

Prayers for the Departed; Compassion for the Injured: First, I think all of us should take a break from the television and radio broadcasts, light a candle and say a few prayers:

First, for our friends, families, loved ones, business associates, travel companions and others who have departed in these attacks -- our prayers on the rest of their journey.

Next, those of us who have been injured -- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually -- our compassion and prayers for healing.

For the rest of us -- hope that our compassion and understanding exceeds our fear, our anger and our desire for revenge.



There are some very, very angry people out there in the world. Part of their anger is in not being heard. People who do not feel heard will do ANYTHING to get one's attention.

Some of those angry people live here in the US; some are in other parts of the world. Some look and act just like you.

In general, Americans have no idea that such anger exists. It's not that people aren't screaming at you, its that you're programmed not to see or hear them. Or, if you do hear them, you think they are saying something other than "I am angry at you".

Or, you hear the anger yet ignore it -- these people can't possibly hurt you in your middle-class, gated community, your gated lives. "We" feel "protected" by our "security".

The US government has ignored these angry people, calling ANY attack against the US or its interests "unprovoked".

The United States, directly and indirectly, supports violence throughout the world. Denying it won't make this truth go away. We seem unable to understand the anger of someone who had their village leveled by American cruise missiles, or whose family was killed by a US-backed government. Believe me, they are angry and they feel powerless. Anger and powerlessness is the root of violence.



A few years ago, when I was in the Sri Lanka war zone, we passed two young men who were acting in a way that I believed was consistent with Tamil Tiger attack spotters. I mentioned this to my Sinhalese companion, who said, "That's impossible; those boys are Sinhalese." I asked him, "Is it possible for a Sinhala person to be in sympathy with the Tigers?" He looked at me as though my head had jumped off my shoulders and flew around the room.

Like the Oklahoma City bombing, the first (and predominant) thought is that the perpetrators are Islamic fundamentalists, America's favorite "Other". We are programmed to not hear or understand them. Americans were in "shock" when the "foreign terrorist" turned out to be blue-eyed Timothy McVeigh.

Let's not rush to see "the Other" as in any way different from yourself. The people who steered those planes aren't "crazy, cowardly fanatics". They are people whose spiritual emptiness and frustration led them to commit these acts. Let's not think that their emptiness is any different than our own.



We may find it difficult to forgive, because many of us equate forgiveness with weakness. In the face of attack, we want to attack back. We want to find the perpetrators and make them hurt, the way that we are hurting. We believe its the only way we can relieve our pain.

We have to find another way.

Many of us have been talking about a change of consciousness. Many of us think that it is THE OTHER who must change; it is THE OTHER who must change their consciousness. They point to their favorite "Other"; people of different ethnicity, class or power status.

It's not "the Other" who must change first -- its "us".

Beefing Security and Preventing Terrorism:

There is no way to stop a coordinated suicide attack. I repeat: there is NO WAY to stop a suicide attack. The suicide attackers in Sri Lanka, in the Middle East, and now in the US have a way of making their point, with ever increasing accuracy and deadliness.

The ONLY way to prevent such an attack occurring in the future is to de-fuse the attacker before the attack begins. We must work to remove the ROOT CAUSES that drives the suicide attacker. Our intelligence must be geared toward identification, understanding and transformation, not technology and retribution. We clearly have the capacity to punish: so far, that punishment has given us ever-escalating rounds of violence and terror. We must generate a much greater capacity to transform "the Other".

We cannot do this without the capacity to transform ourselves.


By Lama Surya Das
Wednesday, September 12, 2001


[Thanks to Gary Gach.]

Buddha said that hate is never overcome by hate; hatred is only overcome by love. With today's tragic events we may be on the brink of an escalating war in the Middle East. I think that we must look into our hearts and minds and see what we -- individually, collectively, societally -- are doing to alleviate or to perpetuate these problems, and how we might become part of their eventual solution. I think an eye-for-an-eye retaliatory approach is not the most measured response at this time. But do our leaders agree?

Religion is supposed to further peace, happiness and harmony, not contribute to hatred and prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, violence and war. Nonviolence is the first precept of Buddhism, and a fundamental tenet of many world religions; yet look what actually happens in the world, recently in the Middle East and Bosnia, in Belfast and Sri Lanka, as well as throughout history. Even here at home in America, guns in the schools and at home continue to harm us. Violence both at home and abroad, even in our schools and homes and neighborhoods, has come to the fore in our time as a major focus of concern, but we have not made much progress in averting or dealing with it.

Martin Luther King said that we have two choices: to peacefully coexist, or to destroy ourselves. Do you know how many countries in the world are experiencing war right now? Dozens, literally; yet we remain for the most part insulated from that terrible reality. Here in America we don't usually feel as much first-hand evidence of the recent twentieth century's war death toll, although we certainly did during the several wars of the twentieth century. But I don't think that war begins outside somewhere, on a battlefield, along some disputed border, or in a diplomatic conference room or economic summit meeting; war begins with the cupidity, hatred, prejudice, racism, ignorance and cruelty in the human heart. This is because the true battlefield is the heart of man, as Dostoevsky says. If we want peace in the world -- and I firmly believe that we all do -- we need to face this fact. We must learn how to deal with anger and hatred, and to soften up and disarm our own hearts, as well as work in larger contexts towards nuclear disarmament and peace in our time. We need to think globally and act locally, beginning with ourselves and each other -- at home, in the family, as well as outside at work and in the community, reaching out more and more in broad, all-embracing circles of collective caring and responsibility. This is the path to a more peaceful future for all of us.

Today is a time for prayer, reflection on what is most important in our lives, and to think about what steps we might take towards nonviolence within ourselves and our own lives as well as towards a more peaceful world. I myself am thinking about what the Buddhist wisdom tells us about how to deal with anger and hatred, grief and loss.

What we experience today is a tragic event of monumental proportions, comparable perhaps to Pearl Harbor. And yet, the fact that it hits us in the heart of NY and Washington could remind us that it is the kind of thing that happens during conflicts in other countries and their capitals, and which we Americans have for the most part been mercifully insulated from. I'd like us to reflect on that as we continue to pursue our national goals and policies, realizing more and more deeply our connectedness with the peoples and ongoing conflicts in other parts of the world.


Marianne Williamson
Global Renaissance Alliance <Office@renaissancealliance.org>
September 11, 2001

During this awful hour, we pray for those who lost their lives and the lives of their loved ones in today's tragic attacks. May God's love and wisdom prevail. Please, dear God, protect the people of the world.

May the pain and sorrow that we feel today, and witness in others, be the spiritual springboard for powerful prayers for peace. In each of us, there lies a divine connection to a power more powerful than hate or violence. Today is the day to attune to that power, and use it on behalf of peace on earth.

Join with others in your own family or community to allow the power of "two or more gathered" to call down the miraculous elixir of a loving God. May we not succumb to thoughts of violence and revenge today, but rather to thoughts of mercy and compassion. Our God is a God of justice, and His justice is rooted in love. "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord" means that God has His own way of righting wrongs, and they are not our ways. We are to love our enemies, that they might be returned to their right minds.

Dear God,
Please bring your Light
Into the darkened corners
Of our world today.
May Divine Love
Cast out all fear,
And peace prevail on earth.
Forgive us,
Oh God,
For our errors.
Forgive others for theirs,
As well.
Please help us, God.

God bless you all. I am joined with you in prayer.


By Steve Hassan
Freedom of Mind Resource Center
September 11, 2001


When trying to understand today's horrific events, it might be helpful to understand cult psychology," cult expert and author Steven Hassan says.

"Members of terrorist organizations are in fact members of a destructive mind control cult. The use of influence techniques to create a fanatic are essentially the same. There are many similarities between the way people are programmed in a cult which can result in an act of suicide bombing. Many people while in a destructive cult, including myself, can tell you that we were ready to die for the cause, if necessary."

How can a human being reign horrific death and destruction, as they have today? Are they evil?

This is a question people are likely to be asking themselves on this darkest of days in most American people's lifetimes.

"Thinking of the perpetrators merely as evil people may be a mistake," says Hassan, "as it is exactly that type of simplistic thinking that ultimately can lead to this type of behavior."

"Part of the cult mentality is that people see things in terms of black and white. Everything gets reduced to extremes belief of "good versus evil" and "us versus them." Cult members are indoctrinated to exercise strict blind obedience to the charismatic figure atop the pyramid structure of their group. They are in a form of trance."

"Basically it's mind control. The recruit is given a new identity (in the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, it is referred to a Disassociative Disorder NOS 300.15). Destructive mind control cult members often change names and take on a new language system; they have different beliefs and usually different clothing. Reality is redefined: for instance the Heaven's Gate followers didn't believe they were committing suicide, they thought they were just leaving their vehicles behind and traveling to a waiting spaceship.

"Cult members believe that they are part of an elite few, that they are chosen by God for a special purpose, that they will always be remembered as heroes for what they have done."

Suicide bombers go through an intense indoctrination: they are put into a coffin and buried, and told that they are dead already. Then they have no choice but to follow the plan: they believe that they are already dead. They're in a trance, confident of their redemption as they die, along with all the victims of their actions.


Doug Carmichael:

The Mayor of New York says, "this was an unprovoked act against innocent men women and children."

I write to use all means available to simply say, there is no cause without a cause. The creation of terrorism must be understood and dealt with at the root of what creates people whose lives are pained enough to make this kind of move. Everything is provoked. We must understand the deeper picture of human reality.


Jennifer Hadley, Center for the Advancement of Nonviolence:

"The price of freedom is constant alertnesss and the willingness to strike back with Consciousness."


Nicholas Longo, CEO of CoffeeCup Software:

This is Nicholas Longo, the CEO of CoffeeCup Software. As you may have heard the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked about 45 minutes ago.

The Team at CoffeeCup would like to send our heart felt sorrow to those that perished in these attacks.

We would like to also say on record that if any country is found responsible for these attacks, we call for that country's complete destruction and annihilation.

Do not let terrorism which is designed to create fear and stop production, halt your life or work.

Stay focused and do not stop what you are doing.

May God bless us all and the decisions we must make.


Author unknown

[Thanks to Raya.]

The date of the attack: 9/11 - 9 + 1 + 1 = 11
September 11th is the 254th day of the year: 2 + 5 + 4 = 11
After September 11th there are 111 days left to the end of the year.
119 is the area code to Iraq/Iran: 1 + 1 + 9 = 11
Twin Towers - standing side by side, looks like the number 11
The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11
State of New York: The 11 State added to the Union
New York City: 11 Letters
Afghanistan: 11 Letters
The Pentagon: 11 Letters
Ramzi Yousef: 11 Letters (convicted or orchestrating the attack on the WTC in 1993)
Flight 11 - 92 on board: 9 + 2 = 11
Flight 77 - 65 on board: 6 + 5 = 11


Posted on Dave Winer's Scripting News


[Thanks to John Steiner <steiner_king@mail.earthlink.net>.]

John Perry Barlow compares today's events to the burning of the Reichstag that led to the Nazi takeover of the German government in 1933. He said in a published email "Within a few hours, we will see beginning the most vigorous efforts to end what remains of freedom in America. Those of who are willing to sacrifice a little -- largely illusory -- safety in order to maintain our faith in the original ideals of America will have to fight for those ideals just as vigorously."


Posted on Dave Winer's Scripting News


Chris Stout:

"Hate caused this disaster; more hate will not make it go away."


By Mark Gerzon
September 11, 2001

[Thanks to "Halim Dunsky" <halim@bigmindmedia.com>.]

"After something like this, there will be a desire to strike back. What will be hard for us, given our national psyche, is that we cannot. We don't know who, or where, to strike."

-- General Norman Schwartzkopf

How do we respond to this emergency call? Even our most renowned general recognizes that we cannot strike back. We must find something to do with our anger and our fear.

We that many voices will call for increased military spending, massive new investments in intelligence-gathering, and the creation of a domestic security state. So it is important that of us whose work involves alternatives to violence have an important challenge ahead of us. We must find a way, an EFFECTIVE way, to make clear that a vital part of our response must be to understand the sources of the rage against the superpower we call home and to respond with wisdom. In addition to whatever military and security measures are taken, we absolutely must reflect on why we have become a target.

In my view, there are three primary sources of rage. The first is because much of the Muslim world believes that the United States is the enemy of Islam. There are religious, geopolitical, and cultural reasons for this hatred, all of which are intensified by the targeted assassination of Palestinian leaders. But we can no longer afford to pretend that this hatred results 100% from the ideological fanaticism of militant followers of Islam.

The second source is the widespread view of the United States as a symbol of wealth and power, and hence the enemy of the poor and powerless. To what degree this is true is obviously debatable, but what is beyond doubt is that the perception runs deep and wide throughout much of the world, particularly in the South. Yes, we are still a symbol of freedom and democracy, but we cannot afford to let this historic role camouflage the fact that we are also profoundly hated as a symbol of superpower arrogance and privilege.

The third source of rage is more diffuse, but it relates directly to the growing protests against the World Bank, IMF and WTO. As symbolized by a series of actions in which we are the Lone Ranger (Kyoto accords, Durban racism conference, etc), we are rapidly isolating ourselves from the world around us. While on the one hand we are the most "international" global nation on earth, we are on the other hand the most isolationist. Like the World Bank, IMF and WTO, which we played a pivotal role in creating, we are seen as orchestrating a world that suits our national interest, regardless of the consequences on other nations. This view is increasingly common in Europe, which is culturally closest to us. If that view can take hold there, just imagine how much more strongly it can grip other parts of the world, such as the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Rage, of course, is no excuse for mass murder. What the terrorists did in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania is itself an outrage. But now we, as a people, have to choose. Just like the Serbs and Croats in the Balkans, the H utus and Tutsies in Rwanda, and Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, the Indians and Pakistanis in Kashmir, and the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, WE HAVE TO CHOOSE WHAT KIND OF NATION WE WANT TO BE.

Do we intensify the cycle of retaliation and revenge, or do we open ourselves to the heart of the hatred?

If, as the Dalai Lama has said, we have moved from a century of war to a century of dialogue, then our choice is clear. On a scale never before imaginable, we must know our enemy -- not forgive them; not excuse them; and not appease them -- but KNOW them. We must know them in our hearts and respond to them with a wisdom that passeth all understanding.


Halim Dunsky:

To Mark Gerzon's comments I would add a challenge to further our knowing of ourselves: we must take up the painful question, How are the horrific acts perpetrated today similar to acts -- fast and slow -- perpetrated within recent memory and every day by the United States, other nations with similar blindnesses, and transnational corporations? Can we come to acknowledge our share of culpability in fostering the conditions that have nurtured the rage and determination we saw today?

Meeting the heart of the enemy means being willing to see ourselves. New wisdom in response to a new understanding will demand that we change our lives -- not in order to seek greater security, but to stand down from the ongoing provocations for which we have been responsible.


John Atlee:

Real defense

I'd like to see a national campaign for the US to donate a small part of the proposed national missile defense to economic aid to the Palestinians.


Diana Morley:

I'd like to see us become independent of Middle Eastern sources of oil. It's because of our commercial interests in the oil that we interfere militarily. It's because of our attack on Iraq during the Gulf War that Osama bin Laden initially turned against the U.S. (combined, of course, with our lack of concern for Muslim victims of war, as in Bosnia). Maybe the horrific suffering caused in yesterday's attacks will help get our attention so that we might see conserving energy and seeking out alternative sources, especially renewable sources, as a small price to pay for freeing up our commercial and military interests.


Vicki Robin:

As I watched the World Trade Towers collapse this morning and as the shock works its way through my body, I am aware that people everywhere will be grappling with what this means. I encourage all of you to join me in being aware in these next days and weeks of this meaning making activity, knowing that how we understand this event governs how we will respond.

If people recoil into fear, vengeance and scapegoating we are in for very dark times. Our conversations right now make a big difference in whether we as people, as a nation can grieve, search our souls, stay connected to all that is good in us. If not, if we as people and as a nation seek to relieve our pain through blame, then many, many people here who have challenged the status quo will be hurt and the conviction that we must live in a police state will not be far away.

Please join me in compassionate conversation with as many people as possible -- not instructing others in how to respond but in listening and feeling together and discovering what our responses might be. May we use the power of our words and our inquiry into the soul of "the other" to heal. May we flood our streets with love rather than fear.

Thank you for listening.


By David La Chapelle <dlachape@ptialaska.net>
September 11, 2001

I woke this morning after three days of increasing tension in my body...

I woke knowing that I am not separate from the occurrences across this

there are many lines of destiny that cross through our lives...
occasionally they join in a moment that cannot be denied.

what I know this day
is that it is not good to be alone...
alone and dying in a street, or town, or tower, or in a town...

violence is born of unbonded hearts
however that violence unfolds is the agony cry of loneliness...

compassion in action is never more truly tested
than in times like these...

understanding the whole out of which this particular has arisen
is as important as the gesture we make to those closest to us on this day,
and the gesture we make
is as important as the understanding of the whole...

I see no easy answers
in a system that is weighted so largely by the forces of such pasts,
I have heard of a dream

that we might know a better world...

now would be a good time
to wake into that dream
in each action...
in each thought...
in each breath...

attention is the sword that sharpens souls
in times when fear swirls and reaction is so easy grasp....

this turning point
has turned us,
who do we see now?

this is what becomes truly interesting,
and the great affair of these times...

who have we become?
and what is truly possible when the worst is imagined into being?

if such fear can manifest
what of our most cherished hopes for this world and our lives?

it is with this hope
near my heart
that I lay down to sleep tonight
I cannot repay such sacrifice with anything but a holy hope.


By Neale Donald Walsch
September 12, 2001


The events of this day cause every thinking person to stop their daily lives, whatever is going on in them, and to ponder deeply the larger questions of life. We search again for not only the meaning of life, but the purpose of our individual and collective experience as we have created it-and we look earnestly for ways in which we might recreate ourselves anew as a human species, so that we will never treat each other this way again.

The hour has come for us to demonstrate at the highest level our most extraordinary thought about Who We Really Are.

There are two possible responses to what has occurred today. The first comes from love, the second from fear.

If we come from fear we may panic and do things-as individuals and as nations-that could only cause further damage. If we come from love we will find refuge and strength, even as we provide it to others.

A central teaching of Conversations with God is: What you wish to experience, provide for another.

Look to see, now, what it is you wish to experience-in your own life, and in the world. Then see if there is another for whom you may be the source of that.

- If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.

- If you wish to know that you are safe, cause another to know that they are safe.

- If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand.

- If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another.

Those others are waiting for you now. They are looking to you for guidance, for help, for courage, for strength, for understanding, and for assurance at this hour. Most of all, they are looking to you for love. This is the moment of your ministry. This is the time of teaching. What you teach at this time, through your every word and action right now, will remain as indelible lessons in the hearts and minds of those whose lives you touch, both now, and for years to come.

We will set the course for tomorrow, today. At this hour. In this moment.

There is much we can do, but there is one thing we cannot do. We cannot continue to co-create our lives together on this planet as we have in the past. We cannot, except at our peril, ignore the events of this day, or their implications.

It is tempting at times like this to give in to rage. Anger is fear announced, and rage is anger that is repressed, and then, when it is released, that is often misdirected. Right now, anger is not inappropriate. It is, in fact, natural -- and can be a blessing. If we use our anger about this day not to pinpoint where the blame falls, but where the cause lies, we can lead the way to healing.

Let us seek not to pinpoint blame, but to pinpoint cause.

Unless we take this time to look at the cause of our experience, we will never remove ourselves from the experiences it creates. Instead, we will forever live in fear of retribution from those within the human family who feel aggrieved, and, likewise, seek retribution from them. So at this time it is important for us to direct our anger toward the cause of our present experience. And that is not necessarily individuals or groups who have attacked others, but, rather, the reasons they have done so. Unless we look at these reasons, we will never be able to eliminate these attacks.

To me the reasons are clear. We have not learned the most basic human lessons. We have not remembered the most basic human truths. We have not understood the most basic spiritual wisdom. In short, we have not been listening to God, and because we have not, we watch ourselves do ungodly things.

The message of Conversations with God is clear: we are all one. That is a message the human race has largely ignored. Our separation mentality has underscored all of our human creations.

Our religions, our political structures, our economic systems, our educational institutions, and our whole approach to life have been based on the idea that we are separate from each other. This has caused us to inflict all manner of injury, one upon the other. And this injury causes other injury, for like begets like and negativity only breeds negativity. It is as easy to understand as that. And so now let us pray that all of us in this human family will find the courage and the strength to turn inward and to ask a simple, soaring question: what would love do now? If we could love even those who have attacked us, and seek to understand why they have done so, what then would be our response? Yet if we meet negativity with negativity, rage with rage, attack with attack, what then will be the outcome?

These are the questions that are placed before the human race today. They are questions that we have failed to answer for thousands of years. Failure to answer them now could eliminate the need to answer them at all. We should make no mistake about this. The human race has the power to annihilate itself. We can end life as we know it on this planet in one afternoon.

This is the first time in human history that we have been able to say this.

And so now we must direct our attention to the questions that such power places before us. And we must answer these questions from a spiritual perspective, not a political perspective, and not an economic perspective.

We must have our own conversation with God, for only the grandest wisdom and the grandest truth can address the greatest problems, and we are now facing the greatest problems and the greatest challenges in the history of our species. It is not as if we have not seen this coming. Every spiritual, political, and philosophical writer of the past 50 years has predicted it. So long as we continue to treat each other as we have done on this planet, the circumstance that we face on this day will continue to present itself.

The difference is that now our technology makes our anger much more dangerous. In the early days of our civilization, we were able to inflict hurt upon each other using sticks and rocks and primitive weapons. Then, as our technology grew, it became possible for clans to war against clans and, ultimately, for nations to war against nations.

But even then, until most recent times, it was not possible for us to annihilate each other completely. We could destroy a village, or a town, or a major city, or even an entire nation, but only now is it possible for us to destroy our whole world so fast that nothing can stop it once the process has begun.

That is what makes this point in our history different from any other. And that is what makes this call for each of us to have our own conversation with God so appropriate and so important.

If we want the beauty of the world that we have co-created to be experienced by our children and our children's children, we will have to become spiritual activists right here, right now, and cause that to happen. We must choose to be at cause in the matter.

So, talk with God today. Ask God for help, for counsel and advice, for insight and for strength and for inner peace and for deep wisdom. Ask God on this day to show us how to show up in the world in a way that will cause the world itself to change.

That is the challenge that is placed before every thinking person today.

Today the human soul asks the question: What can I do to preserve the beauty and the wonder of our world and to eliminate the anger and hatred-and the disparity that inevitably causes it -- in that part of the world which I touch?

Please seek to answer that question today, with all the magnificence that is You.

I love you, and I send you my deepest thoughts of peace.


By Tom Atlee <cii@igc.org>
Tuesday, September 11, 2001

"What should we do?" Elliot was calling from work, having just heard about this morning's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. We are housemates in a 9-person collective house into which I moved a month ago.

My partner Karen, my daughter Jennifer, Adin (another housemate) and I had been talking about the crisis for over an hour. We wondered about Elliot's question. One thing we could do was write to you -- my list of 800 people -- who have so many important connections into the world. But what should we say?

We thought of sharing a lesson we'd all agreed on: "We can't be secure when we are doing so many things that lead people to hate us." We wondered about saying more. We looked at the role of greed, and then at how greed was just one form of power-hunger, and how power-hunger derives from insecurity which, in turn, arises from disconnection from other people and life. People don't exploit, neglect or terrorize things they love and vibrantly relate to.

But, one of us said, there's more than individual motivations at work here. The systems we live in and use -- the social, economic, political, and other systems -- support greed, power-hunger, insecurity and alienation in thousands of subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Someone else commented that the systemic and the individual dynamics feed back into each other. Another person suggested there are many positive initiatives that could change both the system and the individual behaviors. I suggested evidence that -- right now -- the world has the resources and know-how to create a just and sustainable world that works for all, but they just aren't being used for that.

As we explored all this, we noticed that our individual contributions were painting an ever-fuller, richer picture of what was going on and how to understand it. We decided that this situation has so many facets that high-quality reflection and dialogue -- thoughtful exploration among diverse perspectives, such as we were doing -- may be the ONLY way to comprehend and creatively address incidents as profoundly important as these. In the absence of dialogue and reflection, we oversimplify. All of us do. We blame an enemy -- perhaps terrorists or "the system" -- or we focus on one small part of the web of causation -- perhaps "greed" or "revenge" or something else that we particularly understand.

But the significance of this realization reaches beyond today's attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon: This horrible incident is but one in an ongoing chain of incidents of profound social significance. Each one is an opportunity to think, to feel and to talk -- to deepen and learn -- so that we can act more effectively and wisely, both individually and collectively. We saw that hope lies in the kind of "learning together" that generates engaged wisdom -- rather than in the kind of reactivity that supports our weakest and worst responses.

This isn't the first crisis to hit our society. And it definitely won't be the last. We all know that crises like this can evoke the worst --or the best -- in ordinary folks, in leaders, and in whole societies. What can we do to help the best, the wisest and most useful responses emerge?

Usually in crisis most people watch the news and wait like spectators to see what various leaders and governments will do, as if the drama were a football game. Meanwhile, those leaders and governments are caught up in dynamics which -- to say the least -- do not enhance their wisdom. More often than not, their actions -- and our spectatorism -- lead us all into even worse problems.

To change that, we need widespread, healthy conversations that generate deeper insight and the kind of creative engagement that makes a difference in the world. Ultimately, we need to make such conversations part of the structure of our culture -- especially of our political and governmental systems (see www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_Index.html and www.democracyinnovations.org).

But today we can find people we trust and care about, and gather in circles, speaking and listening from our hearts. We can listen well to those who disagree with us, and ask questions that deepen shared understanding. And, for the long haul, we can advocate the "infrastructure of dialogue" that our democracy so sorely needs -- places we can go for high quality public conversation, publicly available facilitators and technology, and diverse citizen councils who explore important issues with high quality dialogue in full public view, whose findings and recommendations have a real impact on public policy and public activity.

We find ourselves in a moment of great danger. It contains seeds of great opportunity. Let us each do what we can to promote healthy dialogue that motivates wise action at all levels of our society. That one change would change everything else: With each successive crisis, we would find ourselves moving away from ultimate Disaster towards a world that works for all, a world that is actually a joy to live in.


Tom Atlee <cii@igc.org> writes:
Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Dear friends,

I offer these questions -- formulated today with my daughter Jennifer -- as a resource for those of you wishing to organize conversations around the current crisis.

Use whatever conversational process and venue you are most comfortable with. If you would like a suggestion, gather 2-20 people for a listening circle (aka talking circle or council, ref <http://www.co-intelligence.org/P-listeningcircles.html>). You can do it at home, at work, at your place of worship, in a library room, wherever.

Read over the list of questions below. Add any others that come to you, avoiding leading questions and questions that invite simple, shallow answers (e.g., yes or no). Pick one or more questions and have people speak from their hearts about it.

To choose questions, you might place your own favorite dozen questions in a hat, then have a participant pick 1-3 questions out of the hat, which everyone then speaks to. Or put up a list of a dozen or so and take 5-10 minutes with the group brainstorming some other questions that interest them. Then have each person choose their favorite half of the list (e.g., their favorite ten out of a list of 20). Pick the question with the top votes, and have everyone speak to that.

Or do something else. Feel free to use these questions in any way you wish, including for your own reflection or to ask your friends and family.

I hope they prove useful for you.



- What could lead someone to do something like this?

- What might we do differently so that fewer people hate Americans?

- What response would move us to a world in which this kind of thing wouldn't occur?

- How well do revenge and punishment serve us?

- How can the media be most helpful in these times?

- What constitutes real safety and security?

- What is the worst response we could have in this crisis?

- How do we deal with personal and communal suffering?

- What ways of dealing with our emotions serve us or make things worse?

- What can we learn from this? What are the most important lessons?

- What is the place of anger in this situation?

- What are you feeling in your body right now?

- What could have prevented this?...what else?...what else?...

- What consequences would result from each of those actions?

- What good could come of all this?

- What are you most scared of right now?

- What is most important to you right now?

- What would be the advantages or disadvantages of waiting until all the evidence was in before deciding who did it and how to respond?

- How should we relate to people who applaud this act -- what difference would it make?

- How does our society deal with trauma? What would help our society deal better with trauma?

- What do we need our leaders to do? To what extent are they doing that?

- How can we effectively communicate with our leaders?

- What would we be feeling if it were proven that this was done by a white US citizen?

- What would we be feeling if this were done to another country by an ally of ours? Has anything like that ever happened?

- What would have to change for there to be no terrorism?

- To what extent are we responding in automatic ways or in conscious, creative ways? How do we feel about that?

- What outcomes of this could make you feel it has been worth it?

- To what extent do you trust what the government and/or media has been saying about this?

- Who do you know that was directly effected by this? What is your relationship to those people? How has their story affected you?

- What is the relationship between business as usual and crises like this?

- If you were the ruler of the world, how would you handle this problem?

- What does this mean for our everyday lives?

- What can one person do about this? What can people do together?

- What changes in the system would help us?

- How should we talk with children about this?

- What responses to this have you heard that upset you or inspired you?

--Where do you think those perspectives come from?

- What does all this mean about our future?

- What does this mean about who we are as human beings?

- What does this mean about who we are as a society?

- What other questions need to be asked?

- What would have to happen for people's responses to these questions to make a real difference in the world?


From <CarTheo@aol.com>:

My fantasy is that in a speech to the nation President Bush will say, "No we are not going to retaliate. We want all violence to stop. Let it begin with us. I call upon all corporations to stop making weapons of war. I call upon Congress to make their manufacture illegal, and to find ways to help weapons industries transfer to other products. I call upon all nations to stop the trading of weapons across their borders. I also call upon all nations to join in a universal covenant to disarm -- not only our own national arsenals but those of any violent groups within our borders, acknowledging, finally, that there are better ways to settle disputes than by the killing and maiming of innocent men, women and children -- and to now turn our attention to saving our planet from ecological disaster."


Pennie Stasik O'Grady <pennielink@hotmail.com>:

I see a world looking back on Sept 11, 2001 as the turning point which transformed America and its decision making on international policy to one of careful consideration of the needs of ALL people in the world -- and all life on this planet. I see an America remembering with full awareness and regret its former status as a Most Feared Nation. And I see an America relieved and grateful for the lessons learned and wisdom gained through this most tragic expression of unmet needs.



The mission of NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE) is to answer humankind's oldest, most perplexing questions: Who are we? Where are we from? What is the origin and purpose of life? Instead of relying on ancient or contemporary wisdom, or the knowledge of isolated experts, we are building a global network of seekers from all walks of life, from all parts of the world, lay people and professionals alike, that can pool talents, experience, and resources to unravel life's great mysteries.

We also believe that our planet is passing through a time of profound change and are seeking to create a global community of like-minded people that can safely pass through whatever changes may come our way and help give birth to a new way of life on our planet.


David Sunfellow, Founder & Publisher
NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ USA 86339

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