September 11, 2001

The aftermath: I pray to God ...

 ... support military action, even if there are civilian casualties?

by the people of Melrose

Do you support military action, with the assumption that there could be civilian casualties?

The majority of our respondents -- 76 percent -- said,"Yes," I support military action, but many of them added qualifiers concerning civilian losses. And 24 percent said,"No." Many opposed because of the clause we added about civilian casualties. The responses are thoughtful and considered.

"I am very much opposed to the killing of ANY innocent people, however, because of the enormity of this act of violence against innocent civilians (and NOT just because many of them were U.S. citizens) my emotions and pain are clouding my judgment. In as much as I do not support 'knee-jerk reactions' to solve problems, I believe that the perpetrators of this atrocity should be punished. I pray to God for our forgiveness, if in the process we kill innocent civilians."

"Any other solution seems preferable." (This, from the survivor of the Holocaust).

"Definitely," said another elderly female respondent.

"Yes, I support it very strongly," another woman said.

"Only after we have played out the total strategy including contact with allies, and discussions with Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc., Colin Powell seems to have it right."

"I want them to try any other means possible -- I realize negotiations with these evil people are not possible, but I hope we will protect the innocent people who have nothing to do with the terrorists."

"Yes, but I think that the FBI or CIA have known about certain groups in our country that could be dangerous. They should start rounding up these groups first."

"I'm not sure. I will have to hear what they are planning before I can comment."

"Yes, military action along with diplomatic and financial action."

"We only support selected military action. Find the proper target and take it out."

"No, I want desperately to separate them. I do support the military action that will ensure that terrorism training camps are dismantled and the ability to live humanly defended.

"Not under that assumption (civilian losses), no. Or at least not without a worldwide consensus -- including the Arab/Muslim world -- that such action is unavoidable in the interests of justice. But even then ... "

"Absolutely!"

"Yes, because during the Persian Gulf War, Saddam had moved or comingled military with civilian and humanitarian targets, and I would expect the terrorists or countries behind them to do the same for the propaganda value."




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