No justification for celebrating after barbaric attacks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 September, 2001, 12:00am

It is difficult to believe there are people in the world who are so evil they are willing to perpetrate acts of terrorism such as the ones we witnessed last week in America.

I also find it difficult to fathom the response of some people to these attacks. I am referring to those students and journalists from some countries who applauded the deaths of so many innocent people. All the talk about Americans bringing this on themselves, about the evils of American foreign policy, does nothing to disguise the utter lack of humanity of those who applauded.

Those individuals from Afghanistan and Iraq who celebrated the attacks should ask themselves how they would feel if the situation was reversed and a plane flown by American terrorists crashed into the commercial centre of Kabul or Baghdad with the sole purpose of killing as many innocent civilians as possible.

No matter what the cause and no matter which side of the conflict is right or wrong, there can be no justification for such a heinous crime. All civilised human beings, of whatever persuasion or religion, condemn these attacks in the strongest terms and demand that something be done against the perpetrators.

Those who saw something to cheer about as thousands of innocent people were crushed by tons of concrete or were forced to leap to their deaths should look into their own hearts and question their own humanity.


Ma On Shan

I was fascinated to see British Prime Minister Tony Blair deliver a short but eloquent speech supporting the United States following the World Trade Centre catastrophe. He said he would stand shoulder to shoulder with America against the terrorists.

This was powerful language from a man who released a large number of convicted terrorists from his own prisons. These terrorists, involved in the troubles in Northern Ireland, were set free without having to make an apology or surrender a single firearm. It was the democratic parties and peaceful people of Ulster who made all the real concessions.

I am also bewildered that America can be so 'anti-terrorist' when a significant section of misguided Irish-nationalist Americans, who I presume are mostly quite conservative, have supported Marxist-oriented Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorism in Britain and Ireland for the past 30 years. Unfortunately, I do not think this horrific tragedy will change their position in the slightest, although I would like to think I am wrong.

Mr Blair should at least try to strike a bargain in this situation and promise full support for the US if all American funds to the IRA are stopped.


Braemar Hill

R. S. Woolley's highly selective historical analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (South China Morning Post, September 14) undermines the credibility of his comments on last week's horrendous terrorist attacks in the United States.

Israel was identified as a homeland for the Jews long before Adolf Hitler's 'injustice' (if the systematic extermination of six million souls can be so characterised) and was legally established by the United Nations. Every Arab country, unwilling to share Palestine, launched a war to eradicate the fledgling state. This hostility has never abated, and all of Israel's overtures to share territory and live in peace have been violently rejected.

To suggest terrorism can be explained on the grounds that America does not support Mr Woolley's version of history is incomprehensible and cannot be justified.



Regarding air safety, there has been a lot of discussion about whether passengers should be allowed to bring on board small knives and whether plastic cutlery should again be used for in-flight meals.

These are nice ideas, but if such changes are implemented, they will give people a false sense of security. Terrorists like the ones who last week flew into the World Trade Centre in New York were trained to kill. It appears they used knives, but a well-trained soldier is capable of killing with his bare hands.

A terrorist requiring a sharp object to use as a weapon would only need a pair of glasses. By breaking the glass, he would have an effective weapon.

The only way we can prevent these people from taking control of a plane in future is to ensure they cannot gain access to the cockpit. This can be done by having armed air marshals and double doors leading to the cockpit.


Repulse Bay