9/11 a failure of empathy?

@clrumfelt (5421)
United States
August 13, 2008 2:59pm CST
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Obama wrote a piece about the incident for the Hyde Park Herald. Aside from the comments of the blogger who posted it, what are your own thoughts on the piece? http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/30635_Obama-_9-11_Was_A_Failure_of_Empathy
2 people like this
4 responses
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
13 Aug 08
Intersting but predictable. I did not read the comments posted below, in fact I only read the boxed article, I read as far as the statement about his words being appaling and stopped there because I assumed I had reached the end of the article at that point. The first half he is right about. However thats where it ends. the rest only further demonstrates his inate naive ideology. The poor may well be easy targets as pawns and foot soldier grunts for the movement but the ideology comes from a radical and deep seated belief in a fundamental and strict faction of a religion and the belief that it is their duty to eliminate from the world anyone not subscribing it in order to make way for a world living under a shiria rule and belief. You cannot eliminate from the world enough poverty to dry up the suply of foot soldiers, it is absolutely impossible. In addition, being poor does not nessesarily make you vulnerable to the propaganda, nor does having a good life make you imune to it. Many of these groups now recruit on the internet. Not many of the deeply impoverished of the world have internet access.
2 people like this
@clrumfelt (5421)
• United States
14 Aug 08
I'm glad you responded to the article and not the blogger's comments. I agree that poverty is not the main catalyst for the violence that inspires terrorists. I don't see any third world countries sending bands of terrorists over here to blow up our stuff. It is the radical Islamic faction that is responsible for the terrorism.
@littleowl (7157)
13 Aug 08
Hi circumfelt being honest as I live in the UK I haven't been paying much attention certain things that have been happening abroad I find the newspaper to be just gloom and doom as it is your friend littleowl
1 person likes this
@evanslf (485)
14 Aug 08
Obama's article is a bit of a curate's egg. There is both good and bad in it. I think he is right to say that we must try to understand what lies behind this terrorism. This is a key point: some terrorists you cannot negotiate with as their demands will always be unacceptable. Others however may have goals that are acceptable or can be negotiated upon: ie they want independence for their region or country. Of course, a number of people will say never negotiate with terrorists, ever. Problem with this though is that if you don't engage with your enemies, you can't find out what they want, you can't try to establish if it is possible to have common ground, and thus there will never be peace. It is therefore critical to identify what lies behind the terrorism. Is it a genuine grievance (ie groups resisting occupation) or is it a madcap ideology which is impossible to negotiate with (ie Al-Quaida). Where I disagree with Obama is where he talks about the terrorism growing out of a climate of ignorance and despair. It is certainly true that the Al-quaida zealots mostly come from middle class stock. I think Obama would have been better saying that we do have to keep in mind whether people are embittered and angry, as this pool of anger can lead to new terrorist recruits. His point about us being careful how we respond by minimizing the loss of civilian life abroad is perfectly reasonable. That is why the Iraq war was such a disaster: there was no link to Al-Quaida and Iraq was run by a tin-pot dictator who we now know was of no real threat to us. But many Iraqis have been killed and the arabs see the deaths and injuries constantly on their TV screens and they grow angry and hate America. Hence from that pool of anger, more terrorists have emerged, supported by at least a number of their local populations.
@littleowl (7157)
14 Aug 08
Hi evans' thanks for the explanation it makes sense what you are saying but still am a loss for words as I really dont understand politics-but will also re=read your message again...littlelowl
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
He is out of his mind and truly in sympathy with the terrorists. He forgets that they hated the United States and the West because they were jealous. They were sort of like little children who felt the only way to get ahead of America and the Western Countries was to destroy one of their important buildings. They destroyed so many innocent lives in the process and destroyed many families. And this man wants to be President? It would have been like Hitler wanting to be the Prime Minister of Israel, totally unsuitable.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
13 Aug 08
When Obama wrote Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair, my thought were of a guy that thought we should just talk to them. Obama's disconnect is that he absolutly thinks we can be friends with the whole world. If we would just be friendly with the world they would return and be friendly with us. Just the problem with that is there a countries that could careless to speak with us, and speaking until we are blue in the face will not change their views of us. The world is full of play ground bullies, I am not sure what part of that Obama does not understand. Obama's plan to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe to fix terrorism is like being nice to a school yard bully. Obama want to engage in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness, what is there to understand, they are mad.
1 person likes this
@clrumfelt (5421)
• United States
14 Aug 08
Maybe the "speak softly and carry a big stick" diplomacy of Teddy Roosevelt should make a comeback. Obama needs to understand we can't speak softly to many of those nations without carrying a big stick, because they are the bullies who want to do harm to the USA. The USA just can't leave our "big stick" at home for fear of looking like bullies, for we may need the protection it provides.