Bill Smith
Bemidji, Minnesota


I find Jim Ridgeway's assertion that these terrorist attacks could perhaps have been preventable simplistic. How, exactly? How much would that have cost? In an overtly capitalistic society, whose job should it really be to protect the clients of publicly held corporations such as airlines?

As for the Pentagon, how could the nation have ensured absolute impenetrability of such a facility, especially when its history has been nearly devoid of large-scale terrorism? If such untold government expenditure were in place (and no disaster had occurred on either front), the outcry about the "wasted billions" would have been shrill. Now we see how grisly it is to even think of money over human life.

Steve Gruber
Raleigh, North Carolina


The terrorists could have done it this way the first time in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Clinton got the message. Bush has not. It's not a coincidence that there were no terrorist attacks on American soil when the Mideast peace process was in full swing.

Michael Handy
Alamo, Texas


It's nice to see that in this time of grave crisis and national danger, with thousands dead and maimed, James Ridgeway has not lost sight of what is truly important—attacking Bush. I can only salute his bold refusal to be swayed by the press of events, the horror of the moment, and the demands of fact. He marches forward with the clarity of his vision: Bush must and shall be maligned! If the slaughter of thousands of innocents must be used to this end, let not "propriety" or "taste" or "truth" sway us from it.

Joshua Trevino


I've been in New York City nine times in recent years. I love the city. I hope the families of the victims get all the help they need and that your government finds the right answer. Certainly it is necessary to judge the guilty parties—but it's equally necessary to find political solutions for political problems.

John Ebermann
Vienna, Austria


The recent terrorist attacks are the price we pay for ignoring the wisdom of the founders of this country as expressed by Thomas Jefferson: "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliance with none." The international hegemony of the United States federal government has been irritating people throughout the world for decades. End all subsidies, particularly foreign aid, terminate all treaties, terminate the CIA, and end all trade restrictions except for military technology developed with federal funding. Stop making enemies and we won't have to worry about terrorism.

Bill Holmes
Carlsbad, California


The Oklahoma bombing was initially blamed on Arab fanatics, but turned out to be the work of American fanatics. I hope fervently that these attacks don't cause anyone to be prejudiced against people because of the color of their skin, their accent, or where they come from. We don't know who did this—could be some mad Serbians, mad Arabs, mad Communists, who knows? If the West is to be respected as a land of freedom and rights, we can't start treating people badly because they resemble some criminals. My condolences to those who suffered on that tragic day.

Tom A. Trottier
Ottawa, Canada


I am one of millions of concerned persons around the world wanting to reach out and exclaim I am sorry, I am so sorry, can I help. Like many people in Northern Ireland who are not caught up in perpetuating bigotry and terrorist ideology, I want to see the end of terrorism. You are in my thoughts. I am mourning your family and your friends. I send you my love; it's yours for months and years to come.

Mary Jo Andrews
Belfast, Ireland


I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to all New Yorkers. I was on my way to becoming a Manhattan resident when the attack occurred. My flight was booked for Friday, and I was to have moved into my apartment last Sunday. These plans have been postponed, but the events of September 11 have not deterred me.

The twin towers may no longer punctuate the skyline, but the spirit of the city will always draw progressive, imaginative, and open people toward it.

Thomas Lee
Detroit, Michigan


I am a British journalist and often in New York City. Like many Brits, I have family in the U.S. My daughter-in-law is American and my two young grandchildren have dual U.S./British citizenship.

I feel compelled to tell you of my sympathy for all those injured and for those who lost loved ones in the terrible attacks. I hope there will be no rush to judgment, but that when it is positively known exactly who perpetrated those atrocities, retribution will be total and devastating.

Sometimes you have to fight back. Do it now and do it hard. Until September 11 I was ardently opposed to the death penalty. Now I'm no longer so sure.

Martyn Richard Warwick
London, England


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