Letters to the Editor
San Francisco Chronicle
September 15, 2001

The first letter here is so important that the Chronicle Editor chose to feature it on the Editorial Page.  See what you think of it.


Editor -- We should prepare ourselves for national frustration. There will be no country to declare war on. There will be hardly any criminals worth putting on trial.

Suppose one of the pilots was the person who thought of the plan. Then there will be only accomplices left to arrest.

After Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy, we could not believe such a grievous effect had such a small cause: one man with one rifle.

After Jack Ruby shot Oswald, we could no longer resolve our national grief with the trial and punishment of Oswald.

It will be the same now. It will be always hard to believe that a small group of hijackers killed so many. It will be a frustration without end that the most guilty are already dead, along with the innocent.




Editor -- Please warn all those who would attack America not to mistake the Americans' daily celebration of life -- and our profound ability for compassion, tolerance and love -- for weakness. Life, liberty and justice are causes for which all patriots would glady make the ultimate sacrifice.

This is contrary to the views of those fanatical regimes that would destroy our way of life, and now must be taught this lesson.


Pleasant Hill


Editor -- I am saddened by some Bay Area residents' reactions to President Bush's words during this tragic crisis.

Labeling his statements as insincere or feeble only further serves to disenfranchise Americans who now, perhaps more than ever before, need to join together in support, loyalty and faith in ourselves and our government.

Words alone cannot heal. It is our actions, our unified response, our outreach, our hearts and hands that matter.


San Francisco


Editor -- Regarding Carolyn Lochhead's prophetic opening paragraph, "It's the stupid economy, . . and only a war will rescue Republicans if it doesn't turn around soon" ("Politicians pray for an economic miracle," Sept. 10): Before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, I stood against President Bush, preferring to use the surplus to pay down the debt. A large tax cut this year? Forget it!

But now I stand with him, the accidental president but the president nonetheless. A $40 billion down payment to repair New York and fight terrorism? I'm all for it!



NOTE: The author of this site (Bruce Grant) agrees with everything in the above letter except standing with President Bush on other economic issues.  I also am extremely worried that Bush and the other Rightists will use these terrorist acts to further erode our civil liberties, giving the terrorists their biggest victory by removing some of our freedoms. -- BG


Al Ujcic (Letters, Sept. 14) calls for blame right up the chain of command to the highest elected and appointed officials.

There are certainly failures of intelligence involved. But we must all take our personal share of blame for not taking these extremists as seriously as we should have in their desire to wipe out our civilization.

The Bay Area particularly has been home to those who are against funding for the CIA and military intelligence. They say we cannot use informants from terrorist groups as they are not nice people.

So the U.S. has relied more and more on an antiseptic sort of intelligence via technical devices as demanded by many, an excellent resource but not a sufficient resource.

The blame game may reach the top, but it starts at the bottom.


San Francisco

Here are two letters addressing the words of one of America's religious fanatics. -- BG


Editor -- It is unthinkable that at a time when our country is trying to pull together and provide comfort to friends, family and neighbors, a fanatic like the Rev. Jerry Falwell is generating news space with his horrific allegation that "pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays and lesbians in America" were somehow to blame for this week's terrorist attacks.

Giving this man any public forum for his rhetoric of hate only further divides us when we, as a country, need to pull together.

Let us find common bonds to fight injustice.


Mill Valley


Editor -- As America attempts to digest the awful senselessness of Tuesday's attacks, Jerry Falwell's remarks surface with the flavor and acridity of yesterday's pastrami still churning around.

He claims God had nothing to do with the tragedy, but that God permitted it because of a "spiritual void."

This is the moral equivalent of the police allowing thugs to beat your children because you don't go to church.

I don't know what God Falwell thinks he believes in, but it's certainly not the one worshipped by the Founding Fathers.


San Francisco


Editor -- I see no sense in the kind of retaliation that will re-create itself in endless rounds. I see no honor in wreaking the same kind of suffering and havoc on other innocents.

My hopes are for what has been hinted at: a coordinated global effort to identify and bring to justice terrorist groups wherever they may hide.

I would also like to see more public discussion and understanding of the situations around the world that provide justification, at least in their own eyes, to those who plan and implement this mayhem.

After all, in many cases the person one country or group hails as a hero is seen by others as a terrorist.

I hope for the best for all of us in the human family who want to see a rational and measured approach to eradicate the scourge of man's inhumanity to man.



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