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Drawing 9/11 Parallels on Freedom

September 12, 2002

Diane McWhorter's Sept. 9 commentary drawing parallels between the 9/11 terrorist attack on our country and the Titanic disaster is a self-serving, ridiculous analogy betrayed by her conclusion that somehow our country has failed by not using the attack as some sort of impetus to inspire an anti-capitalist, anti-corporate movement. There is nothing to tie 9/11 to "corporate greed." Neither the twin towers nor the Titanic were "gaudy monuments" to "crass materialism."

The Titanic was a big ship that, through engineering errors and operational errors, struck an iceberg and sank. More than three-quarters of those on board died--rich, poor and in between. The twin towers were engineering marvels that simply functioned as places of business, places for many ordinary citizens to work.

To imply that somehow MTV and the twin towers themselves deserved or invited attack is to diminish the responsibility of the coldblooded fanatics who committed the crime. These same fanatics would put McWhorter under their thumbs in a burka, covered head to toe and cowering in their presence.

Tying the whole episode to her condemnation of U.S. corporations is equally juvenile. No, 9/11 stands on its own. It has no parallel or correlation to any political point of view.

We were attacked. Thousands were killed. It was because they hate our free system. You and I can both criticize aspects of our system, most of which can be chalked up to the foibles of human nature. The U.S. has responded. We provided an opportunity for freedom to an entire country, Afghanistan. Freedom will win even if freedom includes MTV and corporate, personal and political greed.

Dennis Noon

Laguna Niguel

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Thank you, Diane McWhorter, for saying so beautifully what so badly needs saying. While our so-called leaders would send us to the mall, our grief aches to have us serve the causes of justice, fairness and equality and an inclusive spirituality, to have honest conversation with each other and with the world, to truly listen and be listened to. Wallowing in a sea of misspent, maldistributed dollars in a ship with watertight compartments only for those who can afford the price of a politician will not assuage our deep longing to work for the good, the true and the beautiful.

Julie Ford

Huntington Beach

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McWhorter spouts a tired moral equivalency argument and states that "what the jihadists hated about us was ... the trash culture that is our most visible global export." Really--trash culture. This from terrorists who, among other heinous acts, promote the utter degradation of women. I would rather hear a stoned rapper than hear about the stoning to death of a young Muslim woman.

Jake Jacoby

Carnelian Bay, Calif.

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In all the volumes written about 9/11 and the meaning it should have for us as a society, no one captures it better than McWhorter.

I think she speaks for many of us who deplore our continued drift toward the meaningless pursuit of excess and its trash culture.

What will it take for us to heed the message of "the better angels of our nature"? God forbid, not another 9/11.

Libby Wein

Los Angeles

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