Dear Kids

I've been thinking about writing this for a week now and have only today thought that I had it all together enough to do it. The events in New York and Washington on 11 September may very well turn out to be the most significant historical date in your lifetime. You all know me well enough to know that what I think about it is based on biblical truth and therefore is probably not going to fall into mainstream thinking on the matter.

The first thing to remember is that we have an Adversary who is opposed to everything that our God stands for. He is the unseen mastermind behind all the evil in this world. He calculates, coordinates and choreographs expertly. He works through what the bible calls ‘world rulers of this darkness.' These are people whose lives have global effect. They have money, power (political, financial, religious, military) and charisma. They are totally sold out to their cause.

Secondly, God is good always. He does not and cannot kill anyone; He never ‘takes people home' or relieves their suffering with ‘sweet sleep.' God is a life-giving spirit and it is the Adversary who has ‘the power of death.' When innocent people die it is madness and obscenity to say that it is God's will. Just as the Adversary needs willing people to carry out his will, so does the true God.

Osama bin Laden is a man whom the Adversary has raised up to be the head of this snake with which we are dealing. If we manage to cut off the head, the snake will grow another. The whole snake must be crushed. I wondered though all this why no demands were made either before or after, and the answer is that they have none. They want nothing from us. They simply want to destroy the United States and what it stands for, i.e. a free people exchanging ideas openly, worshipping openly, traveling where they wish freely, speaking their mind without fear about anything including those to whom we have entrusted the right to govern us. Since they have not accomplished this and they are still at large, I fully expect that they will strike again unless we can keep them off balance and on the run until we exterminate them.

Several of my co-workers are advocating ‘kill ‘em all' as the solution. They include in the ‘all' every Muslim and every Afgani, Arab, Pakistani and many other ethnic groups they can't name. That would be about one billion people. They have not only lost sight of reality but seem to have lost sight of the definition of ‘terrorist.' The object of a terrorist is to cause terror. To make their enemy fear to the point that the decisions that they make are not based on logic and fact but on ignorance and prejudice.

Since there are relatively few of them and the goal they seek so large, they need our help to accomplish it. This is to be done by the old divide and conquer ploy. Get your enemy to turn on himself. Get our hatred of the perpetrators to be carried over to anyone of the same whatever (race, religion, ethnicity, class, intelligence, etc.) If we turn on those citizens of our country who happen to have the same whatever of the hated group (I believe there are three million Muslims in the US) we would be driving them to seek aid and comfort from the snake and we would create a pool of disillusioned and abused people who could be recruited by our enemy.

If we went out of our way to be loving and respectful to the Muslim community in the US, what could they write to their friends and relatives abroad but that America is not the ‘Great Satan' that those radical Islamic pseudo clergymen claim. In fact the last three military actions that we were involved in (Somalia, Kuwait and Bosnia) were all to the benefit of Muslim peoples. When we send troops overseas to fight our enemies we demand and expect that they will do it with courage and diligence. What about us who remain here? Will we have the same courage and diligence to uphold the law evenly and fairly? Will we refuse to be swayed by group or peer pressure to ‘kill ‘em all' and stand up for our fellow citizens when they are unjustly and unfairly set upon?

Is the international Islamic world our enemy? No! But bin Laden would like to make them so. Devout Muslims and even those not so devout know that there is nothing in their religion that supports the taking of the lives of innocent people. He hopes that we will retaliate with such vehemence against all things Islamic that he will gain their sympathy and support in spite of his twisting the teachings of the Koran. As a nation we must limit our response to eradicating the guilty. And as our president said ‘whoever is not with us is against us.' The only nations that don't have a problem with terrorism are those nations that sponsor and support it. Those governments must fall.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we cannot fall into bin Laden's trap and cause a division in our country. We must not let fear and prejudice motivate us but only a sense of justice. We should want to protect the innocent in those countries that we will be at war with but as in every war innocents always suffer. We cannot abdicate our responsibility to protect and defend our own people in order to lessen the harsh consequences of war on them. By being less than decisive and thorough we would invite more of what we experienced on 9/11. Our founding fathers had to endure terrible losses to wrest our independence from Great Britain. Those people must share in the cost of establishing democracy in their homelands.

Let me know your feelings about this. Love POP