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Thursday, September 20, 2001

Remember 9-11-01


It's hard to fight true believers

A paragraph from the well-documented Daniel Pipes report, "Why do they hate us so much?" (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 14), describes two "extremist ideologies." One is Palestinian nationalism, which seems to be the widespread explanation. The other is "Islamism," which he explains as follows:

"This is the body of ideas that takes the religion of Islam and makes it the basis of radical ideology along the lines of fascism and Marxism-Leninism. It has ambitions to replace capitalism and liberalism as the reigning world system. Islamism accounts for the anti-American hatred coming out of places remote from Arab-Israeli conflict, like Nigera and Afghanistan."

Such fundamentalist beliefs persuade men to commit suicidal acts seen as holy war against infidels. Dying so leads to paradise in Gardens of Allah.

Jerome G. Manis

What causes hatred leading to terrorism?

I feel there is a proverbial elephant in the room -- the one we all see yet no one talks about. While the terrorist act of Sept. 11 disgusts and horrifies all of us, what is it that America is doing in the world that is causing such hatred and terrorism to be directed against us?

Thousands of noncombatants, average American citizens, were killed in a few minutes. Before any more innocents die shouldn't we reassess American values, goals and our place in the world? What exactly is it that America stands for that engenders such hatred?

What information has been missing from our newspapers and TV news that we should know? Our hearts and minds are filled with sorrow and sympathy for the families of the dead and injured. At the same time, it seems we are being neither fully informed nor consulted by our elected leaders in this dire, volatile situation and that important decisions are being made much too soon without constituents' awareness or consent, for which we will all bear the consequences.

Truth, discussion and informed answers from anyone -- fellow citizens, legislators, college professors -- is what we need right now. I am against our elected leaders starting World War III in the heat of anger without a complete evaluation and assessment of the entire situation being provided to all American citizens.

Marisa M. Plemer


"It's ugly now and it might get uglier."

Eric Gill

Head of Local 5 Hotel and Restaurant Employees union, on layoffs and the abrupt downturn in the tourism industry since last week's terrorist attacks on American cities using hijacked airliners.

"He still tried to make every christening, every funeral. When he talked to you he would touch you, hold your hand, look you right in the eye."

Charlotte Keane

Kuakini Medical Center nurse, on her brother, Richard Keane, who worked on the 99th floor of the World Trade Center tower that was the first to be hit last week by a hijacked airliner.

Terrorists' actions surpass simple evil

The events of the past week had me glued to the TV watching the same scenes playing over and over. Afterwards, I felt a need to physically assist in some way, but my inability to do so made it all the more difficult to watch.

One of the advantages of living in Hawaii is that probably none of our facilities is worthy of a major assault by terrorists. Yet, there is a sense of hopelessness in isolation. Lending a hand to the people of New York becomes next to impossible.

It is very difficult to comprehend the soul, if there is any, of a person who would cause so much suffering. Not even the most celebrated mass murderer could equal the horrendous act suspected of this madman, Osama bin Laden. If his claim of acting in the will of God is correct, one has to wonder what kind of God this man worships.

I would rather not call him a murderer, because his intent was to inflict pain upon innocents. I see in him a new word, one that signifies the greatest evil; not only of taking human lives but executing it in such a cowardly fashion. The act was so cowardly that his flunkies substituted for him. And while all of this was happening, he slithers from one hiding place to another.

My wish is that the Afghanis kick his butt out of their country so the United States can appropriately deal with him.

D. Hayato Matsuda

Only total unity can lead to world peace

The deterrent value of a reprisal attack on individuals or groups that crave death as a path to nirvana, martyrdom and exultation by peers is highly questionable. The chance of creating additional animosity and mortal enemies that are impossible to quell is far greater than any satisfaction and/or deterrent value that will be achieved by an immediate retaliatory attack on groups or nations.

No matter what our response is, the world is going to suffer additional attacks with chemical or atomic weapons, municipal water poisoning, bombings, pollution, arson and computer hacking.

Conclusive actions can be based only on a worldwide effort that uncovers and eliminates every individual, every thought and every desire to commit any terrorist acts. It must be made clear that all nations, races and religions will now have to live under the constant threat of terrorists' acts to their citizens, military forces and children until every inhabitant of Earth cooperates.

The complete and constant cooperation of the world's nations and citizens is now required to maintain world peace. For the United States this is going to mean immediate suspension of some of our liberties and rights and initiation of thorough and complete profiling and surveillance.

Jim and May Lee Patterson

Target the terrorists in response to attack

While both were suicide missions, one thing differentiating Pearl Harbor from the terrorist attack on America is that the Japanese used their own airplanes.

While America's spirit and courage is beyond question, much wisdom and coordination among allies are needed. This attack was not only against America but against humanity.

A well-planned and appropriate response against the responsible parties and not innocent civilians will be the language these terrorists so well understand.

Russell Stephen Pang

Did attacks evolve from U.S. policy?

My prayers go out for the thousands who died in New York City and Washington, D.C., because of murderous, senseless attacks by monstrously misguided forces, and for the grieving families of the victims.

But I wonder if these unspeakable attacks against innocent people would have happened but for a U.S. foreign policy that has adversely affected countless other countries since time immemorial?

J.J. Kaufmann

America will never be the same

We have been changed forever, our innocence lost, and freedom stripped.

Mark Sato

Whoever stole flag: Make good use of it

I hope the person who stole the flag flying in front of my house makes good use of it. I also hope that person was simply a common thief and not some freak who disagreed with my reason for flying it.

Of course, I should have known better than to take the risk. My home has been broken in to three times, my garden shed twice, and on five occasions, guests parked outside my house have had their cars broken in to.

Richard McMahon

New housing will make traffic worse

Regarding the Land Use Commission's decision not to further study the impact of 7,500 more homes in Central Oahu: I believe each member of the commission should be forced to move to that area.

Maybe then, as they have time to ponder the problems during their two-hour daily commute to downtown Honolulu, they will understand some of the concerns of area residents.

Marilyn Walsh

Relief coming soon to Ewa motorists

Tesha Malama is correct when she states the Ewa Mill access road will benefit the Ewa area when it is open (Letters, Sept. 3). She and other community members have lobbied for this access, and it appears that their efforts will soon help with the traffic congestion on Fort Weaver Road.

Another project under way will provide tremendous relief when it is completed. The state has hired a contractor to install cables and hardware for the Fort Weaver traffic light synchronization project. Traffic lights from Hanakahi Street to West Loch Estates will soon be synchronized, and should be operational by January. Many residents of Ewa are frustrated by current construction and traffic, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The synchronization project, Ewa Mill Road and construction of the new North/South road beginning in 2004 will provide much needed relief to an area that had the most growth of any district in the state in the last 10 years. It's about time.

Rep. Willie Espero
Ewa Beach, Lower Waipahu

Mahalo from Mililani to AT&T wireless

On behalf of our three young children and the many little children of Mililani Mauka, we thank AT&T for agreeing to move its antennas away from our homes. It is a great relief to us that after a long, grueling struggle, AT&T has assumed a good neighbor position.

We thank AT&T, Mayor Jeremy Harris, Mr. Randy Fujiki of the city Planning and Permitting Department, the Planning Commission and the Board of Water Supply for all pitching in. It is wonderful to know that big business and city government have compassion for us and can reverse earlier positions.

A special mahalo to City Councilwoman Rene Mansho. It was her uplifting spirit and negotiating skills that turned this situation around. We congratulate her for turning an ugly situation into a successful one.

We still have unfinished business: Voicestream's antennas remain in our backyards. While AT&T has an open invitation for other wireless companies to join it on its new antenna pole, we ask Voicestream to also be a good neighbor and, for the sake of our children, act now.

Brett and Jill Carter

Undergrad education is main function of UH

It would be hard to put it better than you did in your lead editorial of Sept. 10: Undergraduate education is the reason for having the University of Hawaii. The rest is all secondary.

Let us dearly hope that President Dobelle keeps that firmly in mind. We need a University of Hawaii dedicated to, and generously supported in, the task of providing a first-rate education to the future citizens and leaders of Hawaii.

Thomas Gans

Quit quibbling about Dobelle's salary

If University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle accomplishes much of his vision, he will rightfully deserve a salary equivalent to that of Princeton University's president.

Dobelle's job is tougher than that of his Princeton counterpart because he must deal with the UH Board of Regents, the state Legislature, governor and faculty union, along with pressure to address varied and varying educational, vocational, economic development and athletic expectations of the entire state. Princeton, an elite private university, has less complex lines of accountability and a clearer mission, devoid of contributing to the betterment of the state of New Jersy.

For the sake of UH, our state and our children, let's hope Dobelle performs equivalent to his $442,000 salary and let's contribute actively to his success and, hence, ours, instead of further discussing his pay long after his contract signing.

Bertrand Kobayashi

'Motown' anthem was a disgrace

The national anthem should be sung proudly and with respect. Before a recent University of Hawaii volleyball game, we were treated to a "Motown" version, the worst rendition possible. It was a disgrace. The Hawaiian anthem was not given the same treatment.

Kenneth S. Foley,
Col. USMC, Ret.

Homelessness will get worse before better

The letter regarding the worsening problem of homeless people at Ala Moana Beach Park is well taken. Last year's Aala Park closure and the recent "shooting" from another Chinatown area have most likely contributed to the increased numbers of homeless at Ala Moana Beach Park.

There are a few things happening that will help. Partners In Care, a consortium of service providers and others who plan and advocate for the homeless has met with the city Parks Department about the problem. Communicating is the first step. Also, the adult mental health system will eventually improve, which will have a domino effect in the service system. Hopefully this will result in additional housing, support services and free up space in the shelter for some of the park dwellers. These solutions are by no means a "rapid response" but neither did the situations they are addressing reach problem proportions rapidly.

What is more, the public will be sharing the parks with even more homeless this December when the first round of welfare recipients reach the end of their five-year lifetime limit for benefit eligibility.

IHS is concerned and is doing what it can to be part of the solution . Call me (845-7150) to find out how you can help.

Lynn Maunakea
Executive Director
Institute for Human Services

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