Monday, December 7, 2009

Response to The New York Times OP-ED Article “The 9/11 of 1859” - Mona M

Response to The New York Times OP-ED Article “The 9/11 of 1859”
Mona M
December 2, 2009
      I must admit I laughed a bit when Tony Horwitz pointed out that both John Brown and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed were bearded.  Though that is an interesting piece of trivia, comparing the two is like comparing coffee and water.  Yes, they are both drinks, but there are innumerable differences between them.  John Brown and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed are the same only in that they are both (once bearded) ideological zealots who believe they are an instrument of God’s will and that terror is the only way to get His point across.  Brown’s raid of Harper’s Ferry was largely unsuccessful—he killed few whites, and the further organized slave rebellions he had hoped to inspire never happened.  Also, treatment of slaves worsened with plantation owners’ fears of such uprisings. The 9/11 attacks were quite the opposite.  Horwitz writes that they caused “mass, indiscriminate slaughter,” and there are many large terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda that are eager to follow in 9/11’s footsteps and continue with the conspiracy encouraged and organized by several leaders including, allegedly, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Osama Bin Laden.  Again markedly different, Brown was the sole leader of the attacks on Harper’s Ferry.
      John Brown’s purpose was clear-- abolition.  Mohammed and the 9/11 hijackers terrorized for seemingly “inscrutable ends,” possibly just to express their anti-American sentiments.   Perhaps President Obama is overreacting, but without a clear purpose from the opposition, we have no chance of knowing when the terrorists are done so that we may all return to our peaceful lives and rituals, whether they involve coffee or water. 

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