I can only sigh a HUGE sigh of relief that the London wanna be bombers were disrupted. Of course, that is said with the caveat that they indeed were wanna-be bombers. I hope they receive a speedy trial, and that there is a definitive verdict -- that the evidence is either overwhelmingly comprehensive and convincing, or completely lacking and its obvious that they were innocent and the government made a mountain out of a molehill. Unfortunately, I have to say I think they are probably guilty, given 9-11, 7-7, the Madrid bombings, the disrupted group in Toronto (although I have to admit from what the Canadian government has presented they seem to be more hot air than anything else, especially given the presence of a government mole who admitted to a certain amount of instigating.).
At this point, I don't really care if a few innocent men sit in jail for a couple months, because of the consequences of what would have happened if indeed they are guilty. I realize that is a slippery slope to walk down... pre-emptive arrest (or rather arrests for conspiracy to commit a crime) MUST be accompanied by timely trials, we cannot have men and/or women sitting in jail for years and years with no trial, in case they are actually innocent of the crime they are accused with. But nonetheless, even if it means we're headed toward some Phillip Dick-ish nightmare, I'm glad the British authorities disrupted a plot.
The mere thought of those planes flying into the World Trade Center still brings tears to my eyes, and a lump in my throat. There are days I wish I hadn't been watching it live. And then, there are days when I think God had definate plans for me, in having me see it on live TV. I very rarely watch television. For years I didn't have a TV; now we have one that gets two channels. Even when I was at the coffee shop where I was watching that morning, I usually sat with my back to the TV. But for some reason Sept., 11 2001 I decided to watch CNN for a bit. I ended up watching for four hours. There are times when I see this odd occurrents as a much needed push for me personally to become more active in speaking out against fundmentalisms.
I tend to be a very tolerant person, and believe firmly in every person's right to freedom of religion. But, while I believe that every person has a right to be a fundamentalist if they want to be, I also believe that I have a duty to consistenly be a voice for tolerance and human rights. I've always believed this, but I haven't always acted on it. At times, I've been quiet about things which bothered me out of respect for another person's religious beliefs. But not anymore. I don't care if it offends someone, if I hear anti-semitism I call the person on it, if I hear hatred for America, I call the person on that too -- America has made some horrible foreign policy choices, and I'm very concerned about certain domestic programs not receiving enough funding, about corporate well-being taking precedence over individual well-being, but having lived abroad, in a communist county, having been shadowed by secret police who were none too inconspicuous in that country, having had to apply for travel permits and seen the consequences of lack of freedoms, I can say that despite my problems with America, I can honestly say the freedoms the American people mostly take for granted -- freedom of job choice, freedom of movement, of religion, of speech and the right to dissent, make this country one of the best places to live. So when people try to tell me how evil America is, I have to say something.
9-11 didn't change that, but it made it more urgent.