An American Hopes...

By Brian Haddix
Posted: 30 Jamad-u-Thani 1422, 18 September 2001

I want to tell you how much I appreciate your articles explaining last week's tragedy from the viewpoint of Muslims. I am an American, I am white, I am an Army veteran, and I am desperate to find answers as well as solutions to last week's attacks.

As Americans, we tend to think that because our lives and the land that we live in is so rich, that others too should want to share our values. Although this is simplistic, it is with blind naiveté that Americans view its world policies as beneficial to others. It is this same naiveté that has confused so many in the wake of this disaster. Only through a search for understanding of the results and effects of our foreign policy will America begin to perceive the injustice those policies promote. Israel, although one of the largest problems Americans' need to reconcile with, is only one situation where our decisions to support has had such terrible effects.

I hope and endeavor to educate myself as well as my friends and colleagues to the feelings of people affected by such policies. Empathy is short supply in America right now but only by placing ourselves in the shoes of those who have suffered for generations will America begin to understand the far reaching effects of its policies and be capable of considering new options that take into account different value systems around the world.

Right now, however, I fear it is too late for any meaningful dialogue and pray that more innocent lives will not be lost. As America prepares for military action, the polarizing effect of our retaliatory policy decisions may be the worst option we can pursue. However, there currently appears to be no other course of action that anyone wants to discuss. Please forgive us.

Brian Haddix