Following the attacks on America on September 11, 2001, many Americans divided themselves neatly into two camps. Camp 1 said, 'We deserved to be attacked because American government meddles in the affairs of too many other nations.' Camp 2 countered with 'We deserved to be attacked because God is punishing us for our sins.' The reality is somewhere in the middle, but interestingly there are hints of truth in the statements of both Camp 1 and Camp 2 .
Over the past several years I have worked with a few computer programmers who are from foreign countries. I've asked some of them what is their impression of America. What strikes me is their explanation of what their impression was of America before the came here, and how it has changed since they got here. Prior to coming to America their only perspective was what they saw at the movies and on television, which was (and still is) predominantly immoral. But when they came to America, they realized that our entertainment media reflected the reality for only a tiny sliver of our society, and that most Americans are basically good, honest, respectful, respectable people.
While I was in Iraq, one of my fellow soldiers told me of the experience of having been asked by an American reporter visiting Iraq if he had ever thought what it must be like to be an insurgent. I told my buddy at the time that my opinion would have been that I didn't give a [crap] what an insurgent felt like, because he has no business being an insurgent. Although I still think there is no excuse for killing innocent people, as insurgents often do, I now think it is interesting to delve into the thoughts of members of the insurgency. I find their thoughts are very rational. There are things that Americans and other westerners who have no ties whatsoever to the military have done to incite the Islamic insurgency.
Could 9/11 have been prevented? By many means. But there is one clear way that America could have avoided even the contemplation of being attacked. This way is presented clearly in the writings and sayings of every well-known representative of radical Islam. It is the reason why so many Muslims rejoiced on that poignant September day nearly 6 years ago.
The opinion of "Camp 1" is correct insofar that we were attacked because we have too much influence on other nations. Ironically, the influence that encouraged the 9/11 attackers was not that of American foreign policy as so many in Camp 1 believe. Rather it is the influence that many in Camp 1 themselves exert.
The perspective of "Camp 2" is correct insofar that we were attacked because of our sins. God was not our punisher, however. Radical Muslims anointed themselves to be.
Whether right or wrong, the reason that America was attacked on 9/11 is that the Islamic world feels like it was attacked first. They attacked us with airplanes because we first attacked them with debauchery.
To be continued...