When I first heard the September 11th events, sitting miles away in Sarasota, Florida, I wasn't sure what to think. Who could have wanted to kill so many innocent people?

It was my family. I know what it’s like to lose someone in your family – I had to lose the people who raised me to a gunfight. And there was no one left to blame, no one to take revenge against, no one to punish for hurting them and hurting me. As an American, I felt that helplessness all over again: my family was broken and lying in a heap of rubble, so far away that I couldn’t reach. I couldn’t help, I couldn’t see, and I had to go on with my life once again, trying to get through each day once again – it was all so familiar to me.

Except they had a suspect. They thought they knew who did it. So, like any American would, I wanted revenge. I want to punish someone for hurting my family.

The first I read from a point of view beyond America came from Mr. Tamim Ansary’s article. Until then, I had heard other Americans talk about the inevitable bombing of Afghanistan, the upcoming war that might take place and half the people who think that America would never get involved in a war with such a small nation; I’ve heard Americans who live so far away from New York they are still somewhat in that wall of complacency, thinking that the U.S. can react with what “needs to be done.” I heard similar news broadcasts: Will America have the guts to do what has to be done now?

It was never a question of will we be able to, or even should we. After seeing his article, though, I started wondering about America’s zeal to pursue these attackers, even to the brink of bombing another country the way our own was bombed.

My own confidence and complacence was shattered, this time as a countryman as well as that familiar feeling of being the leftover family member. I sit here now with fear moving my fingers and a dread in my heart thinking about what this might come to… and who will be responsible. Yeah, they killed a lot of innocent people. Does that give us the right to kill their innocent people? One wrong has never justified another one. Their blood isn't going to wash away the bitterness swept over our nation, or the enmity between us.

I look around at the people who have suddenly become united under the common threat of terrorism.. And I wonder where they all were beforehand. How many Americans hated other Americans, burned flags, spit on the constitution, abused our rights and country, before someone else decided it was their turn? And now, all of a sudden, because it was America attacked this time instead of all the eastern countries that are terrorized on a weekly basis, we have a right to unite and bring them to our form of justice.

It shouldn't have happened. Nothing should justify the killing of innocent people. But that rule should go for us too.. Not all those people are responsible. We're back to judging people on a stereotype, the way we did before the Civil War, or women's rights, or even the way we still judge people today when we look at others different from ourselves. Maybe it would take more time to fish those responsible out if we decided not to kill innocent people. Somehow, I think we've run out of patience for anything but our baser emotions.

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