Some years ago I worked for a Russian language television program which aired in Los Angeles. When the siege of the Russian Parliament took place in the early 90's, we enjoyed the rare opportunity to become the media voice for Russians living in Southern California. Many expressed the same shock and dismay watching the events unfold in Moscow that Americans expressed during the attack in New York on September 11th. They were watching their nation as it was torn apart yet agin by another revolution, another attack, another tear in the fabric of security. Russians have us at a disadvantage when it comes to these matters, as there are still some who are alive now who witnessed the upheaval of 1917. We, on the other hand, have not witnessed terror on such a grand scale since the British burned Washington in the early nineteenth century. It is, in my humble opinion, inaccurate to compare the recent attack to Pearl Harbor. In fact, it is impossible to compare it to any attack in our history, for there has never been witnessed an event of this proportion and severity instantaneously on all the world's media, and as such, it is burned into our national consciousness as no other event in our entire history. The attack is the product of a nation which has for years repressed and punished any and all criticism of its own government, but allows and even encourages attacks on any and all Western governments. Therefore the people of this nation have a distorted view of the entire outside world, and find it all too convenient to blame their problems on an outside entity. This is history repeating itself. I must hasten to add that we are indeed PARTLY responsible, in that we turned our backs on Afghanistan after the Afghan-Soviet war was finished, but this does not amount to the sum total of the problems encountered by this beleagured nation. USA's support of Israel is neccesary if only because througout history, the Jewish people have been tossed about by nearly every nation on earth, and therefore must have some place where they can feel secure and protected. Israel's brutal approach to solving their struggle is not neccesarily supported by all Americans, but this is wholly ignored by the Taliban regime because it does not suit their twisted agenda and forces them to take some responsibility for their own brutal repression. We are all in danger if we allow this outlaw regime to continue to exist in any shape or form, and the solution must not only be military, but it must also be humanitarian and educational. The eyes of the Afghan people must be opened to the harsh truth about their own captors, and the entire fundamentalist movement must be exposed for the perversion that it is. But make no mistake about it, the first step must be a total and utter destruction of any and all persons and organizations who declare their allegiance to such folly. I end this letter with a compliment to all Russians I have met here in the United States. If you ask me, they make some of the most loyal and fervent American patriots ever to grace our country. Perhaps they have always known what we have learned only too recently, that freedom and security are precious and fleeting, and must be guarded and fought for more earnestly than any other gift in the universe.
Jeffery J. Haas Dallas, Texas USA
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