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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/12/10

The Best Defense Against Attacks Like 9-11

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Immediately after 9-11, much of the world extended unconditional support to the United States. That support began to wane around the time President Bush indicated the path his administration would take in response to the attack when he spoke at the Pentagon on September 17, 2001.

Toward Osama bin Laden, President Bush demanded vengeance: "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, "Wanted: Dead or Alive.'" Having chosen the punitive model of justice, he then launched us into war and peace is still not in sight.

It is time to realize that attack after attack is not our best defense. When we lash out to attack those who attack us, we are caught in the trap of dual morality, and our enemies are, as well. First one side declares, "My killing is moral; yours is not." Then the other side makes the same declaration, feeling self righteously moral in answering harm with more harm.

How does each side claim the moral ground? By projecting responsibility and blame for their harm upon those whom they are harming. "They make us do it," is the logic behind the insanity. The harm becomes endless.

What would one standard of morality look like? It says that harm by anyone is unacceptable. We do not condone killing by anyone. How do we escape the trap of dual morality and begin to move toward one standard of morality (monomorality)? The path to peace begins only when one who has been offended does not respond in kind.

For example, if the dispute is minor, perhaps a meeting is requested at which the other side is asks if they caused the harm that was experienced. Confronted with a question, instead of judgment, they might admit that they did cause the harm, and explain what they were thinking when they did so (the perceived wrong or circumstance that made them feel justified in causing the harm).

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