Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reflection #10, A Close Call

Despite all of our discussions centering around the “what ifs” of terrorist attacks, we never really mentioned the effects of what happens after one actually occurs. Did all of our pent up worry and fear go to good use? Now what should we do? Yes, we have 9/11 as a prime example, but it is one that, probably, not many of us have personal relations to. Yet from my own experience, I can say that in certain instances, terrorist attacks come as oddly straight-forward. This seems like a strange statement to make, but upon nearly missing a terrorist attack by less than a mile and less than five minutes, I responded oddly calmly and rationally. I didn’t freak out as expected and run in the opposite direction. Rather, I seemed to stand still and think straight, despite the chaos. Being with a larger group of friends in a foreign country, we knew it was best to leave the scene. It was surreal how composed we were.

What came to mind after the event was all the time I had spent mulling over the concept of why and how a terrorist attack could take place after 9/11. What spurs such actions? After such an event happens, how should we as a nation and an individual react? I think, partially from my response, that it is important we respond calmly and collectively. To immediately spring up in hatred and whip out nuclear arsenals is a rash and naïve response. Rather, we should contemplate the motives for such actions and work from the bottom. For example, if an attack is stimulated by hatred towards the US occupying Afghanistan, wouldn’t it be best to negotiate around that? If we found ways to compromise with the Afghanis and in return they talk with local terrorist organizations, maybe the rates would go down. I would presume that the intensity of the attacks would go up if we ignore the grassroots issues and our own actions.


  1. Are Afghanis and the Taliban able to negotiate along rational lines? That is, can they rationally discuss a compromise and cooperate within the aggreed upon conditions? In short, can rationality negotiate with irrationality, our imposing enemy that does not think logically or with reason?

  2. You have a point, but perhaps I was not very clear about what I was thinking about. Yes, I do not see the Taliban and the Afghani government doing as I wish, but maybe there could be a third party to mediate the discussions or another form of neutrality?
    I am not a political expert, merely an optimist...