Jewish World Review Sept. 13, 2002 / 7 Tishrei, 5763

Greg Crosby

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Odds and Ends on 9/11/2002 | There were a couple of secondary news items which may have escaped your attention on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attack last Wednesday. In case you missed them, I offer them here for your edification along with the news source.

  • Newsweek online ran an interview with Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, who said, among other things, that the United States of America is a threat to world peace. He went on to say that President Bush is striking out against Iraq because of his desire to please the arms and oil industries in the United States of America. Mandela insists that there is no evidence to suggest that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. "But," he said, "we know that Israel has weapons of mass destruction. Nobody talks about that. Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white."

    The lies, convoluted logic, and flat-out stupidity makes it difficult to know just where to begin in analyzing Mandela's comments. To say that this man has a broken moral compass is to be much too kind. I would simply say that there is no evidence to suggest that Nelson Mandela ever had a compass... let alone morals.

  • From the Associated Press: London- "As much of the world paused Wednesday to mourn the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, a group of Islamic militants gathered to discuss the "positive outcomes" of the violence they claim to reject, and to praise the aims of Osama bin Laden." The rally was held at Finsbury Park Mosque and titled, "Sept. 11, 2001: A Towering Day in History."

    Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed of the group, Al-Muhajiroun, said the attacks were justified because Muslims must defend themselves against armed aggression. The group says its goal is to make Britain an Islamic state. These statements were said before the actual meeting took place inside the mosque. About a dozen men with kaffiyehs over their faces stood on the steps of the north London mosque to keep journalists from entering the meeting. This was a meeting of evil -- pure and simple.

  • Reuters reported Wednesday that Pope John Paul, marking the anniversary of the attacks on U.S. cities, asked for prayers that G-d would show mercy and forgiveness for the attackers. Let me get this straight. The pope wants all of us to ask G-d for mercy and forgiveness to the scum who killed 3,000 innocent people? Gosh, I guess I've had it all wrong this past year -- I've been praying that those bums burn in eternal hell. And why do I wish that? Because these are EVIL PEOPLE. Evil people who purposely murdered innocent people. Evil is bad--remember? The good should be rewarded and the evil should be condemned. This is not complicated stuff. Even I get it. And if I get it, why is it so hard for so many presumably intelligent, spiritual people, including the pope, to get it?

    The pope also urged the world to change in situations of injustice that spurred the desire for revenge. He called for changes in "scandalous situations of injustice and oppression, which continue to afflict so many members of the human family, creating conditions that are favorable to the uncontrolled explosion of the thirst for vendetta." I'm not sure what that means. If he's inferring that what was done to us was the result of Islamists seeking reprisal for a wrong that he feels we did to them, then shame on Pope John Paul. There is no excuse, none, for the deliberate murder of innocent civilians and the pope should have the wisdom to know it and the guts to say so. No -- I will not pray for G-d to grant mercy and forgiveness to the murderers. And I do not agree that there is some sort of justification for the evil done to so many of my fellow Americans last year. But I will pray for G-d to grant some sorely needed moral clarity and common sense to many of the world's spiritual leaders -- people who just don't seem to get it -- people like Pope John Paul. ASAP.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby