11 Sep 2002 julian   » (Master)

In my Interpretation & Argument (English) class, we were asked to write our thoughts about 11 Sept. -- we didn't have to hand them in or discuss them in class, though we are free to do so. I decided I'll just type them in here. If you feel the need to argue with me, just don't read this. I don't want to argue this topic more. I'm probably blatantly wrong somewhere in here.

I do not disagree that what happened on 11 Sept. was a great tragedy. It was terrible. I cannot believe that there are groups of people in the world who spend years planning to kill mostly innocent civilians. Humanity should be much more advanced than that by now.

Unfortunately, I must say mostly innocent. I empathize with those that lost their family members and friends, and do not feel that anyone deserves such an act be done against them. No one deserves to die. I do not believe in the death penalty. However, we should not kid ourselves. The people who were killed were probably not perfect (thanks Leonard). The United States is not an innocent bystander.

I'm sure most people are aware of the involvement the United States has had in the Middle East, and the fact that my "beloved" country trained many of the people who were later involved in this act. Why? It comes down to oil. Most Americans seem to be oblivious pigs when it comes to things like oil. When I start living on my own, one of my goals will be to minimize the amount of oil I use. I will spend an extra bit of money for a hybrid car. I will get an electric stove. I will recycle. We need to detach ourselves from these nonrenewable resources... for the short term we need to stop depending on the politics of the Middle East to get us oil. It's not healthy for anyone. From what I understand, the involvement of the United States in the Middle East has never helped anything. Therefore, our involvement should be kept to a minimum. The price of oil from that area should not have a great effect on our economy, it should not change the daily lives of the population. We have become dependent on them, and we are paying for it.

I read that in the early days of the gasoline automobile engine, there was some development on electric engines, but Ford and others did everything they could to make sure that such development ceased or was stunted. A century of development later, the electric engine is behind. I wonder why? The only way to make electric engines affordable is to demand more electric engines with better performance. I will be a part of that.

But where are we getting that electricity? Coal. Oil. Ugh. There are designs for nuclear power plants which can run off of the same supply of water they are initially given... no need to eat through massive amounts of water from a river at all times. There are designs for nuclear power plants which are for the most part failsafe -- they can successfully be shut down based on mere physics -- no extra power input required. There are designs for nuclear power plants which produce much less waste. But really, more focus on "alternative" energy sources is needed. (My dad, who used to work for nuclear power plants, told me of these designs. I will certainly look for some sources, but my point really is that we should go back to trying things other than coal and oil, and that nuclear power has matured more since the 1980's.)

I'm sorry for all of the survivors of 11 Sept. who lost loved ones. I hope the United States can clean up its international relations. I hope that humans learn that killing is not the answer. It's a shame.

It's still so hard to believe that the twin towers are gone along with so many lives. They were such an incredible symbol, and now they are a symbol of an incredible tragedy.

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