THE DOCTRINE OF FLIGHT 93
This is a very interesting perspective from a friend of mine about the recent terrorist actions against the USA …
I wrote this. If you like it, please forward it
to as many people as you can, especially people
in other countries.
THE DOCTRINE OF FLIGHT 93
A Policy on Terrorism Written as a Presidential Speech
My fellow human beings,
Normally a Presidential speech begins with “My fellow Americans,” butwhat I am going to say I am saying to every person on this planet.
We have seen terrible events this last week. Certain interests have
declared war on America. They have attacked America without warning, and they have waged total war, that is, war targeted against civilians. It would be natural for a nation to wage total war in return. That may happen some day, but I am not ready at this stage to commit America to that type of infamy. So, for now, America will not wage total war, but America will return the aggression she has received. The policies outlined in this speech describe how that will be done.
By this speech, I am asking Congress to declare war. But on whom shall America declare war? The combatants against America are not necessarily sovereign states, though some are. War is usually declared by one nation on another. Attacking only sovereign states will not solve the problem of terrorism because some terrorists hide behind the sovereignty of nations that cannot or will not expel them. Therefore, I am asking Congress to declare a new kind of war, a war on all terrorism everywhere, the War on Terrorism.
I have heard threats of Jihad if America should attack these terrorists on Islam soil. Muslims will wage a holy war against America. Well, do you suppose if we did not wage war on terrorists we would somehow not have a Jihad on our hands? The Jihad began well before September 11, 2001. So, the current threat of Jihad is ludicrous and insulting.
Suppose Jihad would be declared. Americans are going to say “Muslims are waging a holy war on me? What’s wrong with me? We might as well declare a Crusade!” How would that make Islam feel? Jihads and Crusades went out of style about a thousand years ago! They are so “last millenium.” Let’s focus on the new millenium. In the very, very small world we live in today, Jihad and Crusade threaten every living being and should not be tolerated by anyone. The War on Terrorism will not be a Crusade. I will speak more on this later.
Terrorists gain power by taking hostages. Either they kill the hostages through direct action, or they threaten to kill the hostages. Often enough the action results in the deaths of those hostages they threaten, if not, as in the case of the World Trade Center, much larger numbers of people. Sometimes, terrorists kill people without warning. When they do that, it is intended as a message to their enemies to stop doing whatever it is the terrorists don’t like or else more people will die. By using random violence, they try to hold entire nations hostage.
The attacks on the World Trade Center worked precisely because we tried to save the lives of the hostages on the hijacked planes. When the flight crews were threatened, the hijackers gained control of the planes. Of course, none of the pilots suspected what the hijackers would do. But this, our enemies say, is our weakness. They say that America will not make the kind of sacrifices that it takes to prevent our enemies from prevailing.
But the passengers on Flight 93, the one that crashed in Pennsylvania, proved our enemies to be wrong. The heroes on that plane showed that, when America understands the stakes involved, America is ready to sacrifice. Those passengers quickly came to the conclusion that the rest of us are just starting to understand – that hostages are combatants in this war, whether they choose to be or not. Those people attacked the terrorists because, as combatants, it is their duty. They realized that, although some would die, if they did not do their duty, many more would die. But they did their duty, and their example showed us the way. In the War on Terrorism, my motto will not be “Remember the World Trade Center.” My motto will be “Remember Flight 93.” They showed us the way, God bless them.
The United States will neutralize the power of terrorists by removing hostages from the equation. From the present moment forward, it shall be the policy of America that, if anyone is taken hostage, they are immediately combatants in the War on Terrorism. This is the Doctrine of Flight 93, that it is the hostage’s duty to engage the enemy and defeat the enemy if possible, or if it is not possible, to at least realize and understand that, for the benefit of their nation and the world, saving their lives must be a much lower priority than that of killing the hostage-takers. It will be the hostage’s duty to think, “Yes, I’m scared, and no I don’t want to die, but please don’t try too hard to save me. For the sake of the world, just kill the dirty bastards that did this to me. Of course, if you happen to save me that’s quite alright too.” Because the War on Terrorism will be implemented inexorably and without exception, hostages who happen to be killed in action against the terrorists will be considered to be the victims of
those terrorists, in no lesser degree than if the terrorists had killed them directly, because they started the chain of events that led to the deaths.
Robbed of hostages, the terrorist is absolutely powerless. No terror means no terrorism. Soon, hostage-taking will be pointless because there will be no benefit to be gained from it. But, there will still be the type of terrorism where the vermin strike from in hiding, causing deaths without showing themselves at all. These terrorists will be tracked down through investigations and identified to anyone who wants to know, with consequences that will be apparent soon.
Many terrorists hide in populated areas of their host nations, hoping that America will not kill them because of the possibility of collatera damage. Sovereign nations also place military installations in populated areas, hoping that America will not strike them there. In spite of what some of our critics say, it is true that America has always tried to eliminate or at least minimize the loss of innocent life, the so-called collateral damage. Unfortunately, this has led to the perception of weakness on America’s part because the attempt to save innocent lives put constraints on our action in ways that sometimes made our response fail. If that has been a weakness, so be it, but it was a weakness of compassion. Nevertheless, America will not be weak. If these times call for this kind of strength, America will no longer constrain itself so, partly due to our resolve to triumph over terrorism, and partly because we realize that trying to save those peoples’ lives often only causes more suffering later.
From now on, it shall be the policy of the United States that the
people that a terrorist hides among are themselves either terrorists or hostages. To the extent that those people allow the terrorist free action in their domain, either because the terrorists are their heroes or because they stand somehow to gain politically or otherwise, then those people are also terrorists. To the extent that they are unaware of the terrorists or endure the terrorists under threat of violence then they are hostages. If some of them die while we are killing the terrorists, well, they are no longer innocent because either they supported the terrorists or they did not or could not do their duty as hostages. I am sorry, but it has to be this way. If those people want to avoid this situation, all they have to do is turn out the terrorists.
They know their land, they know who the terrorists are. I say this to every person in the world: save yourself, save your family, and maybe even save your nation by turning out the terrorists who live among you. If your government doesn’t do it, take matters into your own hands if necessary. Imagine the satisfaction you will feel when you are done!
Many terrorists hide behind the sovereignty of other nations before and after they strike. It shall be the policy of the United States that, if terrorists reside in a nation, and if that nation does not turn them out, that nation is either terrorist or hostage. If you do not turn them out because you stand to gain politically from their presence, or if your economy benefits from the terrorism industry, you are a terrorist and will be dealt with accordingly. If you do not turn them out because they threaten you, you are a hostage, in which case the United States and its allies in the War on Terrorism will do the job for you. If you do not want America to attack terrorists on your soil, make sure there are no terrorists on your soil. I say this to every nation on earth: My advice is to turn out your terrorists before your people do and certainly before the United States does.
I ask each and every nation, every race and religion, and every person to affirmatively adopt the Doctrine of Flight 93. By so adopting these principles, you agree to turn out all terrorists from your land, or failing to do so, invite and welcome another doctrinaire nation to do so for you. You are saying that you are not a terrorist, and that you will not be a hostage. I ask every single person who agrees with the Doctrine of Flight 93 to write down the number 93 somewhere, anywhere, some time in the next few days. That will be your contract for peace with the rest of the world.
This policy will be viewed by many as an attack on the sovereignty of nations. By the actions of these terrorists, the entire concept of the validity of sovereignty is put into perspective. Sovereignty is like property, in that it is a privilege, and not an absolute right. Each brings a responsibility to the rest of the world to make sure that the enjoyment of that privilege does not cause harm to others. If that responsibility is not met, sovereignty must be forfeited. Only responsible governments may enjoy sovereignty. In this context, the legitimacy of a government is defined by whether or not that nation is willing and capable of eliminating terrorism within its borders. To the extent that it cannot do that itself and will not seek help, its legitimacy suffers correspondingly. So, our new policy is not an attack upon legitimate sovereignty, only upon illegitimate sovereignty.
Now, it is possible that in some instances, false information will be brought identifying persons as terrorists who may not actually be so. It would be an easy way for a person to get rid of his personal enemies by calling them terrorists. Or, someone may wish to discredit the War on Terrorism by tricking it into attacking a relatively innocent target.
Upon review of the facts available to this administration, it appears that this may have occurred when, a few years back, America bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. Liars made it seem to be a plant where biological weapons were being produced, just to make America appear clumsy and stupid. I will speak more on this later. At this time I will simply say that those who bear false witness by identifying those as terrorists who are not, will be considered themselves to be terrorists, with all that entails. As for the innocent victims of these liars, well, make no mistake about it this is war, there are going to be mistakes made, and that is a tragedy. Let the survivors console themselves with the thought that, when this war is over, the world will be rid of terrorism. And of course, remember that those victims are the victims of the liars.
Suicide attacks are a particularly venal tactic used by terrorists. Islamic suicide attacks are motivated in two ways. First, the families of the suicide bombers are highly rewarded and enjoy special status. I can think of only one way to eliminate this incentive. It shall be the policy of the United States that families of suicide terrorists are terrorists and will be dealt with accordingly. In this way, the terrorists will not believe that they can benefit their families.
Second, Islamic terrorists are promised martyrdom, with eternal paradise with the Prophet. Now, I have never studied Islam, but I don’t have to, to know that it is a good religion, that one billion good Muslims in all parts of the world believe this terrorism to be a stain upon the name of Islam, that the Prophet Muhammad cries at the atrocities committed in his name, and that Allah loves peace. I call upon all Islamic religious leaders to denounce the thought that suicide in any form could be martyrdom. In this way, most of the motivation for suicide attacks will be removed.
Everyone must understand that America is not declaring war on Osama bin Laden, America is not declaring war on all Islamic terrorists, America is declaring war on all terrorists everywhere. The time to name them all will come later, but so that everyone will know that the War on Terrorism is not a racist policy, nor a Crusade against Islam, I will mention one group now: Irish terrorists. And I mean both sides. I say to the Irish people and to the Irish governments: Turn out your terrorists. You know quite well who they are. If you do not, the doctrinaire nations will do it for you.
But what of the damage caused by terrorism? Who is responsible for
that? Well, sometimes one is judged individually and sometimes one is judged according to the group one is in. Terrorists terrorize their enemies as a group, but when the time for judgement comes,
hypocritically, they want to receive individual justice. Therefore, in cases of terrorism, group judgement is most often appropriate, that is, the entire group of people that the terrorist comes from and seeks to help shall bear guilt for the action and the responsibility for restitution.
In the case of the World Trade Center bombings, the deeds were done in the name of Islam, for the whole of Islam. Therefore, I want Islam, Islam as a whole, as an act of contrition and atonement, to rebuild the World Trade Center for New York, better than before, to build a New World Trade Center. This New World Trade Center will not be a punishment meted upon Islam by America, it will be a gift from the pure and innocent among Islam, proof that Islam is a peace-loving way of life, a testament to the conviction that no economic or political gain is worth the price that terrorism exacts. This New World Trade Center should contain a shrine, holy to every religion, that stands for the thought that this destruction should never have happened, and that it must never happen again. Let Allah speak through you. Let the Prophet guide your hand. I sincerely pray that this will be Islam’s gift to the world.
America too will give a gift. America will build Sudan one
pharmaceutical plant. This pharmaceutical plant will make AIDS medicine, which will be provided to those who suffer from AIDS, at a cost equal only to the incremental cost of production, with no overhead for capitalization or patents. Alongside that plant will be a shrine, holy to every religion, sister to the shrine in New York, a shrine dedicated to the thought that civilization is judged by the condition of the least of its citizens, not by the condition of the greatest.
At this time, I ask each and every nation in the world, to do this as your ratification of the Doctrine of Flight 93: to make one great public work, a gift to the world, perhaps a gift that rights some wrong. And, I ask each nation to build alongside that gift one shrine, holy to all religions, sister to the shrines in New York and Sudan, dedicated to whatever aspect of world peace that best typifies your nation’s spirit and ethos. In this way, I sincerely pray that the War on Terrorism will not become World War III, but rather will mark the beginning of 1,000 years of peace and prosperity.
But how can peace reign when there is still injustice in the world?
Everybody’s mad about something! And there are a lot of people who just aren’t very nice. So, there is still going to be injustice, and resentment, and maybe even hatred. The War on Terrorism won’t solve those things. But it may make them solvable.
Every will know that violence only makes our problems worse, so to achieve their goals people will use their words and memes instead, and their money. Problems, if they are solved, will be solved by awareness and communication. At the risk of repeating myself, and without trying to solve any one particular problem at this time, I’ll start the conversation: “I believe civilization is judged by the condition of the least of its citizens, not by the condition of the greatest.”
I think something someone else might say is, “We know we’re poor, but don’t also take away our dignity and our last bit of hope. Please don’t leave us entirely without hope, because out of sheer desperation people might just go crazy.” And it’s true, people do go crazy from desperation. So, it’s in everyone’s interest not to let anyone get too desperate.
In the future, people will look back on the past and say, “Well, maybe that’s just how things were done back then, but wasn’t all that violence incredibly wasteful and insane?” And that’s how the people of the future will see violence, as it really is: a form of mental illness. People of the future will see all of the wasteful and self-destructive behavior of the past millenia as mental illness.
But, you say, that’s way off in the future, we’re nowhere near that
point now. People, I tell you we are closer than you think, much
closer. Evolution happens in bursts and one is happening right now.
Wake up! Wake up from the nightmare of the past. Awaken to peace.
There will be much time to talk about the past, and to right every
wrong, so long as we only make sure there is a future.
September 18, 2001