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WTC: letter from world academics to Pres Bush

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  • Werner Richter
    Dear friends and colleagues -- Please let me forward this, which I fished from LanTra, the translators ... -- W. Richter Translations E D NEUE ADRESSE NEW
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 17 12:49 PM
      Dear friends and colleagues --

      Please let me forward this, which I fished from LanTra, the translators'
      mailing list. To whom it may concern:

      >Below is the text of a letter to be sent to the US president by academics
      >from around the world.
      >Among the signatories are Daniel C. Dennett (Tufts University) Steven
      >Pinker (MIT), Hilary Putnam (Harvard), Nicholas Humphrey (London School of
      >Economics), Joan McCord (Temple
      >University), Romin Tafarodi (University of Toronto), Shitij Kapur (Univ.
      >If you are an academic and wish to be added to the signatories, send
      >Jordan B. Peterson, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
      >peterson@... a copy of the letter signed by yourself, with
      >details of your position.
      > >> To President G.W. Bush and the Members of the U.S. Congress:
      > >>
      > >> The events of the past few days have made everyone understand how
      > vulnerable
      > >> a free and open society is to mass destruction and terror. But this
      > terrible
      > >> vulnerability is part of the strength of such a society, not a hallmark of
      > >> its weakness. It takes courage to allow the free movement of people and
      > >> ideas. That courage is predicated on voluntary acceptance of great
      > risk, and
      > >> not upon ignorance of its likelihood.
      > >>
      > >> The immediate response to such a catastrophe is anger and hatred. But the
      > >> system of laws that supports the US and its allies has been designed by
      > >> generations of great people to ensure that anger and hatred are never
      > given
      > >> the final word. Justice, truth, and respect for individual differences are
      > >> principles whose power far outweighs the thoughtless desire for revenge.
      > >> More importantly, revenge breeds revenge. It seems terribly dangerous to
      > >> provide individuals motivated precisely by the desire to increase pain and
      > >> suffering the luxury of the war they so much desire. Such a war turns them
      > >> from rigid, totalitarian cowards to soldiers; from failures who are
      > willing
      > >> to prey upon the innocent to heroic exemplars of the fight against
      > >> overwhelming external oppression.
      > >>
      > >> The craven acts of terrorism perpetrated in New York and Washington are
      > >> dignified intolerably by their classification as acts of war. The
      > >> individuals who perpetrated these appalling events must be regarded and
      > >> treated as criminals, as international pariahs, who have committed crimes
      > >> against humanity, and who must be brought publicly and rationally to
      > >> justice.
      > >>
      > >> Our great technological power makes us increasingly vulnerable to the
      > rigid
      > >> madness of the ideologically committed and resentful. To turn against such
      > >> madness with indiscriminate revenge seeking is merely to react in the same
      > >> primitive and deadly manner. To risk the slaughter of innocent people
      > in the
      > >> hunt for such revenge is to absolutely ensure that constant episodes of
      > >> international terror will come to be the hallmark of 21st century
      > existence.
      > >>
      > >> The entire world stands behind the US, in the hope that the commission of
      > >> crimes against civilization can be exterminated. Such solidarity was
      > >> absolutely unthinkable even fifteen years ago. The US therefore has an
      > >> unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate its unshakeable commitment to its
      > >> own principles, particularly under such conditions of extreme duress,
      > and to
      > >> provide the world with the hope that democracy and freedom can truly rise
      > >> above the parochial ideological madness of the past. Such a demonstration
      > >> would truly lift the American state above all past national institutions,
      > >> and would continue the tradition of great spirit that allowed for the
      > >> rehabilitation of Germany and Japan after the Second World War.
      > >>
      > >> Perhaps the events of September 11 might therefore be regarded as the last
      > >> war of the second Christian millennium, instead of the first war of the
      > >> third. In consequence, we implore you to react with discrimination, to
      > >> target only those truly responsible, and to avoid the cruel and
      > thoughtless
      > >> errors characterizing humanity's blind and ethnocentric past.
      > >>
      > >> Please punish only the guilty, and not the innocent. Otherwise the
      > cycle of
      > >> terror that seems an ineradicable part of human existence will never
      > come to
      > >> an end.
      > >>
      > >> Sincerely,

      -- W. Richter Translations E>D
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