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On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was a junior living on Morrell Street and working at The Daily Targum. I awoke to my find my roommate staring at the Twin Towers imploding on television. Outside, roars from F-15 fighter jets screamed across the perfectly blue sky. Television was my salvation. For weeks on end I obsessed over al-Qaeda, Islamic extremism and the perfect military response. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was changing. My belief system and worldview began to calcify. To disagree with me no longer meant you had an opinion that differed from mine, but simply that you were wrong and you were stupid for not knowing you were wrong. Why didn’t you know that invading Iraq made perfect sense? That no one could ever get intelligence gathering wrong? Fifteen years later, 9/11 taught me that we’re wrong about what we think we “know” and that we should operate on that assumption. The experts who could have never imagined it were wrong. The experts who said they knew how to respond were wrong. The experts who said they knew just how to fight this were wrong. All of them, including me, wrong. Which brings me to Donald Trump.
Tears flowed down when I saw the towers fall with disbelieving
eyes. Anger intensified quickly as I saw a majestic city in partial
ruins and innocent civilians, black with soot and confusion,
running through canyons of skyscrapers for any glimpse of light or
protection from the smoke. This was Manhattan on a Tuesday. In the
coming days I began to grow angry at bin Laden. I began to grow
angry at our government for failing to protect us. But nothing, and
I mean nothing, got me angrier than some of my own so-called fellow
Americans voicing their views about demonstrating for peace, not
war, for America, urging for a non-military response. I
gratuitously admit that pacifists have had their place during
history, and, though not especially revered or even respected, they
did bring another viewpoint into many critical periods in history.
This, however, should not be one of them. In my humbled view, to
demand non-military action is to place yourself hand-in-hand with
the horrific monsters that committed these acts.