In regard to the response in Tuesday's Empire regarding "deportation," I would be obliged to comment further and answer your questions.
It's not fear that drives my opinions on the current terrorism occurring all over the world today, it's common sense. Because this war is so different and complex than any other war the U.S. has ever encountered, I have altered my way of thinking, even sacrificing my beliefs on "equal rights for everyone living on U.S. soils." Yes, it sounds very "American" when you say we should not allow bin Laden to change our rules of freedom by allowing aliens to enter our country whenever they please and allow them to remain at almost any length (even if they're here illegally). You must realize that bin Laden and his terrorist organization is capitalizing on our "American ways" and are counting on us to continue "as usual" so they may proceed while living amongst us.
Should we feel worried? I do every time my sons attend major sports events or fly to major cities on airplanes. (It was just this past weekend that someone with an expired visa almost got on an airplane with nine knives, mace and a stun gun!) Do I feel uneasy when I receive mail from Trenton, N.J.? Is it possible that suicide martyrs will infect our society with a deadly epidemic? Yes, we should all be concerned because this is reality. There is no doubt the Taliban will be defeated on their turf. However, the difficult part of this war is on our turf and we will never be able to rid them in a timely manner if the so-called "sleepers" are allowed to infiltrate our communities. I truly wish we could distinguish one from the other, but it's absolutely impossible. I can guarantee that if we did some mass "shipping out" and sealed our borders, the terrorist acts on our soils would be immediately drastically reduced by a very high percentage.
Furthermore, if you actually read my letter in Monday's paper, you would realize that all races, religions and lifestyles were not being targeted. In case you haven't noticed, almost 99.9 percent of terrorists involved in the attacks since Sept. 11 are from Arab countries that were here on visas, passports or illegally. Therefore, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what group we're talking about! I am in no way suggesting that American citizens from the Middle East be subject to deportation. I also deplore those that torment or harass anyone from the Middle East just because of their race or religion. (I know and highly respect several Juneauites from Arab countries.)
I am certainly not a racist or a fanatic "nut case" riddled with fear, just a realist who deeply cares about the immediate safety of my family and all my fellow Americans who deserve to live in peace. I realize my views will not be popular with everyone, but I stand by them and welcome yours.
Laurie G. Tinney