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What if it happened here in Juneau?

Posted: Friday, December 21, 2001

Imagine someone going into a Valley pizza party on a busy Friday night and blowing himself or herself up, killing two dozen children, young people, and adults and maiming two dozen others. Then, imagine that someone else two weeks later walks into a downtown business and blows up himself and a dozen more people, wounding and maiming a dozen more people, mostly young adults, and destroying the business. Then, imagine a third bomber a week later blowing up a city bus full of commuters on their way to work, killing 10 and wounding and maiming 15 others. What do you think our government's response would be?

Now, imagine that a group of Southeast Alaska people calling themselves the Southeast Alaska Freedom Fighters took responsibility for the suicide bombers, saying that their mission was to free Southeast Alaska. Imagine that bombs had also been set off in Haines, Skagway, and Gustavus. Imagine that a group had been given possession of Admiralty Island and other areas of Southeast Alaska, but not the cities. Imagine that the leader of these areas had said that he would arrest and detain the individuals responsible for the bombings, but all of those arrested had been let out after only a couple of days of jail. No one had been brought to trial. Would you feel safe in your own hometown? Imagine what our federal government might do under these circumstances.

All of this is pretty horrific, and yet this is just the scenario that Israelis live under every day. While Lisle Hebert, Rob Miller and others might debate who in the Mideast did what to whom and for how long, the reality of the situation is that as long as Hamas is proceeding with such brutality against Israelis there will be no peace.

We have the luxury to play with facts, adjust dates, and assert opinions. However, what the Israeli army is now doing in Palestinian areas is attacking and arresting suspected terrorists because Arafat will not. Do you blame them? After all, the U.S. Army is not in Afghanistan to negotiate with Bin Laden and the people responsible for the embassy bombings in Africa and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The U.S. Army is there to kill them. At least it seems Bush recognizes that suicide bombers are terrorists, whether they attack us, Israelis, or the parliament of India. Can there ever be appeasement with terrorists? How can people negotiate with each other in the face of such tactics?

Steve Wolf

Juneau



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