The US must act against terrorism in concert with other nations Editorial
Stabroek News
September 17, 2001

Dear Editor,

The attack on the World Trade Center that killed thousands and destroyed tens of billions of dollars of property has made it painfully clear that no country and no one is immune from terrorism. And therefore every nation should join together to eradicate this menace from the face of the earth.

If this carnage could be unleashed on the United States, the most powerful country in the world with the best defences and spy network, it could be unleashed on any country. This is the hard lesson that nations such as Guyana and the rest of the world community cannot afford to ignore. And it should motivate them to work together to stamp out international terrorism.

From reports appearing in the American media, the main perpetrators of the WTC and Pentagon terror are aligned with extremist, fundamentalist Islamic movements that have been at the forefront of terrorism in the Middle East and India. They have attacked stable governments such as Egypt, Jordan, India and the Philippines, without reprisals. They have also tried to destabilize Russia which is trying to democratize. And now they have exported their terrorism to the US heartland.

The US would no doubt retaliate against the perpetrators but violent reprisals will only lead to more terror on American domestic security. The US should hunt down and punish the perpetrators but it should do so with the widest possible support and participation from the world community. And Guyana should offer moral support to the US as it goes after the criminals.

World leaders, including President Jagdeo, have been offering condolences and promises that they stand by the US in its hour of grief. But this is not enough. They must join the US to fight this new kind of war being waged by Islamic fringe elements who are giving Islam a bad name. The Europeans, Indians, the Caribbean, moderate Arab states like Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, the Russians, and the Chinese must stand shoulder to shoulder with the US to combat the terrorists. These nations must give the assurance that they will back the US which in turn should provide the resources to poorer nations such as India to go after the terrorists.

The terrorist allies such as Afghanistan and Sudan must be told in no uncertain terms that they must dissociate from terrorism and stop abetting, harbouring, and sponsoring terrorism or face the consequences. Yet, they brazenly claim, as the Taliban in Afghanistan have done, innocence when the fiends they harbour strike at innocent targets killing thousands as happened at the WTC.

These rogue states now seek to build relations with the international community. They must be told that they have to choose: if they are not against terrorism, then they are for it and will be held accountable.

The US needs the co-operation of nations to fight this war against terrorism. It must build a coalition of nations that are prepared to act. The US must immediately enlist the aid of other nations to fight international sponsored terrorism. The US must now bring its resources to bear against terrorist groups regardless of where they operate including those which give sanctuary to terrorists who are mostly trained in Afghanistan.

Yours faithfully,

Vishnu Bisram (Back to Top)

Escape from the WTC

Dear Editor,

The following is a letter from my sister, Janet Ram, who was at the WTC on Tuesday:-

"I'm glad to be alive. I just escaped death. At 8:45 I just entered the World Trade Center via Borders bookstore to get the train to New Jersey. As I was about to take the escalators I heard 'boooom.' I saw people starting to run and I also took off. People were trampling over each other. I managed to get into one of the delis down there to hide.

But my instinct told me to get to the exit and run for my life, because if a gunman was downstairs then he could come into the deli. So I ran to the Border bookstore, upstairs at the World Trade Center. The security told us to get out of the building, because something had happened at the top of the building. At that point I did not know what had happened. All the people in the building ran out and crossed the street. When I looked up I saw the one of the twin towers on fire at the top.

I then saw people jumping out of the tower, and I, as well as all the others were screaming. I was terrified and was crying nonstop for all of the people that were trapped in the building and for those who were jumping out; they are all dead.

Suddenly, I saw a plane and then I saw a bright light, and heard another 'boom' on the next twin tower. The light hit us on the street and I start to run. I ran for my life and so did the others. People were falling and screaming.

The phones were all cut off and there was no communication. About 9:30, the second twin tower, which had been hit in the middle crumbled and fell to the ground.

By 10:00am the other tower had crumbled to the ground. I was so terrified, there were military planes overhead, and this scared the hell out of me; at this point I did not know if those were terrorist planes. Subways and buses were suspended.

I ran 8 to 10 blocks and stopped to catch my breath. I was still in shock. I was wondering if this was all a dream or if I was hallucinating. The Brooklyn Bridge was closed and I had to walk the Williamsburg Bridge to get to Brooklyn from Manhattan. When I got off the 2-3 miles bridge, Jewish people were there giving us water to drink.

I was able to get a bus to bring me to Brooklyn and reached home about 3:45. At present I am suffering from aftershock and need rest. I am still hurting for all those that jumped through the windows and all those whose lives have been lost."

Yours faithfully,

C S Ram