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Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
News Online users' messages for Bush
Talking Point graphic
As US President George W Bush gathers his closest political and military advisers at the Camp David retreat, people contacting the BBC have been offering a wide range of opinion on what the American response to Tuesday's attacks on New York and Washington should be.


War, revenge, retaliation is understandable, but counterproductive

G Acciari, Italy
Contributors to a two-hour special edition of the BBC's Talking Point programme, broadcast on Sunday live on radio and the internet, are divided between those who want retaliation and others who urge caution.

Many of the people who have contacted Talking Point from Europe have counselled that military action would be a mistake.


I am truly amazed at the number of Europeans arguing for pacifism

Joshua Bard, USA
From Italy, G Acciari comments via email: "War, revenge, retaliation is on everybody's mind. This is understandable, but counterproductive in my opinion, as the long-term result would only be more violence and the risk of splitting the world along religious lines."

Nato ambassadors observe silence
Nato says it will rally behind
Mr Ilja Flug in Coesfeld, Germany said: "The scale of this awesome tragedy is indescribable. But all this does not give any moral right to the mankind of this world to bring itself on the brink of the final World War."

But Joshua Bard in Spokane, Washington, USA finds such attitudes difficult to understand.

He said: "I am truly amazed at the number of Europeans arguing for pacifism in the face of the current attacks on the US. The just must, from time to time, use violence."

Pankaj Rai, speaking by telephone from Bangalore in India, also backed tough action: "Terrorism has to be launched in the immediate instance by taking retribution against the terrorists and against the countries who harbour and support them."

Policy changes

Many people have spoken of the need for the United States to address its policy in the Middle East as part of its response.


The American people should look at this incident from different angles

Leow Bok Wee
From Melbourne Australia, J Reid contacted Talking Point to say: "The first step in averting increasing anti-US feeling in the Middle East might be for America to insist that Israel accept a UN peacekeeping force and fact-finding mission?"

Indonsian anti-US protesters
There is still strong anti-US feeling in many parts of the world
Leow Bok Wee in Singapore said: "The American people should look at this incident from different angles before agreeing on what should be done. "

Many Muslims and people from the Arab world have expressed their sympathy with the American people. Typical is the response of Sherif in Cairo, Egypt: "My sympathy is with the US. Even if I did not agree with US policy, especially in the Middle East, but what happened yesterday was beyond human, moral and religious values."

Tough action

But there have also been messages of support from the Islamic world for tough action against terrorism.

Taj Hussain Taj in Islamabad, Pakistan said: "The whole world should react to find out those terrorist and then they should punish them."

But he also warned: "Complete investigation is required to find out the real criminals."

US polls back Bush

Whatever the words of caution from around the world, President Bush already knows the American people strongly support military action.

A Gallup opinion poll published two days after the attacks indicated that 92% of Americans support launching military strikes.

And ABC found 94% of Americans in support of military action against "the groups or nations responsible for the attacks." Almost as many people said they would support military action even if it means "getting into a war."

But the support was conditional on the correct assailants being identified. A big majority, 71% wanted the president to wait until those responsible are known before ordering reprisals.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Angus Roxburgh in Brussels
"We are beginning to see certain nuances creeping in"
See also:

14 Sep 01 | Americas
America's invisible enemy
13 Sep 01 | Americas
Allies boost US confidence
15 Sep 01 | South Asia
Pakistan 'will comply' on terror
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