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Friday, 28 September, 2001, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
A waning taste for revenge?
New York gets back to work
Ryan Dilley

President Bush says there will be no quick victories in his "war on terrorism", but are some Americans disappointed not to have seen swifter retaliation against those blamed for the 11 September attacks?

There is perhaps no shop window, apartment block, taxi cab, truck or lapel in all of New York which is not now adorned with some variation of the Stars and Stripes. Common also are "Wanted" posters showing Osama Bin Laden, circulated in the city's newspapers.

On the blue hoarding surrounding a Manhattan building site, one of these posters has been doctored. It no longer offers a reward for the Saudi dissident to be brought in alive. It wants him dead.

"We just put that up," says building worker Sal (he declines to give his surname or pose for a picture next to the poster - "What? So the terrorists can come for me?").


Mark Brotko: I don't want to see more women and children hurt
Above the din of machinery, Sal and his co-workers ponder the US's response to the attack which flattened the nearby World Trade Center. Construction workers such as these have often been held up as the epitome of blue collar American patriotism. During the Vietnam War era, these so-called "Hardhats" were a powerful hawkish voice opposing peace protesters.

So what of today? Should American military might have been unleashed long before the dust settled at "ground zero"?

"Of course we felt angry when it first happened. Whenever you get into a fight you start out feeling angry and want to hit straight back. But now I think we should take our time and make sure we get Bin Laden," says Sal.

"We don't want a war," adds a colleague. "We need justice."

"You need a war to get justice," says Sal.

'Find the right people'

Further along the street, Aristobulo Oviedo listens to the latest radio news as he eats lunch in his taxi. Across the length of the dashboard, Mr Oviedo has folded a pristine Stars and Stripes flag.


Two weeks after the attack, smoke still rises from the WTC
"I think 'slowly, slowly' is the right approach. It's right to kill the ones responsible for the attack, like you would kill a wild dog in the street. But you have to find the right people and not give them any warning before you strike."

New York is still far from regaining its former bustle, but the streets of the city are especially quiet thanks to the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday.

Outside the Temple Emanuel synagogue, smartly turned-out families gather. "There has to be sense to what we do in response to the attacks," says Richard Roberts. "If you bomb everyone in Afghanistan, you will hurt people who hate their rulers. I understand there are even members of the Taleban who do not agree with harbouring Osama Bin Laden."

However, the pain and anger of 11 September still burns bright in some. Elliot Sarran thinks that such restraint will not deliver justice. "You can't reason with these people or sit them down in a bar and talk this out over a beer. If the president wants to bomb them, maybe he should."

Stop the money

Looking up from a hole his team has dug in the street, utilities worker Mark Brotko says his appetite for a tit-for-tat strike by the US has waned.


Poster makes views plain
"I was angry and my first reaction was to go straight back at them. President Bush says he's trying to cut off the financial backing these terrorist rely on, so that shows there are other ways to strike back. I'd rather see their money being stopped than us bombing innocent people."

The attack on the WTC was a sobering experience for the people of this city. Many observers have suggested it has given its citizens a renewed respect for the value of human life.

"We lost a lot of innocent lives here on September 11," says Mr Brotko. "An innocent life is an innocent life, and I for one don't want to see women and children getting hurt anywhere because of what happened."

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


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