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Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
US tragedy: You gave your views
Select the link below to watch our Talking Point special programme on the US terrorism disaster broadcast on Sunday 16th September:

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US President George W Bush has vowed to hunt down those responsible for Tuesday's atrocities against his country.

The outrage against America has been condemned by leaders throughout the world and in an unprecedented move, Nato has declared that the attack can be considered to be an attack on the entire 19-nation alliance.

But finding and punishing the right people is a daunting task and many in the alliance have urged caution, making it clear that they do not want to enter into a war of vengeance on behalf of the US.

What should the reaction of the democratic nations be to the terrorists? What deterrents can there be against those who are prepared to die for their cause? Can, and should, there be military retaliation?

Has the world changed forever? What happens now?

We took your calls live in our special two-hour edition of Talking Point ON AIR, the joint World Service and News Online programme. You can use the form at the bottom of the page to add to the debate.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction

  • Your comments since the programme
  • Your comments during the programme
  • Your comments before the programme

    Your comments since the programme

    My heart and sympathies go to the people affected by the events that took place, and every one of us is affected in one way or another. Being a Muslim I know for a fact that neither Islam nor for that matter any religion would provoke such horrible actions. It's a shame that something like this had to happen for everyone to realise what kind of a world we live in. I hope that whoever is responsible is brought to justice.
    Umer Hashmi, Minneapolis,USA

    First I would like to offer my deepest condolences to all those affected by this terrible tragedy. My sincerest feelings to you all.

    I believe now is a time for deep insight and introspection. Missile attacks in retaliation for the embassy bombings in Africa two years ago had little effect - to the contrary, they probably strengthened the extremists' resolve. I believe the culprits should be brought to justice but that it is of greater importance to re-evaluate how we all treat each other; how the different nations and cultures on this earth look at and understand one another. It is of the essence to seek out and treat the cause of this disease rather than simply trying to clear away the symptoms.


    The actions of a minority do not necessarily represent the beliefs of the majority

    Felix Pink, Hamburg, Germany
    At times like these, we would all do well to remember that the actions of a minority, however grotesque these might be, do not necessarily represent the beliefs of the majority. At the end of the day we all have the same blood coursing through our veins and it's about time we all start acting accordingly. We no longer live in the middle ages.
    Felix Pink, Hamburg, Germany

    Firstly, my thoughts go out to everyone around the world who has been personally affected by this awful event. Unfortunately the Americans have suffered from arrogance regarding security. They thought they were so powerful, nothing like this would happen to them. It can happen to any of us. And the fact that it has happened to the most powerful country in the world should make us take stock. We are all very vulnerable. I hope to God, they find the people who did this terrible thing. What a high price to pay.
    CMS, UK


    Two wrongs do not make a right!

    Richard Rycraft, London, UK
    This was a disgusting act and those responsible need to be sought out and brought to justice. However, the US and its allies MUST ensure more innocent people are not killed - two wrongs do not make a right! I believe most people would support a global fight against terrorism but even here we must be careful as "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".
    Richard Rycraft, London, UK

    Like everyone else, I am horrified by the events on the 11th September. I am also horrified at the way the US is talking itself into military action, probably indiscriminate. A lot of the support that there must have been for making this attack probably derives from a mixture of poverty and resentment of America. Instead of bombing anyone with explosives, how about dropping the equivalent value in money - only not on targets thought to be involved, such as Bin Laden, but on ordinary people? This would surely reduce the support for terrorism that obviously is currently out there.
    Steve Knight, Devon, England

    I agree with many of the letters that have been written here. They say the USA should take its time and make sure we get the right person and not rush into war, but America is in a war, the world is in a war. I think many of the people outside of our country are not hearing what we hear everyday. We are told that it is going to take years to round up all the people who were involved.
    Bo Pritchard, Missouri, USA

    Let justice be done, not retaliation.
    Nermine Ghaleb, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    Those who have committed these dreadful deeds should be "smoked-out", but brought to international justice in the Hague.
    Paddy Browne, UK


    The USA has no choice but to fight back

    Heather, USA
    The USA has no choice but to fight back. I am the first one to say things need to be solved diplomatically but it is just not possible at this point. If we don't retaliate then there will be more attacks. The question is now, how can we go about it quickly and efficiently without turning it into a nuclear or biological war.
    Heather, USA

    This was a terrible atrocity and I would support any action the US and her allies take but I would also like to remind people that we in Northern Ireland have been trying to fight terrorists for the last 30 years who were financially supported by some of the same Americans who are now (rightly so) outraged by this attack. I hope the next time Noraid and other Americans with the same romanticised ideas hold out the collection tin, they are put in their place.
    paula hanna, northern ireland

    I am an 18-year-old Iranian American who has grown up in the US. I have had mixed reactions to Tuesday's attack. Of course, like any sane human being, I am disgusted by the loss of so many innocent lives. But at the same time, I am perturbed with people's responses and reactions. A large number of people and the media portray this as a "good vs. evil" problem: a simple problem with a simple answer and a simple solution. This arrogance, with the US downplaying other viewpoints, I'm afraid actually breeds even more hatred.
    Cincinnati, OH


    I can assure you that most Americans are now completely committed to any scale of military intervention

    Chris Kent, USA
    I am a peace loving American and I fully appreciate the idea that in some ways the USA has brought this situation upon itself and that the oppression of many people is a by-product of Western Capitalism. That said, I can assure you that most Americans, including the most liberal thinkers, are now completely committed to any scale of military intervention required to eliminate the chance that such an attack may happen again. You have not in your lifetime yet seen the resolve to make war from Americans that you will shortly see.
    Chris Kent, USA

    I think most people around the world agree that what has happened is not right. I hope, that with everyone who is backing the US, and all the innocent lives, american and international, that have been lost, that the US government and people are strong enough to fight a fair battle and not hurt the children and the innocent people of whomever orchestrated this attack.
    Dawn, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

    Your comments during the programme


    A future attack could be with chemical or biological weapons unless these terrorists are stopped

    Darrel Hoerle, USA
    This is no longer a matter of revenge, it's one of self-defence. Tuesday's attack was with hijacked jets. A future attack could be with chemical or biological weapons unless these terrorists are stopped. I am confident in the steps that the Bush team has been taking in responding to these mass murderers.
    Darrel Hoerle, Jacksonville, NC, USA

    I write to you as a 54-year-old American Citizen. I am patriotic and fiercely proud of my heritage. I am angered by the attack on America's people last Tuesday and I want to see the perpetrators brought to justice. And yet, I believe that America is making a big mistake to rush into a military response as the first option in this war against terrorism.

    Now is the time to forge a world wide alliances that can combat terrorism and listen to other nations and leaders who are experienced with combating terrorism. If revenge is ultimately the strategy that Americans choose, we should remember that "Revenge is a dish best served cold."
    Jack McHenry


    Force may not lessen terrorism and may even increase the risk of more terrorist attacks

    R. Nash, Sweden
    Many Americans now back the use of force to counter terrorism. First, force may not lessen terrorism and may even increase the risk of more terrorist attacks. Second, Americans should think very carefully before causing more bloodshed both among civilians and the men and women of their armed forces. Afghanistan is a notoriously difficult country in which to carry out military operations. The British never tamed the North-West Frontier when they ruled India. The Russians finally retreated from Afghanistan after the loss of many young soldiers' lives. Surely diplomatic efforts such as those now launched by Pakistan are best?
    R. Nash, Stockholm Sweden (ex-pat)

    I have read on the internet that we should not get rid of Osama bin Laden because if you kill him, another 10 or 1,000 will rise up to replace him. Does this mean that we should not prosecute serial rapists and murderers because another 1 millions will rise up to replace them? How naive and stupid are some liberal thinking? Get him if he is guilty.
    John Lui

    There has been much talk lately about dramatic changes in the world due to the recent terrorist acts in the USA. I don't think much has changed in the lives of ordinary people in Yugoslavia, Iraq, or Russia who have experienced such things over the last two-three years. Two years ago several apartment blocks with peacefully sleeping people were blown up in Moscow, Volgodonsk, Buinaksk and some other Russian cities. Hundreds of innocent people were brutally killed. There was practically no reaction of sympathy or support from the West.
    Vladimir Krotov, Nalchik, Russia.

    In order to Lead, America needs to Learn and Listen. This is not something that can or should be resolved with indiscriminate military retaliation the outcome of which will be to cause an irreversible and catastrophic war between Muslims and Christians worldwide.
    John Symon, Datchet, UK

    I am very, very upset about the terrorists in New York and Washington which killed thousands of sinless people. I strongly condemn those who carried out the attack.
    Zia, Afganistan

    While a response of some kind to the outrage which took place in the US on Tuesday is both humanly understandable, and morally justified, I sincerely hope that this will take the form of accurately identifying those responsible and bringing them to justice, rather than randomly firing cruise missiles at whoever the "usual suspects" of the moment might happen to be.


    The problem will not be solved by adding fuel to the fire

    Kimmo Wilska, Finland
    The US would also do well to consider the contribution that the promotion of American interests around the world in recent decades might have had in the buildup of the deep hatred that has driven people to perpetrate such evil acts. The recognition of the stages of a cycle of violence does not constitute a justification of any of those stages. The problem will not be solved by adding fuel to the fire.
    Kimmo Wilska, Finland


    This whole tragedy has ripped a hole in the balance of world affairs that is truly terrifying

    Jonathan Ayre, Cyprus
    This whole tragedy has ripped a hole in the balance of world affairs that is truly terrifying. The beginning was horrific, the ending could be catastrophic. Can we honestly believe that our leaders will be able to disentangle themselves from the mass of raw emotions, and give us the wise and cool-headed guidance that is needed for the sake of humanity as a whole? I wish I felt more confident.
    Jonathan Ayre, Cyprus

    I'm not a Muslim nor an American. As an outsider, I see the whole thing as TWO tragedies, a tragedy for the innocent Americans who lost their lives, and a tragedy for those people who had been unfairly treated for years and resort to irrational violence.

    The world sympathises with Americans, but we don't want to see more tragedies and reprisals followed by reprisals. If Bush has solid evidence that Bin Laden was the mastermind of the attack, show us the evidence and get him to the court, but spare the civilians of Afghanistan and Iraq because they, like the people working at the World Trade Centre, are equally innocent.
    Shirley Lam, Hong Kong

    On a far lesser scale, certainly, but drawing the same shocked response, the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland was seen by many as a watershed in the history of the province. All were going to come together to finally put an end to terrorism. Sadly, this hoped for sea change never came and recent events show that the expressions of shock and horror were short lived.
    Joe Ryan, Paris

    This has hit us hard. At first I wanted the US make a quick military attack. But I'm glad the President is taking his time in the planning of the US response. I know many people here what immediate action. But our response has to have long term results, not immediate gratification. I'm still stunned.
    Bennie Petrey, Little Rock, USA


    I'm sad at the loss and concerned about what we will become as a result

    M. Turyn, US
    I'm sad at the loss and concerned about what we will become as a result. I'm particularly concerned about our government being more concerned with looking like they're doing something useful than actually doing so; the former will unfortunately be much easier than the latter.
    M. Turyn, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S

    My thoughts are with not only those who have lost friends, colleagues and loved ones in America but also those in Afghanistan and throughout the middle east; to those who are also innocent civilians living in fear because of actions they could neither control or want.
    Paula, cornwall, uk

    Your comments before we went ON AIR

    Realise this; if we don't sort these barbarians out once and for all by setting an example that will reverberate around the world, it could be any major city in your country next. Go for it USA, we'll be with you all the way.
    Peter (Brit.), Perth, Australia

    The war against terrorism must be won in the hearts and minds of the people whom the terrorists claim to be fighting for. America already has the sympathy of the world. By seeking a peaceful resolution - which America regularly recommends to other countries - they would cement that sympathy and make any future attacks unacceptable even to people close to the terrorists. The alternative, as history shows time and again, is a war of attrition which nobody ever wins. But this time we play for high stakes.
    Matthew Juniper, Paris, France


    War, revenge, retaliation is on everybody's mind

    G. Acciarri, Ascoli, Italy
    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. A firm search for justice and a sustained and well-coordinated effort to eradicate terrorism is a more effective response from a democratic and civilized world.
    G. Acciarri, Ascoli, Italy

    Americans are lighting candles for the innocent who lost their lives in this awful tragedy, but who will light candles for the innocent people that will die if ruthless attacks take place? Mr. Bush please put the Middle East at the top of your agenda, and not at the bottom as you did when you came into office. War-like vocabulary will not help the cause.
    franca baumann, switzerland

    While we in the Arab World felt a great deal of sadness and injustice for all the innocent civilians that were killed during the terrible attacks, I do not think that retaliation is the solution. It will only create more hatred and revenge. Isn't this what started it in the first place? We will fight terrorism, but not with terrorism.
    N.M., Egypt

    Both the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden should be dealt with immediately. It's taken a devastating attack on the US to awaken the world to what these cowardly terrorists can achieve if ignored.
    Geoff Roach, Korat Thailand

    I am truly amazed at the number of Europeans arguing for pacifism in the face of the current attacks on the US. While I'll grant that out and out vengeance and blood lust will do no good, I'll not concede that we should consider ourselves "above" using violence. The best of all possible worlds this is not, and that means that in order to enact justice the just must, from time to time, use violence. Let us, now and forever, take a stand against the cowardice of terrorism.
    Joshua Bard, Spokane, Washington, USA


    I'm sure that retaliation wouldn't change anything

    Kamilo Lorenci, Slovenia, Europe
    I'm sure that retaliation wouldn't change anything. It would only increase anti-American or anti-West feelings. US and the rest of the world that fight terrorism should ask themselves how is it possible that action like that (well planned, organised and done) wasn't foreseen by intelligence services. Attack must have been planned for months. There had to be some signs that something like this was going to happen. I think a lot more should be done in effort to prevent people from being target of such a preposterous action.
    Kamilo Lorenci, Slovenia, Europe

    All nations of the world should band together and insist all countries should not harbour terrorists. Countries hiding terrorists should have economic sanctions placed against them and their funds seized from banks. War is not the answer. We did not get Saddam in the Gulf War. Anger does not solve problems. The United States should examine their unfair Middle Eastern policies and work to bring peace through diplomacy not bombs. We need to pray that the evil doers will be turned over to U.S. authorities to preserve peace and save the lives of the innocent. We need to love and share economic wealth with others and bring up the standard of living in the third world countries.
    Margaret Sacco, Oxford, Ohio

    I am so glad to see so many people counselling caution with regard to any retaliations. The world needs to make sure that the right people are punished appropriately, and that more innocents aren't injured. I just hope that any actions taken by the governments won't lead to reprisals against ex-pats in the effected areas. Also that the people in charge are reading these messages.
    Lachlan, New Zealand

    Security on the planes needs closer look. Entry into the cockpit should be made very difficult even if the person standing outside says he has a knife pointed at someone. Now we see that the plane is not only a machine for transportation but also a missile with people on board!! Thus it needs to be handled like a dangerous machine would be handled. With extreme care and thought to consequences.
    Henryk Derek, Tomsk, Russia

    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. I ask the Americans to be patient and to pray to God. They should not let their anger control them and take ill-considered steps, especially against Arabs, in general. I am an Arab but I am shocked and I despise what happened yesterday.
    Sherif, Cairo, Egypt


    I would like to see this dealt with via police and criminal courts

    S Reeve, London, England
    How can anyone not be horrified by the death and destruction. My heart goes out to all who lost friends and family, and to those still trying to find the victims. The loss of life amongst the rescue workers was horrific also. This was a well planned, well executed strike attack to the very heart of the US, and the world must think carefully how to respond to it. Retaliation could lead to an escalation. How would we then protect ourselves against future attacks of this kind. Strip-search everyone? However, there are some people who will refuse to trust others. I would like to see this dealt with via police and criminal courts, rather than a war, as then the whole world can see what happened.
    S Reeve, London, England

    Violence is not always the answer. Hasn't history taught us that much?
    Alex Blithe, Bahrain

    Hopefully the USA doesn't react with excessive violence or vengeance. This will only make things worse and, in time, will cause other attacks and perhaps a worldwide crisis.
    Bart Vander Beken, Geraardsbergen, Belgium


    So long as people are born into lives of squalor and misery with no possible way out this will continue

    Patrick Moriarty, The Netherlands
    As long as grotesque riches coexist side by side with disgusting poverty. So long as people are born into lives of squalor and misery with no possible way out this will continue. Will President Bush have the courage and vision to look beyond the immediate (and justified) need to track down the organisers of this disgusting act?
    Patrick Moriarty, Delft, The Netherlands

    Flight safety will always be a weak link no matter how much security is employed at airports. The very nature of the industry means opportunities to breach will always be present. Having flown as a commercial pilot for many years, a simple solution that would improve security, would be to lock the cabin door to the flight deck.
    Downes, London, UK

    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. I say "yes" to more security measures and greater diplomatic work and global co-operation, "no" to the military actions. I am not a CIA expert, but the "war" against terrorism must be a subtle and thoroughly prepared act. Mr George W Bush said in his speech in presence of God: "We are a peaceful nation!" Let him and all the American nation prove it to the world.
    Mr. Ilja Flug, Coesfeld, Germany


    Complete investigation is required to find out the real criminals

    Taj Hussein Taj, Islamabad

    The whole world should react to find out those terrorist and confirm that really those men did the damage and then they should punish them. The United States is trying to put Afghanistan in trouble, but this is not justice. Nobody has taken responsibility for those attacks. Complete investigation is required to find out the real criminals.
    Taj Hussain Taj, Islamabad, Pakistan.

    We don't know yet who really did this barbaric act and why. We can't kill someone just by predicting that he is responsible for this. There are many questions here without answers. Why the Americans were watching the four jets flying miles out of their normal route without doing anything? Bill Clinton ordered the CIA to watch Osama Bin Landen in 1998. So how could Bin Laden find the time to organise such a hit?
    Haralabos Sabalis, Athens, Hellas

    Attacking Afghanistan will only worsen the problem - sowing the seeds for future violence, possibly expanding the boundaries (geographical, cultural) of conflict beyond control and bringing about a loss of lives which all of humanity would not be able to bear with. There must be a better way to combat terrorism, it might not be the swift form of justice desired (understandably so) by those who had lost but it would be a justice which we all can live with.
    Marilyn Lim, Singapore

    All around the world people are sorrowing after the terrible events in America. My heart ached to see many people who have lost friends, relatives and beloved ones and I'm praying that there will be no war declared as that would mean more innocent people dying. Of course, the perpetrators deceive to be caught and punished, but not the whole world. Violence only leads to more violence and where will it all end?.
    Phuoc Tho Nguyen, Vietnam


    When will we learn that the wrong actions today create worse problems tomorrow?

    John Mahoney, Birmingham

    We (the west) created the support for the mujahadeen in Afghanistan that created the Taliban. We (the west) quietly supported Saddam Hussein in his attack on Iran, making him a popular figure at home and possibly gave the impression the west would not interfere in other attacks. When will we learn that the wrong actions today create worse problems tomorrow. An example close to home that I remember was when British troops searched for a gunman in the markets area of Belfast. They trashed nearly every house and found nothing. Young people joined the IRA in droves. If we cannot pinpoint with absolute accuracy those who took part in this atrocious attack and those who directly supported them, then we (the west) should do nothing.
    John Mahoney, Birmingham, UK

    I'm 22 and a Muslim and I feel for those in America and over the world who have lost their friends and family. I will never understand those that are taking to the streets drunk and verbally abusing those with a brown complexion, attacking those wearing headscarves and generally using this as an excuse to vent out their own inadequacies on a target that has nothing to do with this disaster. My aunt's mosque has been firebombed and my cousin, a hijab wearing accountant, has been excommunicated by her work colleagues.
    Omar Ibrahim, Glasgow, Scotland

    What should be done for politicians to understand that terrorism is like a boomerang. USA trained terrorists to attack Russia, and now suffering the results. But not just Americans suffered, I think every human being on earth felt terrible on Tuesday. I myself couldn't stop crying for hours. I feel ashamed of being a human. God bless the ones who have lost their lives in terrorism in all over the world.
    Burcin, Istanbul, Turkey


    The USA must bring those individuals to justice who carried out the crime

    Matt Davey, UK

    The loss of innocent lives is appalling whether it be in USA, Balkans, Middle East or Africa. The USA must bring those individuals to justice who carried out the crime. But please do not let it develop into a 'war against terrorism' where thousands of already oppressed innocent lives will be lost.
    Matt Davey, UK

    Newspapers should publish for free small advertisements from local Muslims and their leaders denouncing the savage acts of terrorism perpetrated on Sept 11 in the US. This would help other community leaders in pointing out that all Muslims cannot be blamed for the actions of the few mad dogs among them.
    Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Ferguson, PA, USA

    Is it possible that 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? Such an initiative may be worth trying before "retaliation" which as we all know means more body bags for the young of all nations.
    J. Reid, Melbourne, Australia

    We all mourn and sympathise with victims of terrorism whereever they may be - in New York, Washington, Palestine, on the banks of the Blue Danube, Tigris and Euphrates, Sabra and Shattilla, Chechnya, Kosova and Kashmir. We all condemn and oppose terrorism wherever it may come from - from the rugged mountains of Afghanistan or the magnificent mansions of Pennsylvania Avenue, Downing Street or TelAviv.
    Mohan Singh, India

    The world is united when it comes to terrorism. Terrorism shall not be tolerated in any nation. I have read the views of people from all around the world here, and what the Americans have suffered in this devastating incident is quite hard for us to imagine. However, the American people should look at this incident from different angles before agreeing on what should be done.
    Leow Bok Wee, Singapore

    It's very difficult not to give in to passion for vengeance, especially when fuelled by so much patriotism. Yet that is exactly why this whole thing happened and I'm not sure why no one else sees that. We must not retaliate in any way that jeopardises the lives of any more innocent people anywhere, for clear reasons.
    Sean Patrick, Davis, USA


    Conflict and animosity never ends with an act of violence

    Jason Boyd, Boston, USA
    I am concerned that the voices asking for wisdom and compassion in the US and the rest of the world may become drowned out by the voices expressing anger many are feeling right now over these tragic events. I agree we must hold accountable the perpetrators of such violence. But we should not follow their lead and perpetrate more violence. Conflict and animosity never ends with an act of violence. Also, Americans have an opportunity to reflect on their own role in international affairs, and to hold ourselves accountable. If we cannot do this, we will not have gained any wisdom and I fear we will not act with compassion but with hate.
    Jason Boyd, Boston, USA

    It was 7.30 pm when I tuned into the news channel. The sight that greeted me was one of the most heart rending I have come across. As the scenes unfolded we could not help but wondering, if this could happen to America then what to say for the rest of the world. The very foundations of democracy have shaken. It is time the world leaders put aside their petty troubles and political pressures to do away with this menace of terrorism. The need of the hour is for the leaders to come together to resolve this problem once for all. Hope at least our children are able to live in a world which does not have to be shaken every time by a few fanatics.
    Nathan, Karaikudi,India

    I just don't understand people sometimes. Few of us can understand how someone could harm so many innocent people, but I am also troubled by an aspect of foreign reaction, especially from the UK. Many people do not like Americans, but we are talking about the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Implying (or in some cases stating openly) that we had this coming is a reaction which makes me question the humanity of our outspoken critics in the Western world.
    Michael Mills, New York, NY

    Any attacks on Muslims on either side of the Atlantic as a result of this is not only terribly wrong, it is counter productive. It will merely make people of that religion more insular and drive them into the arms of extremists. People are not bad or fanatical because of their religion. As someone who spent a number of years in Northern Ireland I plead that you do not judge people by what church door they use - no good can ever come of it.
    Stephen, Washington DC (English)


    I was at the school library when my friends came to say that NY was exploding

    Juliana de Albuquerque, Recie, Brazil
    I was at the school library when my friends came to say that NY was exploding, I had no reaction I thought it was a teenage empty joke, and didn't give attention to it. It was when I connected and saw the images of that horrid tragedy...my eyes couldn't believe on it still, the scene was so shocking that it reminded me of those old Superman films, but this time there was no superhero to save the people inside the Twin Towers, but I hope there is going to be one among our leaders that will save democracy and the occident from those atrocities.
    Juliana de Albuquerque, Recie, Brazil

    As a Turk I am really shocked after the terrorist attacks on Tuesday. I want the people to be calm and want them not to think worse about the Muslims because terrorism never has a religion, those who are involved in that wild action which is far remote from humanity can not symbolise Islam.
    Mehmet Eroglu, Konya/Turkey

    I was attending funerals at my location that Tuesday and got home tired. I watched TV with my tiredness and could not realise what was going on. But early morning on Wednesday, is when I got all the sad news. Seeing the pictures of the destroyed buildings in NY and Washington, I can believe it's happening in this world. It's like just a film. But it's really happening. This is sorrow and sad situation which everyone of us must condemn. I pray that all those who lost their lives should rest in peace.
    Mathias Mwitha, Mzuzu,Malawi


    Finland is extremely shocked and will give all the support you need!

    Noora Kassinen, Tampere,Finland
    War doesn't help anything or anyone. There isn't a "clean" war, it touches, especially in this situation, everyone. I can understand why the American people want revenge, but what does it help? The most important thing is to make sure that the boss of these acts will be caught and that this kind of thing doesn't happen EVER again. I'm really sorry for those of you who had to witness this kind of cruelty and for the victims. Finland is extremely shocked and will give all the support you need!
    Noora Kassinen, Tampere,Finland

    All sane people have condemned these barbaric attacks and the criminals who have committed this crime against humanity should be dealt with firmly, so that such acts are not repeated, but before carrying out any attacks, the USA should provide proof of the country's involvement in the suicide attacks. Nobody wants to see more innocent people losing their lives. The question, which the American people should put to themselves, is "Why have only we been attacked?" Americans must ponder over why the incidents took place rather than targeting innocent Muslims, who have nothing to do with the attacks and have joined the world in condemning them.
    Abdullah Waheed Khan, Doha, Qatar

    I'm afraid of all that...what will happen?! There are no words strong enough to describe such a thing.... These three minutes of silence in Europe are just a little thing but all prayers during that time are the best things we could do.... Hope it won't happen again.
    Olivier, Nancy (France)


    I have been a Muslim all my life and this religion teaches me to be a human. It does not teach me to terrorize other human beings

    Anuar Kassim, Singapore

    Muslims all around the world are shocked by such an event. Islam does not condone such terrible acts. The outpouring of support and condolences all around the world is only natural and Muslims too I'm sure sympathise and feel the sadness that is harbouring in America. Nevertheless, as a Muslim it seems that the support of the world seems to be one-sided. When Muslims get raped and murdered in Bosnia and Albania, no one in the West carried out candle-light vigils or special Friday prayers. When the innocence in Iraq got bombed and sanctioned until millions of children died due to malnutrition, no one cried for them. When Palestinian mothers lost their sons and Palestinian children lost their brothers and fathers, no one cried for them.
    Anuar Kassim, Singapore, Singapore

    No human life loss is without grief, I hear news of people dying everyday, it has become a way of life for people living in Middle East. When a civilised, cultured and rich nation gets wounded the mourning overwhelms the world. Why is that all humans are equal, but some humans are more equal?
    Naveed A. Jami, Karachi, Pakistan

    I am a brit who has lived in the USA since 1993. I am deeply shocked by the events of this past week. I am very upset however by the lack of coverage of people killed from other nations. The USA is in many ways a fine country but is very much an insular society the events of this week will now change that. I am also not surprised that the four jets hijacked were domestic planes. Security on internal flights is nothing short of shocking. Al you need is a driving licence to get on. This will change
    Mark Storton, Marlboro, NJ, USA


    Attack on Afghanistan is in no way the solution to the problem. Attacking and killing innocent Afghan people then is also an act of terrorism

    Sam, Tokyo

    I feel very sorry for all the Americans who lost their beloved ones in the tragic incidence. Now we need to think why did this happen in the first place. Were the foreign policies of American leaders cruel and unjust? Was the American attitude towards Muslim community unfair and biased. Were the sanctions imposed by America on different countries were for it's own political interests? America needs to think about it. Attack on Afghanistan is in no way the solution to the problem. Attacking and killing innocent Afghan people then is also an act of terrorism.
    Sam Tokyo, Japan

    On my way to a friend's bridal shower, men drove by in a truck cursing at us because we were apparently Muslims. My Muslim sisters have considered taking their scarves off just so they don't have to don't have to endure the anger against Muslims that has been cultivating inside the hearts of non-Muslims over time- even before Tuesday's tragedy occurred. Now is when people's true colours show.
    Saara Patel, Chicago, USA

    I am a British-Tunisian Muslim, who was subjected to horrendous acts of terror from the Libyan regime and survived despite being left to die in a bath of my own blood mixed with that of other victims. The regime was Muslim, but was Islam the culprit? No, the criminal act was committed by brain washed individuals to whom the sanctity of life meant absolutely nothing. I was treated inhumanely alongside many others, in the name of humanity, unity and Islam. All of which were the ideals of the men who came to spread terror at dawn. Does Islam condone acts of terror, murder or suicide even to a particular group of people? No.
    Ben Lahouel, UK


    War is not a good settlement. Find the real attackers and judge them

    Erliana, Malaysia

    I hope Mr President will think twice before make any decision because it will effect to the world. Please, do not start a war it is really tragic. War is not a good settlement. Find the real attackers and judge them. Do not make anyone else who is innocent involve in this kind of problem.
    Erliana, KPilah Malaysia

    I urge US leaders to think twice before attacking in haste. Those who attacked us on our own soil without provocation have started a war that the US has every intention of finishing. However, we must have proof of those responsible before any action is taken.
    Penny, Houston, USA

    As I watched television, I was moved to tears to see and hear the Star Spangled Banner played at Buckingham Palace yesterday. What an incredible gift and show of support. We are brothers and sisters and your country's friendship and prayers mean more than you will ever know. This attack affects us all. Thank you and God bless you all.
    Bill, USA

    Terrorism knows no religion and it is unfair to state that only "Islamic terrorism" exists in this world. Indeed those who kill innocent people in the name of Jihad are inhuman and misguided. But Islam has been unfairly portrayed in the western media for many decades and now almost equated with terrorism. Every bearded Muslim is not a fanatic waiting to kill Westerners alone and every woman wearing a hijab is not oppressed. The so-called 'mujahids' it must be realised are as much a threat to Muslims as peace loving people worldwide. The international media has to play its role by removing prejudices and unbiased reporting. Communication between the people of the Islamic world and the West must be increased and improved now, more than ever before.
    Amena Khan, Islamabad, Pakistan

    The percentage of Muslims actually involved in terrorism is about as small as the percentage of small-minded people who equate Muslims with terrorism and their actions can be as harmful as the terrorists themselves. What is the reaction of the religious community of Muslims to this backlash by a small fraction of the non-Muslim world? Is it viewed as a real threat?
    Matt Williams, Chicago, USA

    While I agree that there must be retribution for this terrible act of inhumanity, the response must be clinical and focused. I believe that if the whole thing is not handled carefully we could end up playing into the hands of these fanatics. It would seem that Bin Laden's aim is to try and start a global Jihad, with all Muslims against the USA and her allies. Can we imagine the wholesale slaughter that he may be hoping he can trigger? Does he care? I doubt he cares about his fellow Muslims. Everyone tells me that the Koran preaches peace, so where does his mandate come from, and why don't the Muslim nations do something about this evil antichrist figure, who only wants to start a world conflict.
    Andy, Northampton, UK

    The genuine outrage felt even by traditional detractors of the US offers an unprecedented opportunity for cooperation. But it should not be abused by rash military action. That will alienate already antagonistic populations, even if initially endorsed by their scared governments. Instead, the US needs to be brave and do what might stick in their throats. They needs to coerce governments known to be soft on terrorism to take a harder line and stamp it out. And, I'm afraid, negative force such as military action and sanctions won't be enough. The US, and its allies, is going to have to offer positive support and new flexibility and consideration in their dealings in the Middle East and elsewhere. This may seem like the terrorists will have won but it's terrorism we need to fight, not the seeds of contention which the water of fanaticism grow into monsters of the sort we saw in New York.
    Gideon Summerfield, London, UK

    Twelve years ago, my history lecturer said he thought the most dangerous threat to world peace after the Cold War would be religious fundamentalism. He'd spent a lifetime studying the precedents of war. I have not slept all week for worrying. Please, God, don't let Bush do anything rash, even though we all want to see the culprits bought to justice.
    Katie, UK


    The world sits in shock as we all wonder what kind of people would do this to other human beings

    Julia, Minnesota, USA
    The world sits in shock as we all wonder what kind of people would do this to other human beings. I am saddened by the act of violence. I don't believe that retaliation in the form of war is the moral thing to do. Would that make us any different from these terrorists? Whatever nationality these people are, it's just a few of them who made this decision and their countrymen have really got nothing to with it and should not be made to suffer.
    Julia, Minnesota, USA

    As a Canadian who travels frequently in the US on business, I am saddened, scared and sickened by these events. I feel a profound anger towards these aggressors along with a burning desire for revenge. Nonetheless, calm heads must prevail. It is obvious that Bush feels very pressed to produce heads on a platter for the American public. I'm afraid Bin Laden (despicable cowardly terrorist that he is) may be incorrectly blamed. Personally I don't think his organisation is sophisticated enough to have pulled it off.
    Michael, Toronto, Canada

    Although I was not in any way related to the people who were killed in the attacks, I want the people of Britain to know how appreciated your kind words and deep sympathies have been. Strangely enough, at times like these, in times of great tragedy, many people, especially those who have been directly affected, feel alone and helpless. The outpouring of support and warmth from the people of Britain, and, indeed, from the rest of the world, has helped, I think, many Americans to feel not so lonely or scared. We are one world, sharing and helping when we can, and it is unfortunate that a tragedy such as this is needed to remind us of our modern world community. Many, many thanks.
    Chris Huff, Napa, CA, USA


    The West has an obligation to remove the monster they have created in South Asia

    Joseph Bindloss, London, UK
    I recently visited northern Pakistan and saw first hand at UNHCR camps the awful plight of Afghan refugees fleeing the Taleban regime in Afghanistan. The Taleban came to power partly as a result of US and European foreign policy during the Cold War, and Afghanistan has since become the world's premier training ground for terrorist groups, with the complicit knowledge and assistance of the Taleban government in Kabul and Kandahar. Regardless of whether Osama Bin Laden is involved in the horrendous attacks on the US, the West has an obligation to remove the monster they have created in South Asia, which has set itself up as a nursery for terror. My heartfelt sympathy and regret goes out to the American people. Today is a day when not just the West, but also the Islamic world must look very seriously at how it interacts with the rest of the world.
    Joseph Bindloss, London, UK

    As a true Muslim I strongly condemn these barbaric acts of terror, yet I recommend the American people look within and ask their current administration: Why Mr Bush strongly advocates this "New Defence Programme" called Star Wars? What are the steps taken by this administration to ensure the security and prosperity of the normal American citizen?
    Selim, Cairo, Egypt

    I was born in Iran of an Iranian father and American mother and moved to the USA. This attack so incenses me because it and other terrorist actions have been promulgated and supported by countries all over the world, including my own birthplace. The cruel reality is that we can only eliminate terrorism not by giving in and giving up, but by taking the fight directly to the terrorists.
    Davoud Zahedi, Cambridge, USA

    This is a time for reflection. Violence leads to violence, no matter what feelings might arise inside those who are hurt. The poorer are getting poorer everyday, and the richer are getting richer. While some have enough to spare, many more are starving or dying. Letting our fellow men starve is violence. Prejudice is violence. The attacks we testified this week are violence, too. That's enough. Let's start thinking about getting together and sharing.
    Mônica Franco Jacintho, São Paulo, Brazil


    Retaliation is necessary

    Chris Ashworth, Basingstoke, UK
    Retaliation is necessary. You can see from the haste with which organisations are denying responsibility, they are afraid of US retaliation. What is needed is a swift, precise strike against Bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan. His organisation must be crushed. It does not matter whether or not he was behind Tuesday's horror, he is a known terrorist and the sooner the world unites to rid itself of this evil, the better.
    Chris Ashworth, Basingstoke, UK

    While feeling tremendous sorrow at the tragic loss of so many lives, I also feel great anger at the re-scheduling of the traditional Proms programme. At a time such as this, when Britain is in danger of being dragged into conflict, I feel that a good dose of "Land of Hope and Glory" and "Rule Britannia", is not at all inappropriate. After all many of us watched the US Senate singing "God Bless America" on the steps of the House of Representatives yesterday.
    Nicola Mackenzie, Chelmsford, UK

    I think that the US should stop funding terrorist groups before the British government helps out. Remember that the US supported the group that took over Afghanistan that gave birth to the Taliban.
    Dominic, London, UK


    Now we must all sit down and talk

    C. Ashwell, UK
    I agree with A. King, UK, in that the best response is to consider WHY people are driven to do commit such barbaric acts. The terrorists who have killed so many innocents in New York will have felt they were responding in kind to Western acts of terror in Iraq and Palestine. This was their retaliation - now we must all sit down and talk.
    C. Ashwell, UK

    No one is entitled to make any judgements! We are dealing with an 'unseen enemy'... we should not be pointing the finger at anyone until we KNOW who is behind this. We should be acting as a collective. If this happened to us or another country, surely we would back each other up. If we stand alone then a small minority who hide under the guise of 'terrorists' have won.
    Cathie, England

    America needs to do two things. Firstly, it should punish those directly responsible for this dreadful tragedy, and show them that this kind of terrorism will not be tolerated. Secondly, and more importantly, it needs to have a good hard look at itself and ask why so many people around the world have a hatred of America. Anger towards the country is not just confined to the Middle East - it is getting more and more prevalent throughout the world. Until America addresses and resolves this problem, there will always be another Bin Laden to take his place.
    Ollie Wordsworth, Auckland, New Zealand


    Words cannot express my pain and anger

    Eric Yablonowitz, London, UK
    I am an American (from the Washington DC area) living in London. Words cannot express my pain and anger. But I have to react to my fellow American, Steven Driver and others who have written disgusting, arrogant, and isolationist comments. The events of Tuesday are a clear indication of how Americans can't afford this sort of attitude. I feel strongly that we must respond potently to what's been done to us. And we surely will. But if we do it with ignorance and arrogance, we only invite further hate.
    Eric Yablonowitz, London, UK

    Proceed with caution and careful consideration of the consequences of action.
    Jamie, London, UK

    Never in the history of the world has such a tragic and senseless loss of life prompted such global consensus towards the eradication of terrorism and those who foster it. Now is the time to make this a truly global community and strategically destroy the plague that will from this day forth, haunt the lives of each and every one of us. God bless humanity and the families of those who were taken.
    Paul Ridge, Adelaide, Australia

    To all who want the US to work the diplomatic front: get your heads out of the sand, wake up, get a good dose of reality. With a possible body count of 20,000, I say we hunt the people responsible and kill them all. That would be the only justice. Brutal? I hope so. Revenge? Most definitely.
    Paul Disney, USA


    The attacks on New York and Washington is a moment in time which will divide human history into two

    Rajiv Mohanraj, Glasgow, UK
    The attacks on New York and Washington is a moment in time which will divide human history into two. Everything from international relations to domestic air travel to global finance will from now be pre and post Manhattan. It has changed the city of New York beyond recognition. It has scarred the psyche of USA for a generation. But it has also changed the way each of us sees the world and each other. While strident calls for retribution are understandable and indeed some form of retaliation would be essential even, for the healing of a nation's wounds; maybe someone should try and find out what caused this hatred in the first place. Because, as long as it continues to exist, eradicating one Bin Laden will only spawn a hundred more.
    Rajiv Mohanraj, Glasgow, UK

    It is important to realise that we cannot afford to risk more innocent lives in retaliation. An innocent life is an innocent life regardless of its country of origin. I urge Americans to refrain from making others their scapegoat. Why add more hatred to the pot? It is a comfort to hear and feel the world's sympathy for the people who have died and have lost loved ones.
    Sharon, Connecticut, USA


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