By Ronald C. Tobin, Chair-Founder
As Endorsed by the Philosophers Guild Executive Staff
As I am certain most readers of THE THOUGHT know, the Philosophers Guild, since its founding on 19 February, 1985, has never before been faced with a situation in which it was deemed prudent to issue any sort of Official Statement in the name of the Guild. As I am also certain all of our readers are quite aware of, on the morning of 11 September, 2001, the United States suffered one of the most devastating terrorist attacks in the history of the World. Four passenger jets filled with jet fuel (very flammable material) and passengers were hijacked: Two hit the World Trade Center and brought both towers down, one hit the Pentagon across the Potomac from DC, and one crashed in a deserted field in Pennsylvania. It is rumored that, on that final plane, the passengers tried to retake control of the plane. Apparently they succeeded just enough to crash it and avoid further loss of life.
We of the Philosophers Guild Executive want to make this perfectly clear to ALL who read these words: As libertarians and/or seekers of true freedom, we are opposed to terrorism in ALL its forms, be it physical (as was the case on 11 September) or psychological, individual/religion-driven or state-sponsored. While we certainly agree with the right of self-defense, we do not support anyone or any cause that initiates the use of fraud and/or force to achieve their goals. Those who do initiate such use, via acts of terrorism or in any other fashion, should be brought to justice.
We politely remind the governments of the world, especially that of the United States, that justice will only be served by finding and eliminating those who were actually involved and/or knowingly supported these
Despicable attacks. Casualties among those who had nothing to do with these events would be a travesty in itself, an act of state terrorism every bit as unacceptable as what transpired on 11 September, 2001.
We mourn for the thousands of dead. Be advised that the 127th issue of THE THOUGHT is dedicated to the memory of the victims who perished in these attacks.
While denouncing the terrorist attacks of 11 September, we also denounce the psychological act of terrorism that took place between Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell on the 700 Club. These alleged 'men of God' outright blamed pagans, gays, lesbians, the ACLU, abortionists, and People for the American Way as being responsible for those attacks, allegedly by displeasing 'God' and causing said deity to lift his protection from the United States. As if such a "Mandate of Heaven" really existed. Falwell did half-heartedly apologize, but what these men did could have inspired attacks on people who obviously had nothing at all to do with this.
We also want to remind the American people that just because someone is from the Middle East or practices Islam does NOT make them a terrorist. Terrorists come in all colors, all faiths, and all walks of life.
This concludes the first Official Statement issued by the Philosophers Guild. It is my sincere hope that we will never have cause to issue another one.
[This Statement originally appeared in the November/December 2001 issue of THE THOUGHT.]