TRAGEDY
Reverberations were heard around the world when terrorist actions in the United States brought about the deaths of more than 5,000 innocent people last September 11.

The media has been providing almost constant coverage of events, then and since. Viewpoints on what happened, why it happened, who caused the events to happen, and what should now be done about them vary widely.

This issue of D&D offers a small selection of these viewpoints -- as well as a few that are so exceptional that they bear repeating. The reader should bear in mind that, while this newspaper endeavours to provide a forum for divergent voices, they do not necessarily reflect the views held by D&D. You are invited to read these views and then arrive at your own conclusions.

Not in our son's name

Greg Rodriguez is among the many who are missing as a result of the September 11 attack on New York's World Trade Centre. His parents, Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez, have since shared moments of grief, comfort, hope, despair and memories with family members and friends.

They see their hurt and anger reflected on the faces of those they meet. They cannot bear to follow the daily flow of news emblazoned everywhere. But they read enough to realise that their government is heading in the direction of violent revenge. They see the prospect of sons and daughters, parents and friends, in distant lands, dying, suffering and nursing further grievances against the U.S.

"It is not the way to go," they wrote in a letter to the New York Times. "It will not avenge our son's death. Not in our son's name."

They blame "an inhuman ideology" for their son's death; and they do not want U.S. actions to serve the same purpose.

Let us grieve, they say. Let us reflect. Let us pray. Let us think about a rational response that brings real peace and justice to our world. But let us not, as a nation, add to the inhumanity of our times.

"Your response to this attack does not make us feel better about our son's death," they wrote in a letter to President George W. Bush. "It makes us feel that our government is using our son's memory as a justification to cause suffering for other sons and parents in other lands.

"It is not the first time that a person in your position has been given unlimited power and came to regret it. This is not the time for empty gestures to make us feel better. It is not the time to act like bullies.

"We urge you to think about how our government can develop peaceful, rational solutions to terrorism -- solutions that do not sink us to the inhuman level of terrorists."