The 9-11 attacks were carried out because of a lack of “empathy” for others’ suffering on the part of al-Qaida, whose terrorist ideology “grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair,” President Obama once explained in largely unreported comments eight days after the mega-terror attacks that rocked the nation.
Obama went on to imply the September 11th attacks were in part a result of U.S. policy, lecturing the American military to minimize civilian casualties in the Middle East and urging action opposing “bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle-Eastern descent.”
“Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we, as a nation, draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy,” Obama wrote in a piece about 9-11 published on Sept. 19, 2001, in Chicago’s Hyde Park Herald.
The politician continued: “Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must re-examine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks and we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction,” wrote Obama.
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“We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity or suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, it may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics.