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.
“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.