Why was America attacked? Kids speak on the war

Posted: Nov 01, 2001 12:00 AM
Why did 19 Islamic extremist terrorists attack America on Sept. 11, 2001? Why do so many hate America? Here's how some American children answered those questions. Josh, age 12: "I just think (Osama bin Laden) needs to find something a little bit like the Nazis did, and he thinks that because of the Iraqi War that he has a reason to blame the U.S., and, I don't know, he has some amount of hatred bottled up in him because of all the poverty in his country." Caitlin, age 11: "I think we were attacked because they don't understand that we are a free country, and they're jealous of that, and they're jealous that we'll work together no matter what. And I think they're just a little bit scared of us and they don't want to be." Brent, age 13: "The reason they decided to attack us is that they're jealous of us. Everybody says that 'Oh, America's great' because we're one of the few countries that has total freedom ... we have religious freedom, it's pretty much an equal playing field for all people. In Afghanistan, that's not the way it is. Right now, they're holding four people captive just because they're trying to teach their own religion. So I think that Osama bin Laden is upset with us because I think he and his people are jealous of us because we have everything and we're willing to share it with everybody." Garen, age 14: "We organized a memorial with a couple other schools at the beach. These two girls came up and quoted the Dalai Lama, 'Obviously, we have not learned from our mistakes.' Basically, in all the media, everybody was implying that we were not compassionate enough and that it was our mistake. This is a typical example of victimizing the evil. They wanted to attack our freedom, our democracy, our equal opportunity, and the terrorists are simply using oppression as a scapegoat." Brandon, age 11: "I think this has been happening because, in our country, we have so much freedom that we can do whatever we want. We have religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of everything. And Osama bin Laden is just one of those people who really doesn't like to be nice to people, because he doesn't really have the nice qualities that the people in the United States have because of our freedom." Dennis, age 11: "These people did this because they are either jealous or they don't believe in our freedom, and they don't believe in our morals and values of this country. And, obviously, they didn't have parents like me who taught them not to resolve problems by doing bad things or actions." Nicholas, age 12: "It happened because we have more power and we are helping Israel and they don't like that. We also have a lot of American people and other sources in bases in Saudi Arabia and other countries, and they don't really want us in there, and they don't like that." Kay, age 16: "The reason that this happened is because of the way that these people were brought up and the way that they think, and how much power Osama bin Laden has over the people of Afghanistan, and the power he has over their way of life -- because of all the money he has and how he can control the government that way. Toby, age 13: "In light of everything that's happened, how horrible it is, it's really exciting to know how America is getting past it and really coming together. I think this is really great. I've heard other people say, 'Oh, how could we fight?' and 'How could we do this?' I don't agree with this. We need to get past it, and realize that this country was founded with a war, and when it's necessary we have to go in and fight." Vanessa, age 13: "I think that Afghanistan is just mad that we are supporting Israel, and the fact that we are more rich than them and we have resources that they want. I think this is a time for us to really cling together and realize that this isn't against a religion -- this is just against like George Bush said, evil. And we should actually thank God every day that we are setting foot on earth, because a lot of people don't cherish that enough." Jordan, age 11: "I just think, I'm pretty sure of it, they think we are evil. They think we have evil ways, and the way we go through life, how people are rich here, more people who are rich and our government is just better than theirs. And they think God is looking down on them and saying, 'Good job.' They think we're evil and that God is going to bring them to heaven."