The Words of the Smith Family

Revenge or Retaliation or Self Defense

Mike Smith
September 25, 2001

Many AFC representatives have brought to my attention the fact that there appears to UC/FFWP theological confusion concerning the response the United States of America has chosen to take in response to the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks on thousands of innocent civilians from over eighty nations through the bombing of the World Trade Center (WTC). I would normally not comment on such since I am not a trained theologian. However since the genesis of this crisis seems to be a result of misapplied theology. (See Bin Laden), I feel we do need public debate on the pronouncements of those who present themselves as particularly informed by revelation and theology and who pronounce themselves as representing God's viewpoint on policy.

People have repeated a statement recently attributed to East Garden "the elder brother should not attack the younger brother," as the preeminent guiding principle in the consideration of a response to the terrorist bombing of the WTC. I submit that the above "principle" does not apply to this situation since the younger brother, in this case, the innocents of over eighty nations, were attacked first. The principle states that Satan always attacks first and then God's side responds. I submit that in this case the elder brother should defend the younger brother from terrorists. What is the current American response? I think this too has been mischaracterized by some FFWP/UC leaders as "The US has chosen to go to wage war against the younger brother (Smaller nations.)" As America's Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said today "This is NOT about revenge or retaliation this is about self defense. We are taking the fight to the terrorists. They do not live in big office buildings. They live in the shadows. They are getting help from many who should not be helping them. The US intends to defend itself by going after those who have perpetrated this terror now and those who have committed acts of terror in the past. Our objective is not to remove any particular regime it is to go after the terrorists who perpetrated these barbaric acts of terror.... "

I would like to point out that the US already embraces the Judeo Christian and principled view of charity and compassion and more than any other nation in the world the principle of the brotherhood of humanity which includes Muslim peoples (see the words at Statue of Liberty Park ). Last year the USA donated $140 million dollars of humanitarian food and medical aid to Afghanistan and we are continuing to provide humanitarian aide to the Afghan refugees even now. US policy as expressed by the President embraces the concept of self defense and justice which are universal principles represented in the Bible, the Torah and the Koran.

How is it that while eighty nations plus, including the home of Islam, Saudi Arabia, support our efforts to defend ourselves and to bring the terrorists who perpetrated this horrific attack on the WTC to justice but some UC/FFWP and related organization officials are speaking against the current US policy of self defense by labeling it as offensive? I would submit that if in 1950s and before that in the 1940s America and the UN forces had followed the proposed "The elder brother should never attack the younger brother" principle being espoused that there would have been no Unification Church or FFWP because there would be one united Communist Korea with no freedom of religion, since America would not have "attacked" the aggressing North Korean army and liberated South Korea.

American foreign policy has not always been perfectly aligned with the principles espoused in the sacred texts of today's world religions, however in our current reponses to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. I believe we are acting just in pursuing the perpetrators of the terrorist acts of September 11. Yes this is also a teachable moment when the pursuit of peace can be advanced by convening conferences that promote dialogue in the pursuit of harmony among competing religious, ethnic and racial groups. The vigorous pursuit of the terrorists responsible for the acts against humanity on September 11 does not in any way preclude the simultaneous vigorous pursuit of harmony among all peoples.

Mike Smith

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