Our reader Henry W. Freitag: Terrorism Letter to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, to the leaders of all the nations of the world and to all religious leaders

There are not enough bombs, rockets and bullets in the world to stop terrorism. You kill one and you created two! There is a better way!

Who is the writer? I am 72 years old living Canada and made my living by working, learning and understanding the world. In my younger days I worked in many places around the world and benefitted from a practical education in the school of life. I was fortunate to meet all kinds of individuals of all kinds of faiths and races. For me it was a learning experience which helped me to understand other nations, religions and other races. I grew up during World War II in Germany. I had to learn how to use a rifle, a machine gun and other weapons. This was not my desire but it was Hitler’s desire. My mother and I ended up in a concentration camp. I lost my mother in this holocaust and became a man in the moment I found my mother murdered. I survived the bombs and Hitler’s Gestapo. Under the law of averages I should have been killed at least five times. Later I immigrated to Canada in search of peace, liberty and freedom. By now I have a very good understanding of what people will do for liberty and freedom. There is nothing worse than to be forced to do things and to be the underdog. The events of September 11, 2001 were crimes; criminal acts against innocent people. What was the cause? A review of history can provide clues to the answer and help us to create a blueprint for change. Superpowers have their own history. Witness the Egyptians, the Chinese, Alexander the Great, the Romans, Napoleon Bonaparte, The English, Hitler, Stalin, and now the United States of America. Most of these superpowers were not destroyed from the outside, but from the inside. The "better worlds" that were promised or presented by every superpower have crumbled from disappointment and failure and the lack of contentment of the masses. Sooner or later there will be another Superpower and the United States will follow suit. Here are a few thoughts for change: I think it is in our collective best interest to avoid the history of superpower. We should build up our United Nations (UN) to a respectable all- nation assembly where there are no veto powers permitted. All nations should have free but secret voting rights so that larger and/or more powerful nations are unable to suppress the smaller and/or less powerful nations. The resolutions of the UN have to be enforced by a UN police service. The service should have all the best equipment and multinational representation. Individual Nations should be compelled to destroy all weapons from a machine-gun up. In this way the money that is now spent on weapons will be available for food, medicine and other essentials and "luxuries" such as early retirement for all individuals on this earth. What is "terrorism"? For some it is the only way out of bondage, repression and slavery. For others it is an easy way to eliminate a nation unfriendly to them by setting up an organization, training, providing arms and other supports to accomplish a goal. Whatever the definition, most agree that terrorism must stop. Back to history. Terrorism has been around for ages as it has been an effective tool. As we see today, murderers and so-called terrorists have become Nobel Prize winners and have been made honourable members of society. In 1946 Menachem Begin blew up the King David Hotel when it was full of British nurses. The purpose was to force the Brits out of Palestine. His Irgun perpetrated the massacre at Deir Yassin in April of 1948. The Palestinians fled. Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) brought terror to South Africa. Mandela, through the ANC necklaced its enemies with gasoline-soaked tires and burned them to death. Today these murderers are honourable (or honoured) citizens; welcome to address parliaments of free and democratic countries. These examples show us how a terrorist is a loser if their cause is lost and a hero if their cause is won. Back to history. The Holy War fought by the Knights of Christian Europe against Muslems – popularly known as the Crusades -- started in about the year 1000 and lasted 300 years (or is it still going on?) The Holy Christian warriors plundered the middle East, killed the people if they did not bow before the Cross. Later the British Empire and other imperialistic European nations went all over the world colonizing and subjugating the natives, forcing Christianity on the people and, in general, enslaving the lands they called their colonies. This we all know took place in Africa, Asia, Middle East, America and in the South Pacific. The World is asking why is there terrorism? Why did they bomb the USA on September 11? If we can identify the root cause, we will know how to act against (and hopefully stop) terrorism and we can hope for peace. My advise to the leaders of all countries –big or small; superpower or not– is that we all must live by the rule of law. We have the United Nations (UN) and the International Human Rights Code. The mechanisms are already in place for peaceful coexistence. Let us live by the international institution and law that we already have. Some other thoughts: As it will undoubtedly take some time for the UN to be revamped, it would be safer and more sensible to return to a more stable balance of power in the world. It would be worthwhile for the European Union (EU) to encompass all nations in Europe including Poland, the Balkans, the Ukraine and Russia. As Britain has been somewhat reluctant in its enthusiasm for the EU and as it has recently demonstrated a very warm relationship with the United States, Britain may not necessary be a part of this new EU. The new EU should sever its commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) thereby reducing the power and influence of the United States and providing a better balance of American and European powers. As we recently discovered, China is also against terrorism and is willing to play a role in world security. So let China be a part of this new and expanded EU. Even with the existing structure of the UN, following September 11, the USA should have brought their facts before the UN and also before the International Court of Justice and both institutions would have acted accordingly without the risk of further, world-wide calamity that we now face. After all, by current international law, Britain and the USA have acted as aggressors against Afghanistan.

Henry W. Freitag Canada

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