Acts of Cowardice
By Jonathan Elendu  Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston and
America woke up on the morning of Tuesday, September 11 to an unprecedented terrorist attack on its soil. It was the worst case of man's inhumanity to man perpetrated on American soil. The twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan were struck, on two separate but synchronized attacks, by airplanes. This was part of a larger terrorist attack on the United States of America. The Pentagon was also struck by an airplane. An explosion was also reported at the US Capitol. All together, four commercial airliners were hijacked for these attacks. While three struck their targets, one of the planes crashed at a corn field near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There were over two hundred passengers and at least thirty-three crew members aboard these airliners.Nearly a year ago, just after the bombing of the USS Cole, I wrote an article chronicling the various tragedies that had taken place last October, starting with the violence on the streets of Gaza. I was heartbroken by 
the violence that claimed the lives of innocent men, women, and children. These people became victims of a war they had little knowledge of, and could hardly influence. These recent attacks on America is as cowardly as the attacks on the USS Cole.There is a saying by my people: "Sane people don't throw stones into a crowded area." The commonsensical reason for this is that when you throw stones into a crowd, there is a chance it may fall on the head of your family member or friend. Obviously those who carried out these attacks did not care whether they hit their kith and kin. There is also an old cliche that says: "One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter." No one, who was involved in these cowardly attacks, can be called anybody's freedom fighter; these were cowards who hid behind women and children.I have always associated the act of fighting with soldiers. Soldiers fight wars. The men and women behind these attacks are not soldiers; either for their faith, beliefs, or ideals. Hijacking planes with innocent men, women and children aboard, and smashing those airplanes into buildings where civilians work cannot be considered acts of bravery. What faith, what ideals, what freedom can benefit from the loss of lives of women, children and harmless men?The whole world must come together, shout from their rooftops in condemnation of these dastardly acts. The entire world must show its outrage. We must unite against whoever is behind these acts. The men and women connected, in anyway, to the planning and execution of these attacks must find no succor or comfort anywhere on the face of this planet. There must be no hiding place for these cowards.Sometimes I wonder how God would rate some of his creations. Would he be smiling down on us in pride or would his tears flood the world as he regrets that his highest creation is the most destructive in the nature family? Man is the only member of the nature family that attacks without provocation and with extreme brutality. Some have claimed that these attacks may have been motivated by America's policies. This is argument is unbelievable. Some of us have disagreed with American policies from time to time but that in no way justifies the killing of innocent men, women and children. These people were no policy makers and therefore could not be held culpable. I thought that visiting a father's sin on his children was limited to the Old Testament.It is easy to see that this is somehow linked to the Middle East. While it could be argued that this would not have happened if the Clinton Administration had achieved peace in the Middle East, I posit that the perpetrators of these acts are the same people who have worked against any form of peace in the Middle East. They do not want peace. Their very existence is dependent on the suffering, maiming and killing of the innocent.This attack on America is an attack on all lovers of freedom and indeed the entire human race.No member of the human community should condone these outrageous acts carried out by the lowest of the human race; scum of the earth. The men and women involved in these cowardly acts, whoever they are, wherever they are, have murdered sleep. There must be no resting place for them, they shall not know peace. Never!I was shocked to read in a Nigerian newspaper that some people in the northern state of Zamfara, Nigeria took to the streets to celebrate these acts of terrorism on American cities. I have refrained from commenting on the Sharia matter in Northern Nigeria for the simple reason that I believe religion is a personal affair. If those idiots on the streets of Zamfara represent the face of Sharia, I regret that I come from the same country with them. The government and people of Nigeria must condemn these acts of cowardice. The governor of Zamfara State should hide his head in shame. On a personal note: Readers of my commentries in, especially my writings on the Chandra Levy and Gary Condit saga, would be familiar with the name Barbara Olsen. She is the conservative commentator and lawyer whom I have criticized from time to time. I disagreed with her positions on the Chandra Levy-Gary Condit affair. I was shocked beyond words when CNN reported that she was killed in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Ms. Olsen, it was, that brought to the knowledge of the world, the weapons used by the cowards who attacked America.As her plane was hijacked, Ms. Olsen called her husband, Ted Olsen, the Solicitor General of America, and told him what was going on and asked for instructions for the pilots and the crew.Her courage, in the face of fire, was an act of heroism. I have received emails from Nigeria and Europe telling me of Ms. Olsen's demise. I never met Barbara Olsen. I disagreed with her position on many issues. My heart goes out to her husband, Ted, their children and indeed the entire Olsen family. I grieve with all the families whose lives have been touched by these acts of cowardice. I feel like I lost a part of my family. Barbara, wherever you are, I doff my hat to you. You were one great lady. I wish I had known you. God be with you always. Elendu is a contributing editor of and