Monday, September 17, 2007

We Choose Death Because We Love Life

17 September 2007

Susan and I watched Oliver Stone’s
World Trade Center together last night.

There is much that could be said for this well-made movie, but I wish only to comment on one point.

The terrorist suicide hijackers who commandeered the passenger jetliners into the

World Trade Center chose death for themselves and their innocent victims (from 87 countries around the world) because they chose to commit their lives to the hate-based principle that their distorted version of the Islamic faith must dominate not only the Muslim world, but all of the earth.

Thus the terrorists, who proclaimed their love of death in the name of their so-called faith, demonstrated to the world their power to increase chaos and suffering not only in their immediate environment, but in environments far removed from their homelands.

What struck me in watching this movie was the stark contrast between the means by which these hate-filled individuals chose death for themselves and their victims, and the courageous rescuers at ground zero of the attack site, who also chose death on September 11, 2001 – but for a profoundly different reason.

What is particularly exemplary about the movie is that it does not deign to tell the terrorists' story at all, even indirectly, making them entirely peripheral and thus unimportant to the storyline.

The volunteers and rescuers who sacrificed their lives on that fateful day to attempt to assure the evacuation of the towers did so because they loved life so much that they were willing to die so that others might live.

In contrast, the hijackers (never portrayed by Stone) chose to die so that others might die.

What utterly irreconcilable motives.

Terrorists choose death because they hate life and love death.

Heroes choose death because they love life.

Let us never forget the right and the wrong occasions to choose death. My side is with the heroes, every time, and always against the terrorists.

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