One year ago today, my country was roused from its belief that it was untouchable. One year ago, the first blow in what I believe will be World War III was struck against an unsuspecting nation. One year ago, many people lost their lives to a hate attack. Not because of who they were, but because of where they were.

Yes, I'm referring to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. In an act of unspeakable hatred, 19 people sacrificed their lives to kill thousands of complete strangers, whose only crime was that they happened to be in the United States, whether as a citizen or as a visitor. The attackers didn't care. Their mission was to kill as many of their hated enemy as possible, and if non-combatants and allies were in the way, then so be it. Well, they succeeded. There's no denying that.

But what they didn't count on was that they'd be responsible for starting the third world war in one hundred years. Has the WW3 started yet? Yes and no.

No, it hasn't officially been declared yet, but it can't be denied that we are on the path to oblivion. President Bush, though his intentions are good, wants to put his name in the history books as the man that wiped out terrorism. Fine. If someone wants to be in the history books, that's fine. But he's doing it for the wrong reasons and the wrong way.

Mr. Bush has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for close to a year now, and what has it gotten us? The only positive thing I can think of is that it's rid us of the Taliban; a group of Nazi-esque religious zealots that had no toleration for anyone or anything that was different or out of their control. Did it save us from more terrorist attacks? Possibly... Truthfully, the world may never know. Despite the actions that we've taken to be prepared for an attack, our enemies (as all enemies of all men in all countries throughout history have done) are preparing to launch attacks in an unexpected way, one that we cannot be prepared for. There is nothing to stop this. Nothing.

It's the same battle network security specialists fight every day: you prepare a defense system to protect yourself, but for each method that you devise, there are perhaps a half dozen methods of attack that are still open, and two dozen people looking for those new attack methods. The war we fight is not futile, we just need to fight it in a different way.

Hatred and violence cannot be fought successfully with hatred and violence. Peace through superior tactics and/or firepower leads to bitter hatred, and longer term violence. The only true solution is to try to find a common ground, and build upon that commonality. Teach and practice tolerance, acceptance, and cooperation to overcome our differences.

Mr. Bush does not seem to understand this. He would rather go off and attack Iraq, because that country represents a threat to his authority. It is also a loose thread in his father's legacy that he wants to eliminate. His reasons for wanting to attack Iraq are more personal than rational. Why not send the UN weapon inspectors back into Iraq, with an armed escort instead of threatening to attack?

I am afraid that any attack upon Iraq at this time, will indeed lead to a third world war. I don't say this because I don't think we could handle a war with Iraq. But I say it because the Arab countries in the area are already highly upset with the United States, Mr. Bush in particular, for our activities in Afghanistan. Further more, they are angry at our continued favoring of Israel despite Sharon's blatant racism and genocidal intentions. I find it very strange that there was peace in the Middle East before President Bush took office, at the end of Mr. Clinton's term, yet since that time there has been nothing but violence. I'm not saying that the United States — or its President — can be held directly responsible for what happens in the Middle East, but I find it strange that the timing was so close. How could Mr. Bush not reprimand Mr. Sharon for so long during his push to apparently exterminate the Palestinians? How could he not see that the Palestinian counter-attacks/terrorist-attacks were in direct response to Sharon's own actions?

I don't know. What I do know is that if we attack Iraq, we'll find ourselves fighting a battle on multiple fronts in the Middle East. Our allies might be brought into the fight, as would our opponents'. It would be just a matter of time, then, before nuclear weapons were used. Count on it.

Any ways... I just want to say one more thing right now and that is "Mr. Bush, you don't need a department of homeland security or a cabinet position for it." The problem is and always has been that our intelligence agencies aren't acting intelligently. What we need is more communication between the FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, police departments, and our other secret intelligence agencies, rather than creating a new one. What one of these department knows, all the others should know. The excuses that we don't have enough intelligence agents in the field to do their jobs is bullshit. There are thousands upon thousands of police officers in the United States, that if given a little more information, a bit more responsibility, and a hell of a lot more communcation leeway, would make terrorist attacks nearly impossible here.

But the problem is that the intellgence agencies have been competing with one another since each one's creation. They don't have common sense to realize that we're on the same fucking side. Work together, share your information with one another rather than trying to claim some nonsensical concept such as glory. This has been going on for far too fucking long. Have any of the intelligence agencies ever even heard the expression "United we stand, divided we fall"?