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Many Egyptians Urge Cautious Retaliation Approach - 2001-09-13


U.S. leaders have promised swift action in response to Tuesday's terror attacks in the United States. But on the streets of Cairo, many Egyptians are urging the United States not to retaliate immediately.

Many people we spoke with said the United States would be better off taking a cautious approach. For this man, retaliation will only lead to more acts of terror. Rather, he said, the United States should look for the roots of terrorism. "The United States should focus on the causes of terrorism rather than retaliation," he adds. "Retaliation may generate more violence, but from the root we have to think what generated such violence."

For another man, the U.S. response would be more effective if it were part of a coordinated international campaign against terrorism. "They should take their time and there should be an alliance to fight terrorism," he said. "Terrorism is unpredictable. You see this, it is unimaginable what they did and it is so outrageous but, also, a massive retaliation may not be advisable."

For this woman, the United States must be very careful not to make a mistake in its search for those responsible for the attacks. "The United States should find who did it," she said, "and then take action, but only if the United States can be sure it has the right suspect."

Another woman expressed her sympathy for the victims of Tuesday's attacks but expressed opposition to U.S. policies in the Middle East. "We sympathize with the nation," she said. "As a nation, Americans did nothing for that to happen to them, but we are so angry at the U.S. administration because its policies are against Arabs as a whole and against Palestine." According to her, most Egyptians feel exactly the way she does.

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