Experts: Attack's long-term damage should be minimal
Thursday September 13, 2001
UA teachers advise against panicking, say that U.S. economy should remain fairly stable
The terrorist attack on the United States, Tuesday, has made the country more vulnerable to terrorism but citizens should not show fear, UA experts said.
University of Arizona experts said the nation should consider two key points regarding the attacks -to not let terrorists accomplish their mission and to not discriminate against certain members of the community.
Peter Goudinoff, a UA lecturer who teaches a national security policy class, said terrorism is aimed to "mess with people's heads," and the community needs to understand that national security is not threatened as a result of the attack.
He said from a national security perspective, the community must "(have a) stiff upper lip and be brave," when affected by acts of terrorism.
Tom Volgy, a UA political science professor and former political candidate, said the effects of the attack are being felt on a national level, and as of yesterday, people throughout the nation are feeling more vulnerable to terrorism.
"If we get scared and change our lives, then terrorists win - and we do not want to give into them," he said.
Volgy said the attack was very sophisticated and required a great deal of logistics.
In the attack, terrorists armed with knives hijacked four airliners. Three were used as "guided missiles" to strike specific locations - the World Trade Center and the Pentagon - and the fourth went down 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh with its intended destination unknown.
Volgy said the situation is very complex, but if intelligence systems are working efficiently, those responsible for the attack should be uncovered quickly.
"We don't know who did it, and, until then, we won't know the reasons for the attack," Volgy said.
Goudinoff said the major immediate risk is discrimination against Muslim and Arab members of the community.
He said he does not expect any retaliation or discrimination to occur in the campus community but warned students "to be careful, as not to harm civil liberties."
Volgy said the university consists of students from various backgrounds, and that diversity should be respected.
"Terrorists hope the community will end up pitting (against) each other, and then they would have succeeded," he said. "We should punish not each other, but · the terrorists."
He said the next step is to begin a rebuilding program, and that the United States must be strong as to not let any terrorist see the country in a weakened state.
Federal officials are currently conducting investigations to discover who was involved, and several people have been named in connection with the attack.
"It's very sad, but in a strategic sense, it is no greater than a California earthquake·it's tough, no doubt, but if you get all freaky, then the bad guys win," Goudinoff said.
The attack has caused some to fear that the U.S. economy's stability will be negatively affected, especially since the World Trade Center was involved.
Chris Lamoureux, head of the UA finance department, said the attack may leave psychological scars but should not impact the American economy significantly.
He said an instance of "flight to quality"- a situation when money is moved into positions that are less risky as a result of an external event - may occur, leading to an increase in gold and oil prices.
However, he said this effect would be temporary.
"It is a horrific event, but I don't see it having any long-term economic implications for the U.S. economy," he said.
Goudinoff said in this time of tragedy, the country should not let acts of terrorism affect any aspect of society.
"All Americans need to be brave, and don't let (terrorists) spook you," he said.