All viewpoints welcome at gathering |

All viewpoints welcome at gathering

Susan Wood

A community forum is planned Sunday on the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and the resulting war against terrorism.

It’s slated to take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center on U.S. Highway 50.

Panelists include Abdul Barghouthi of the Islamic Center of Reno; Dennis Crabb of the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce; and George Drake of the Lake Tahoe Community College. Other speakers may be added.

Organizers aim to have a diverse group of cultural backgrounds and viewpoints represented.

“My hope is that by having people from different cultures, people (will) come away with a larger view of these issues,” organizer Steve Goldman said.

The South Shore resident, who works for the California Tahoe Conservancy, was inspired by the town-hall process and hopes this one may serve as a model for forums across the nation.

Collectively, the local ad hoc group of concerned citizens putting on the open forum declare it is “not advocating any particular position.”

One of 10 people coordinating the event, Goldman wants the United States to proceed cautiously in waging war in a region of the world prone to escalating violence.

Goldman fears the threat of terrorist attacks may mount as a result of military actions, but he invites an open exchange of dialogue among others who agree and disagree.

“When we do something like strike back that gives justification for another terrorist attack. Why should we put ourselves at further risk? It only ups the ante,” he said. “Are we willing to sustain the sacrifice and casualties that often accompany this escalation?”

Goldman said he expects the exchange to improve a sputtering electoral process.

LTCC instructor and forum speaker George Drake agrees.

“In a democratic government, it doesn’t bode well when the people being governed are more interested in sports than politics,” Drake said. He called the political apathy a luxury Americans can’t afford to ignore anymore.

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