Brother of missing banker calls for peace, not revenge

Details of casualties remain sparse, yet relatives of those who are yet to be accounted for fear a military response
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The Independent Online

The brother of a Briton still missing since Tuesday's terrorist attack yesterday made an impassioned plea to George Bush not to launch a revenge military strike.

Mark Newton-Carter, displaying a remarkable forgiveness, urged America as a whole to do the same and curb its hawkish instincts. He described his brother as "caring" and "peace-loving" and said reprisals would only make matters worse.

"To retaliate in a massive military way motivated by anger and revenge is not the answer," Mr Newton-Carter said. "That situation is really what caused this whole thing in the first place.

"I would feel dreadful [about American retribution]. There is no difference between innocent Palestinian men, women and children getting killed and my brother. My brother is a peace-loving person.

"I think Bush should be caged at the moment. He is a loose canon. He is building up his forces getting ready for a military strike. That is not the answer. Gandhi said: 'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind' and never a truer word was spoken."

The sentiments were echoed yesterday by other families in similar positions to Mr Newton-Carter.

The Reverend David Prothero, whose daughter Sarah Redheffer, 35, from London, is also missing, told The Independent on Sunday: "It is easy for bitterness to fester, but that is certainly not the way we are feeling. We can only hope some good comes out of it but that does not include doubling or trebling the suffering.

"As my other daughter Jane said, it is not going to solve anything by making more families suffer the way we are suffering."

The brother of Ruth Clifford McCourt, 45, who along with her four-year-old daughter Juliana, was a passenger on United Airlines flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles that crashed into the World Trade Centre, made a similar appeal for restraint. Mark Clifford, from Cork, Ireland, said: "For one child to die innocently in Juliana's retribution would kill us as a family... We shouldn't show children any more horror. Enough is enough."

Standing in the garden of his mother's flat in north London, puffing on a cigarette and taking gulps from what looks like a stiff drink, the worry is clearly etched across Mr Newton-Carter's face. His head shakes as though the enormity of what happened is still to sink in.

His brother Christopher worked on the 104th floor of the south tower as an associate director for investment bank Sandler O'Neill. Christopher telephoned Mark after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Centre's north tower to say he was alright and for his younger brother to convey that message to their 86-year-old mother, Linda.

"Suddenly, he said: 'the building is swaying. I am getting out,' and put the phone down.

"That is the last time I spoke to him," recalled Mr Newton-Carter. The family clings to every last hope that the 52-year-old might have somehow survived the carnage and is still alive amid the thousands of tons of glass and rubble.

Over and over again, Mr Newton-Carter considers the timing of the telephone call, working out how long his brother had to get out the tower before the second hijacked plane struck it and before the tower collapsed

"We have been going through all sorts of theories, working out the time lapses. How long would it take him to get down? It just keeps playing through your mind," said Mr Newton-Carter, 50.

It is hard to imagine what the family members are going through. Trying not to give up hope despite the extraordinary odds against anything other than a tragic and terrible ending. Mr Newton-Carter always talks of his brother in the present tense but occasionally the guard slips and the sneaking suspicion his brother is probably dead creeps into conversation.

"It's the waiting and the waiting. The wondering and the wondering. That is the most stressful. We just want to know whether he is dead or alive," confessed Mr Newton-Carter.

"If the worst did happen I want people to know the kind of guy he was, the things he did in his life and how much he was loved.

"He is very successful but completely unspoilt by that. He is the same old Chris; kind, generous, caring. He would never harm a fly."

Christopher Newton-Carter, who was educated at the Catholic boarding school Stoneyhurst and then Sheffield University where he studied computer science, moved to New York in the mid-1980s.

He met his American wife, Susan, while living in Manhattan. They married in 1992, setting up home in New Jersey.

Since Tuesday, the families on both sides of the Atlantic ­ Mark also has a younger sister, Teresa ­ have been in constant touch. Susan has posted her husband's photograph alongside hundreds of others of missing people in the City Armoury building in Manhattan in the vain hope that somebody may have some information.

For Mr Newton-Carter's mother, the situation is bewildering. "Mum is coping," said her youngest son. "But it's really hard.

"It's a desperate thing for a mother to lose her son, for any mother to outlive her children. It's the worst thing in the world for anybody to experience."

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