Civilians, civil servants and military have all sustained heavy losses at the hands of these shadows, these faceless cowards who strike out without warning from their dark, secret lairs.
Will this all come down to war? I believe, that if it must come to that, it will. NATO has declared that the attack on NY and DC may be considered an attack upon the whole alliance if it turns out the direction came from abroad -- and thus far all evidence points overwhelmingly to this condition being true. This is the first time in 52 years that the NATO alliance has invoked Article V, the NATO self-defense charter that rallies all members if one member state is attacked. They have also offered military support for any retaliatory action the U.S. takes. Congress has passed a resolution declaring the nation is "entitled to respond under international law." The American public is clamoring for retribution. To borrow a phrase, "Blood cries out for blood." President Bush now has all the support at home and abroad necessary to strike back, when the time comes.
First, we must try each and every one of all the possible methods to positively identify the individuals and parties involved. That, once accomplished, will show that we are searching for the truth and that we are not using this terrible event as a convenient platform to further some other political agenda. Once the guilty parties are identified, then we must ask for the cooperation of the foreign powers abroad, we must ask for their help in bringing these criminals to justice. This will ensure an even hand, and show to those who are watching us that we are being as fair and impartial as we can be under these unfortunate circumstances. We must make every effort possible to extradite and try these individuals without turning to violence. If we can have these terrorists ... these inhuman monsters handed over to us peaceably, then that is the path to take.
But if they balk, we cannot hesitate to strike.
We have to punish the people who have done this, with a clear and decisive action, as well as any government that harbors them or encourages them. If they do so, they must be brought to understand the world cannot... that it will not tolerate this brand of cowardice and hatred any longer.
Sadly, one cannot punish the governments without hurting the people of its society as well. This is the true tragedy of war -- the people who are helpless to change the direction that is being taken are the ones who must suffer for the mistakes and hatred of their leaders. But this is the price any society pays.
Let us fervently hope it does not come to that option, but if it should (powers forbid).... let us not hesitate to use it if we must. Weakness, indecision... in a time like this, they can kill.
We are not without honor, nor are we without options. Each one must be exhausted before we let slip the dogs of war once again.
It's terrible, seeing how this can go either way, walking the fine line that has been drawn in the sand between sanity and madness, and how even a single wrong word can tip the scales from one to the other. I sincerely hope that cooler heads prevail.