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NEWS STORY
Sometimes, war is the only answer
 
Murdoch Davis
Calgary Herald

NEWSLETTERS
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One hundred days after the horrors of Sept. 11, the worst banalities mouthed in response still have astonishing currency.

Chief among these are that "violence doesn't solve anything" and that the leaders of the free world should instead negotiate a resolution to the crisis we face.

These are absurdities. International terrorism and violent cultural clashes cannot be responded to in the same manner as schoolyard bullying or sibling spats. Reasonable though it may be to caution squabbling children that "violence doesn't solve anything," it is not a sound basis for public policy.

No civilized nation would have violence as its first or chief response to the world's complexities. But neither would it properly secure its citizens, nor even likely survive, were it to be so mindlessly non-violent as that aphorism urges. Only someone non-violent to the point of pathology would never resort to physical means even to protect her children from assault, or his home from murderous intruders. To say otherwise is to lie.

It is true that in the world's history, many nations have resorted to violence too readily and too often. But it is foolish to view the carnage of Sept. 11, to witness the mass murder of thousands of innocents, and suggest that violence in defence of further attacks from the same mad perpetrators is not appropriate.

Can there be any doubt that those behind these immoral acts, and those who have now been seen on tape laughing about it and celebrating it, would do the same or worse, again and again and again?

Perhaps we can make airplanes safe from hijacking, at great expense and great inconvenience. But can we really protect our free societies from such madmen? Do we prefer to become police states in our own defence rather than stand up to madness?

Is it difficult to imagine these same twisted minds plotting to poison our water? Our food? Our air? Imagine them plotting to blow up 1,000 school buses full of our innocent children. Imagine them sending suicide attackers into our day cares.

We cannot protect ourselves only through security measures within our own society. There is no recourse but to hunt down and capture or kill those who would commit such atrocities, whether they be in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Gaza, India or living among us in the West.

Those who train their young men to embrace suicidal martyrdom while themselves hiding in caves to avoid it must be defeated.

Companion to the mindless chant of non-violence is the idea that we should negotiate our way to safety, considering the root causes and motivations of the terrorists. This is equal nonsense.

No historic or current grievance, no cause -- nothing -- should be allowed to convey the slightest legitimacy to terrorists or their actions.

Consider what the sponsors and celebrants of the Sept. 11 massacres have stated as their goals, their view of a better world.

"Kill all the Jews and Crusaders." "Destroy America."

Shall we invite such madmen and their rogue organizations to Geneva and serve them tea while debating these objectives and whatever grievances they claim give rise to them?

Perhaps our emissaries could suggest that the terrorists will kill only some. Let's pick a number and negotiate from there. Shall we ask for volunteers?

We could offer to let them destroy only Nebraska and Iowa, and toss in California should the negotiations bog down.

It is not these suggestions that are trite; it is the sophistry to which they are a response.

The civilized world cannot negotiate with hate-filled psychopaths.

They, not America, must be destroyed.

They, not more innocents, must be killed.

commentsn@sns.southam.ca or fax 1-204-947-9841

Letters@theherald.southam.ca

 Copyright2001 Calgary Herald
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