Sometimes, war is the only answer
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
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
No historic or current grievance, no cause --
nothing -- should be allowed to convey the
slightest legitimacy to terrorists or their
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."
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
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
They, not America, must be destroyed.
They, not more innocents, must be killed.
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