The terrorists - enemies of the free and civilized world - want two things from this. They want fear and they want hate. They want to make us sacrifice freedom in the name of security. We must not do this. One of the talking heads on MSNBC tonight mentioned profiling of those who advocate violence. This is undesirable. As one of FrontPage's columnists said, "don't let the Bill of Rights collapse with the Twin Towers." President Bush has promised to defend freedom - in order for him to do so, he must repel assaults on liberty both from within and without.
The perpetrators also want to stir hate in the American people. They want us to bring forth the same kind of suffering that they have wrought on us. We must resist the temptation to do so. That would make us nothing more than hypocrites - we who claim to speak of freedom and liberty would deprive it to so many who have done no wrong.
While we must respect the sovereignty of national governments who may have had no part in the horrible events of 11 September, we must also take every available step to hunt down and punish those responsible. Any state found to be harboring terrorists should have its diplomatic ties with the United States severed. Those countries' consulates should be seized and their ambassadors deported; and American embassies in those countries should be evacuated. We, as a nation, should take stock of our foreign policy as a whole. It might be prudent to rethink our highly interventionist foreign policy. If those who attacked New York and Washington are members of Islamic fundamentalist groups, they might point to U.S. backing of Israel as cause for their acts. While there is most definitely no excuse for destruction of this magnitude, might America have been a less appealing target absent that support?
The world of sport has also been drastically affected. In addition to the postponements in Major League Baseball and several college football conferences, the Union of European Football Associations postponed 51 games (eight Champions League and 43 UEFA Cup), though the eight Champions League games of Tuesday night were played. Several NCAA Division I-A conferences have decided to play their games this weekend. This is absolutely a mistake. There will be a time to restore normalcy, and ten days from now is most definitely sufficient. But three more days is not. Cornell University has cancelled some of its athletic contests, including its football game this Saturday against Bucknell (though that report is not officially confirmed, it comes from a reliable source). We can always move games around and extend seasons - it is a small price compared to that paid by the victims of this attack.
After we stop, however, we must start again. And I am confident that we will, and we will do so affirming our principles and beliefs. Don't mess with the United States of America. Because we are strong, and heinous and cowardly acts like this only strengthen us. The world is united against the perpetrators, and the nation and the world will have its vengeance. That much, I am certain of.