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Wednesday, September 12, 2001
This Means Total War

The only policy that has ever proved
effective against terrorism!

By Andrew Ping, Staff Writer

    SACRAMENTO -- I have a picture taken on the Staten Island ferry with the New York skyline behind me at sunset. It's a stunning view.
     I lived and worked in the city of New York, some years ago. I still have a firm image in my mind of the skyline as it stood, overshadowed by the Trade Center Towers.
     The idea that they're gone, even having seen the images of Manhattan as it looks now, seems surreal and entirely incredible.
     As we face this crisis, we unfortunately do it from a position of weakness. That may be a strange thing to propose, given that we have the most powerful armed force in the world.
    Still, our policy in the past has left us open for this sort of attack. The previous bombing of the World Trade Center elicited almost no response from the United States against the master planners of the incident.
     We didn't do anything against terrorism as a whole or against the various organizations that use it, despite great capability to do so.
     There is only one policy that has ever proved effective in any measure against terrorism. Some say that we need to understand foreign nations' grievances against us and do our best to alleviate them.
     This is a laughable prospect given that many of these grievances are entirely unfounded and unreasoning.
     Terrorism can only be fought with legitimate use of force. Perhaps our best example of how to deal with terrorism is Israel. In theory, and usually in practice, Israel simply does not tolerate terrorism.
     Those engaged in terrorism are killed, no quarter given. We have actually done this. President Reagan had the guts to send a strike against Khadafi following terrorist actions.
     Has anyone heard much from Khadafi lately? We didn't kill him, but we got his house, compounds and many of his associates.
     We must act now. The fact that terrorist training grounds, specifically designed to train terrorists to take over or bomb U.S. airplanes exist in Afghanistan is ridiculous. We should never have permitted such clearly hostile action.
     Afghanistan must destroy them or grant us the right to do so. When we find out who actually orchestrated this attack, that individual or those individuals must die.
     We have failed to kill leaders in the past, such as Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic. The result has never been favorable. It is time for President Bush to countermand the Executive Order that prevents us from assassinating such leaders, for it has now cost us thousands of American lives.
    Osama Bin Laden is our prime suspect for this attack, and was implicated in the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center. Had we hunted him down and killed him, perhaps today would not have happened.
     Certainly other terrorist leaders would have paused before such an action knowing that it would almost certainly cost them their lives.
     Our problem right now is that terrorist leaders know that we will most likely try to extradite and prosecute them. They know that we really can't, since countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan won't cooperate.
     It's time to send a different message. If a country won't help eradicate terrorism, we should do it for them, and those who would stand in our way can share in the fate of those who would strike at us.
     If we are the strongest nation in the world, we must act like it, for as today has demonstrated, we are and always will be a target of irrational attacks.
     It is not time for Americans to cower in fear and cringe every time we must take an airplane. It is time to send the terrorists running in fear.

2001 Copyright, The Daily Republican Newspaper. All rights reserved.


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