Many people on this campus are not being honest with themselves regarding how we should address the heinous attacks that transpired Sept 11. Fanatics who twisted and perverted the tenets of Islam for atrocious purposes slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians. And yet a substantial portion of this campus ignores that on Sept. 11 one of history’s great acts of terror took place on our soil. This response is unequivocally weak and even un-American in light of the president’s actions and words to mobilize the nation for the war ahead.
Particularly troubling are those who say we should fight this battle in court rather than by taking up arms. This is impractical and unrealistic. Assuming we can apprehend the perpetrators, we must recognize that international criminal trials have been lengthy and cumbersome. Meanwhile, more terrorist cells across the globe can continue to plan dastardly attacks enjoying sanctuary in countries whose governments harbor them with glee. How could it be the epitome of justice for us to sentence a couple of token terrorists to life imprisonment while others can continue doing evil?
President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not ignore the slaughter of over 2,400 Americans on what began as a calm Sunday morning on Dec. 7, 1941. He stood before Congress the next day and said, “I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.” He continued saying “hostilities exist” and “there is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.”
Now we face a new and equally treacherous enemy. He does not show his face or bear allegiance to a specific land. But we must heed the call of our current president, George W. Bush, to fight this different and equally crucial war. “Freedom itself was attacked this morning, and freedom itself must be defended,” Bush said so accurately last Tuesday.
If we do not use all of our sophisticated intelligence and weaponry to punish these enemies, as great Americans before us so courageously did, our generation will not be able to enjoy the freedoms and values our Constitution provides. We must not forget the freedoms we consider so fundamental were only achieved through the blood and sacrifice of unyielding and brave Americans.
-The writer, a senior majoring in political science and classical humanities, is a WRGW commentator.