Skip to comments.Their Feet Run to Evil, and Make Haste to Shed Blood
Posted on 09/17/2001 3:24:00 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage
The American Constitutionalist
By: Aaron Armitage
Their Feet Run to Evil, and Make Haste to Shed Blood
I once read somewhere that Gallup did a poll in 1944 showing that 96% of the public knew we were at war, which means that 4% of the public wasn't even aware of WWII. Except for the modern day equivalents of those people, and perhaps a few tribesmen in the Amazon, everyone in the world knows that on September 11 America suffered the worst attack in its history. It's been compared to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but it's worse and certainly far more evil than that. The number of the dead is higher, and the attack was directed against civilian targets with the idea of killing as many innocent people as possible.
We have done nothing to deserve this, but those who say we could have avoided it by staying out of the affairs of other counties are right. No one attacks the Swiss. It's too late for that, though, like telling Parliament they'd be better off not taxing America on July 5, 1776 or giving Roosevelt advice about protecting our military bases from sneak attacks on December 8, 1941. Now is the time to fight.
It would be impossible for us not to retaliate. It would be like a play in which Hamlet doesn't eventually get around to killing the king. We should be warned, however, that while we will do what we must it will be much harder than we think. This is going to hurt. Whatever our reaction is, we will face more attacks. More likely than not, we're going to wind up occupying portions of the Middle East, with the guerilla warfare that implies. There's even a good chance this will lead in unpredictable ways to upheavals we can't see yet. We're already in it, and we need to prepare for what lies ahead.
What we must not do, though, is forget that we are Americans. We're not the Taliban, and being attacked by them is no reason to start acting like them. There is no need to sacrifice liberty. To lose liberty is to lose, and there would be nothing more disrespectful to the dead. Ending curbside check in and other such ideas share two important features with most security measures adopted after catastrophe. It makes ordinary people jump through hoops, and it would have nothing to stop the crime that inspired it. National ID cards are unfit for a free people, even a free people at war.
Worse than these predictable moves to limit freedom are incidents of violence against Muslims, or even "ragheads" who aren't Muslim. A blunderer in California by the name of John Phillip Lucas decided to imitate earlier Californians' mistakes during WWII and drove a tractor in front of the door at a temple before diving into a sacred pool, thus defiling it. There was one problem, other than his impeding incarceration: the temple was a Sikh temple. Sikhs wear turbans and have beards, but are not Muslim and in fact have a history of conflict with Muslims.
A Sikh was shot to death in Arizona.
Even if the victims really are Muslim, the people who commit these acts are described by the title just as much as the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center. We should also refrain from attacking Muslims outside the United States just for being Muslims, both to keep ourselves from being stained with innocent blood and to prevent terrorists from getting what they want. The hijackers and plotters want us to retaliate. Otherwise, they would not have attacked us.
They hope we retaliate in a way that will unite the Muslim world against us, and so we must avoid that at all costs. We must and will retaliate, but we must do it in a way that retaliates only against the people directly supporting and harboring Osama bin Laden.
The attack brought out the best in many Americans, and the worst in a few. The great danger facing us now is that we will act rashly, and instead of bringing war to the Taliban, turning Islam into the enemy, and instead of taking a few necessary measures to increase security, becoming more of a police state. As hard as it is now, we need to exercise prudence, if only to deny the terrorists the final satisfaction of making us fools.
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