An Act of War, Not a Crime

This is no time to be wringing our hands. We have to treat this as an act of war.

If it turns out to be bin Laden, part of our response has to be simple and direct: He dies. He isn't scorned or condemned in the court of world opinion; he isn't apprehended for trial in a court of law.

That's what happens after a crime, not after an act of war. If he and his organization did this, Bin Laden dies. If that makes him a martyr, so be it. If there are others who will carry on his legacy, so be it. Bin Laden isn't plotted against or threatened. He dies.

Also, the U.S. should redouble its commitment to supporting Israel, regardless of the fact that many of its actions against the Palestinians have understandably received lukewarm support at best in this country. It would a fitting legacy of this act of cowardice if it turns out to make America a real enemy of the Muslim extremists, not the largely passive perceived enemy that it was before Tuesday.

New York City, Sept. 11, 2001
Ray Amati /ImageDirect
New York City, Sept. 11, 2001

Internally there are many issues to be addressed, beginning with the stunning failure of our intelligence community, but if our response is to look inward at what our defensive posture might be in the future, we're looking in the wrong direction. We don't need fewer liberties at home.

But we've got some new business to do abroad.

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