Thursday, August 01, 2002
The Five Dead

I have to apologize for not having said anything about the five dead American citizens who join the two Israelis from yesterday and the too many Israelis from the past few months and the several thousand Americans and others who died last September. No excuses. Just lame-brain-ed-ness on my part.

I know that what happened is just awful. I know it's completely unacceptable. I know it ought to be a reality check for many who persist in a fantasy about what the militant Palestinians are willing to do and why. That same cohort may even persist in a similar fantasy about the radical Islamists.

I'm nowhere near knowledgable enough to say what we ought to do (and not many of you reading this are either). Most of us in a situation where we can do little more than talk, and talk remains cheap.

It does seem to me that it would be nice if those who think they can, and who sometimes do, harm our fellow citizens consistently felt that they had to think twice or three times before doing so. I wish I knew how to create that state of being from the situation we're in now. It requires intelligence (of the whispering and sneaking around variety) as well as smarts, and I'm coming to the conclusion that it requires a willingness to use not just an overwhelming, but a completely disproportionate, degree of force in response. Force of a scale that those who would hurt us really do not regularly conceive of, except possibly in fantasies they have about the harm they hope to someday do to us.

I believe we're in a position to make things such that it's not us, but the other side, taking the reality check. Yes, talk is cheap, and even any suggestion about using weapons of the scale that every now and then I consider we ought to be using has to be made very cautiously. Still, those who are trying to kill us need to think very carefully about the consequences of their actions.

None of us has to exist, but if it comes down to them or us, I'll take us.