Diplomacy not an effective response to terrorist attacks

I am proud to be an American and to live in this great nation. You, too, should be proud. The land of the free. The home of the brave. President Bush in his speech to Congress last Thursday said Osama bin Laden and his terrorist group, al Qaeda, hate us for our 'democratically elected government. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.'  




These are the principles America was built on, and we must do whatever is necessary to protect our homeland and the citizens of our great nation. 




Library Mall has recently been the site of numerous peace rallies. Many protesters at these rallies hold up signs and shout that attacks against the terrorists who were involved in this incident, and have been involved in other incidents against America, would be immoral and would amount to murder if any civilians are killed. I don't believe anyone desires war. War is not good. American soldiers will die. Innocent civilians in other countries will die. 




These protesters, and other Americans who question our decision to fight these terrorists, must come to the realization that protecting Americans and American soil must be our No. 1 priority. Going around recklessly bombing Afghanistan and other countries that are harboring terrorists is not the answer. However, it is time we look at making focused attacks. We need to push out the terrorists until they have nowhere to run'as has been alluded to by President Bush and practiced by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 




The United States does not have a perfect record in international affairs. One could even say the United States has done some horrible things domestically and abroad in its 225-year history. But to attempt to rationalize these attacks, or even infer that America deserved this attack, is reprehensible. Diplomacy is not always the answer. In response to this latest terrorist attack, diplomacy is simply not an option. 




America has attempted to use diplomatic relations in past incidences. The USS Cole attack is one example. America never used military force to attack al Qaeda or the Taliban in Afghanistan, which was harboring bin Laden and other leaders believed to be guilty of the USS Cole attack and the most recent attacks. Since Sept. 11, everyone should realize how well diplomacy works with these terrorists. More than 6,000 Americans died, our buildings were destroyed and many lives were devastated.  




This is a new type of war that we, and the rest of the world, are fighting. This is a war in which there may not be a specific country to attack. This is a war where only pre-emptive strikes will ensure victory. If U.S. intelligence knows who the terrorists are and where they are currently located, then the U.S. government needs to take these people out. We cannot wait until another attack is attempted. Throughout the world people have questioned this strategy, one that Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has used since taking office. Now this strategy should be understood. War may rage between Israel and the Palestinians, but Israel has lost a lot fewer people in the last few years than the United States lost in a single day.  




We are facing a real problem against terrorists. Cropdusting has been stopped by order of the Federal Aviation Administration because the FBI fears that a toxic chemical may be released by terrorists. The trucking industry is on high alert to look out for unauthorized trucks on our nation's roads that could be carrying biological chemicals or weapons of mass destruction. 




To not strike, to not go after terrorism everywhere throughout the world would mean only one thing for America'a high probability of more attacks. The president made a promise that 'Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. ... We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest.' It is time for everyone on this campus and around the nation to support the president. The safety of this great nation depends on citizens allowing the president to fulfill his promise to bring safety and security back to this great nation. And given the opportunity, he will fulfill his promise to America. 




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