Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

What's the Right US Response? ; Options Range from Limited Strikes to Declaring War on Terrorism. Behind Them All Lies Question of the 'Just War.'

By Brad Knickerbocker writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 13, 2001 | Go to article overview

What's the Right US Response? ; Options Range from Limited Strikes to Declaring War on Terrorism. Behind Them All Lies Question of the 'Just War.'


Brad Knickerbocker writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


How the United States responds to this week's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington involves the most difficult, and in some ways the profoundest, questions a nation and its leaders can face:

To what extent is retaliation justified, especially when the attackers are difficult to pinpoint? Are the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon "acts of war," requiring a declaration of war in return, even though no single nation may be responsible? Perhaps most difficult, how does America balance justice and the rule of law - foundations upon which this country was built - with the deeply emotional attraction of revenge for its own sake?

In practical terms, the options are limited. These might include: limited military attacks involving bombers and cruise missiles (as the Clinton administration tried against Afghanistan and Sudan), assassination of those thought to have plotted the attacks, invading any country suspected of being directly responsible, rallying the world community to declare war on terrorism, or changing certain aspects of US diplomatic policy.

But each includes its own set of difficulties, and even hard- nosed military and intelligence experts see Tuesday's massive attacks on American soil in philosophical terms involving the nation's essential values. "It takes a Plato or an Aristotle to look at this one," says Stanley Bedlington, a retired senior counterterrorism analyst with the CIA.

Historians, ethicists, and religious leaders often place such incidents in the context of "just war" theory - the belief that any response be limited to military targets or personnel. "Just because somebody murders our people doesn't allow us to murder theirs," says G. Scott Davis, professor of religion and ethics at the University of Richmond, Va. This includes assassinating those considered to be dangerous enemies, which the US has disavowed.

For many in Washington, exiled Saudi Osama bin Laden is the prime suspect, and Afghanistan - where the suspected terrorist is living under the protection of a government ruled by the Taliban Islamic militia - is very likely complicit in Mr. bin Laden's activities.

"This was too elaborate to have been carried out by a bunch of guys in a garage somewhere," says Paul Bremer, the former ambassador who chaired the National Commission on International Terrorism last year. "At the very least, there was a state or states looking the other way while the planning went on."

Just hours after the attacks, President Bush made it clear that a state need not have "sponsored" terrorism in order for it to be the target of retaliation. "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them," he told the American people from the White House Tuesday night.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers express deep anger and frustration at what many see as a security and intelligence failure. Still, many lawmakers take a cautious approach to any quick military retaliation.

"The issue now is, what is a proportionate military response to something like this?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What's the Right US Response? ; Options Range from Limited Strikes to Declaring War on Terrorism. Behind Them All Lies Question of the 'Just War.'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.