Morning View: In the Fury of the Moment, Proud Principles Must Be Maintained

Article excerpt

The search for the precise whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorist network is intensifying. It is only a matter of time before the United States takes retaliatory action against the organisation and those who offer it shelter.

America is just beginning to bury its own dead, and it wants Bin Laden and his followers dead as well.

It is understandable and justifiable that a mighty nation brought to its knees by the actions of a few madmen should wish to get its own back, quickly.

If it can be proved that Bin Laden was responsible, and America catches up with him, he and his evil henchmen can expect no mercy.

Perhaps the sooner it is done the better.

For the America we are seeing today is so ravaged by the desire for revenge that all reason appears to have disappeared.

Anger has reached fever pitch, to the extent that innocent foreigners, who have nothing in common with Bin Laden - not even their religion - are being attacked or murdered in cold blood by 'patriots' taking indiscriminate retribution into their own hands.

Even New York's highly-respected media has become temporarily unhinged.

A respected New York Post columnist has suggested the high-altitude bombing, to smithereens, of the entire city of Kabul.

His only concession to the humanitarian behaviour we expect of world-leading democracies is that innocent civilians should be given 24-hours to leave.

The New York Times was only slightly more restrained, urging the 'pulverising' of targets despite the obvious risk of "collateral damage". Translated from military parlance, this means that America should hit back even if it means that many more innocent people die.

Then there is the Central Intelligence Agency, which is trying desperately to rebuild its shattered reputation in the wake of attacks for which it was embarrassingly, and fatally, unprepared. It is seeking greater powers to assassinate anyone believed to be involved in terrorist attacks against American interests, both in the United States and beyond.

The CIA believes that only shoot-to-kill, or bomb-to-kill policies, with no questions asked by its partners in the free world, will suffice to counter the activities of its enemies. …