It was with profound shock that we watched the television images of the terrorist attacks carried out against the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center and the West Wing of the Pentagon. Once again, the world has been treated to the spectacle of mankind turning viciously against another member of his species. In a moment's time, the thought flashed across my mind: Is there any doubt that we, supposedly a higher level of species, are the world's most dangerous inhabitants of earth? Our savagery has no match.
Unfortunately, we have the illusion that somehow we are more civilized than the rest of the humans who live in other areas of the world. We are quick to criticize, condemn, and fly into uncontrollable rages against those who commit terrorist acts against our country. We are quick to get emotionally inflamed and call for immediate retribution. Not only for the few terrorists responsible for the heinous acts committed, but we also call for retribution against their people, their government, and their religion. Calls for nuclear bombardment of the terrorists' entire country are already being raised.
It is right to seek out those who carried out this dastardly act against innocent residents of this country. When found, they should be brought to justice before the highest tribunals of this country and the international community of nations. Nations that harbor terrorists and give them aid and support should be condemned and deemed pariahs of the world. Their governments should be brought to task and charged before the Hague for aiding and abating the carrying out of crimes against humanity.
Somehow, America has to find the way to lead the world to peaceful ways to settle our differences and raise the level of human interaction to a notch above the level of the beasts that share our earth. We are angry, saddened and hurt by the terrorism that has been imported into our country. We must go beyond the rantings and ravings of the jingoists among us and lead the world in raising the level of communication and intercourse between humankind. We must rise above our gut-level reaction to strike out unthinkingly.
Lest we forget, America carried out the worse crime against humankind, ever, when it dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens in the closing days of World War II. History has informed us that it was not necessary. Our Pacific Forces had already won the war. Have the Japanese forgiven us for our brutality and state terrorism? Have we as people moved beyond the animal stages of behavior?