However I feel that it would be far more prudent and constructive to hold these thoughts until we've taken care of our own and put our dead to rest. I feel the question isn't as much if we should retaliate but when and how. Many Americans are jumping to conclusions but the simple fact is that before we rampage across the globe exacting revenge against some ghostly terrorist organization, we need to ask why and how the attack even occurred. We need to reevaluate our foreign policy and more importantly we need to, as citizens, become more aware, involved, and educated regarding what happens in the world. Our democracy is misbehaving abroad and pissing people off- we need to know why and have an opinion about it. We can't be so apathetic in regard to the Israeli/Palestinian issue, civil wars, terrorism in other countries. Our country is a major, major international player, and it's our responsibility to give a damn.
Of course- the perpetrators of these acts MUST be brought to justice, but we need to be highly prudent in regards to how we handle ourselves. I'm more concerned with preventing future incidents and reestablishing our infrastructures to be more secure. The last thing we need is to incite another attack, let alone allow it to happen.
I totally agree with .dev.lqd. The US and its allies (and yes, that means France) should do all they can to bring the criminals to Justice. However, if the FBI prooves that the afghan governement is involved, the decision to invade should not be taken lightly. Remember that the bombings are partly a consequence of the Afghan war against the USSR...
That said, France and the UE will stand behing the US when the time comes for a just and proper reply.
Here's the view of an Afgan, circulating by e-mail in the UK, just now ...
> > I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the
> > Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would
> > mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this
> > atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What
> > else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing
> > whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."
> > And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am
> > from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've
> > never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who
> > will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.
> > I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no
> > doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in
> New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.
> > But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the
> > government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant
> > psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political
> > criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you
> > think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of
> > Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not
> > only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They
> > were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone
> > would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of
> > international thugs holed up in their country.
> > Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The
> > answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering.
> A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000
> > disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food.
> > There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these
> > widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the
> > farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons
why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.
> > We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone
> > Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already.
> > Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses?
> > Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their
> > hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from
> > medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.
> > New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at
> > least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the
> > Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away
> > and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they
> > don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over
> > Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the
criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making> > common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've
> been raping all this time
> > So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with
> > true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there
> > with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what
> > needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill
> > as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about
> > killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's
> > actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some
> > Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin
> > Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any
> > troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let
> > us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will
> > other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're
> > flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.
> > And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he
> > wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's
> > all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might
> > seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam
> > and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a
holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to
> > lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably
> > wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the
> > war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but
> > ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?