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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Response to attack must be swift, strong

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

If anything amazes me following last week's tragedy in our nation it's that so many people want to share their opinions, their thoughts and their anger. It's one thing to have and hold a strong opinion. It's another thing to want others to hear and read and share those thoughts. Our Letters to the Editor and Speakout column are backlogged from the onslaught of people wanting somehow to share their opinions and vent their anger.

This column has historically leaned to the conservative side of the national balance. If you've read any of my ramblings through the years you recognize my conservative philosophy. And now more than ever the conservative approach is appropriate. By conservative I mean a reasoned and measured response that calculates the advantages and disadvantages of any action. And it should be swift and sure.

But listen carefully in the background of the national news media and you will begin to hear other voices calling for caution in the name of compassion. Now that the numbness of the terrorists' attack is beginning to dim, those voices calling for restraint begin to surface. Little by little - mark my word - the voices of compassion and restraint will grow louder. We are truly blessed to be living in a nation that allows diverse opinions to have a voice. But those voices are misguided, misinformed and wrong.

Unless this nation takes decisive action, the lives lost last week will diminish in importance. Unless this nation responds like the most powerful nation on the face of this earth, the lives lost last week will be but the first of many, many more. We must go far beyond sending a signal to terrorists. We must hunt and destroy those who seek to destroy us. It should involve no restraints.

Christian fundamentalists are reading signs into this tragedy that signal the end of the earth and the return of God. Never argue with a Christian fundamentalist. But the more certain way to bring an end to humanity is to allow terrorist acts to go unanswered. I argue the struggle is not about politics or religion or oil or power. The struggle is as fundamental as the universal struggle between good and evil. And when faced with evil, restraint and compassion should not be a part of the equation.

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