Marc Baber

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From "The Eugene Weekly" 20-SEP-2001:


Many are calling for an immediate large scale military response to the "attack on America." Their assumption is that will reduce future attacks on the U.S., but reality isn't so simple. If the U.S. response kills people who weren't involved in the attack, it will only breed new desire for revenge against our country.

Tuesday's events flooded the world with ripples of fear and anger that can lead to endless cycles of violence if people follow their first inclinations of rage and anger. Unless cooler heads prevail, Armageddon could start this way. Therefore, we must hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards when formulating a response. The lower we set the bar for ourselves, the more our enemies will feel justified in taking the low road against us.

We should not participate in the "race to the bottom" in war, or in any other public policy. The U.S. is still a world leader. We must be very careful what direction we choose to lead the world. By our responses to our enemies, we can either lead the world toward higher ethics, justice and peace or, on the other hand, toward lower ethics, injustice and mere anarchy.

So, that is why I find the suggestion that we should make no distinction between terrorists and the countries that harbor them to be more than a little dangerous. Anything other than a targeted strike against known perpetrators would be reprehensible.

Yes, innocent Americans were killed and it is horrible and we should bring the perpetrators to justice. But, if we respond by killing innocents elsewhere in the world, how can we claim moral superiority?

Marc Baber


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