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The United States is a better nation than one so easily lured into hatred. The United States has a system built not on hatred, but on justice. Justice may demand retaliation, but it is a retaliation based on logic and on principle, and on laws springing from the informed consent of the governed. Yes, justice should be as swift as possible, but it is more important that it be sure.
What this means is that now is a time for intelligence gathering that is rapid, but careful. Now is a time for a massive and thorough search for evidence. Now is a time for a sober assessment of what happened.
Then, as soon as humanly possible, American justice must be visited upon the perpetrators, and those who harbor them, like a terrible swift sword. It is indeed right, as President George W. Bush said Tuesday, that “The United States will hunt down and pursue those responsible for these cowardly actions.”
It is right, too, that Americans ask how such a complicated attack could be launched undetected. The nation’s political leaders soon should undertake a thorough reassessment of the nation’s intelligence-gathering capabilities.
But while justice must be vigorously pursued by the official organs of American government, the rest of this nation must show its resilience by going about its business. This may have been an act of war against the United States, but it was far from disabling to a country as powerful as ours.
Together, we will care for the wounded and for the families of the victims. Together, we will donate blood and supplies. Together, we will rebuild the financial and communications infrastructure that was harmed in the attack.
And together, we will go about our lives in a condition of freedom that the terrorists can only dream of, in a country where strength grows not from brutal command and control but from the free choices of hundreds of millions of individuals.
An unspeakable evil has been perpetrated. But it was not an evil that succeeded at its aims. It aimed to strike terror in American hearts. Instead, it will strengthen our unity and resolve.
And that resolve will again show the United States to be a light among the nations, a land whose justice and mercy are both self-evident truths./blockquote> br> The sentiments expressed in that editorial were, I believe, not at all exceptional, but instead were shared almost universally among Americans in the hours and days after the attacks. But how many of you not just remember but still feel that unity and resolve today? How many of you feel that the rest of the world accepts as self-evident truths the notion that the United States is a beacon of justice and mercy among the nations? How many of you are still absolutely certain of this nation’s might, both military and moral?
If any of those elements are now in doubt — and it is obvious that at least a sizable percentage of Americans believe they are — then that doubt is a tragedy. The truth is that those sentiments not just were, but remain, well grounded in reality. This is indeed a nation whose strength grows directly from its essential decency. This is indeed a nation of justice. This is indeed a nation that is not easily disabled even by attacks as devastating as the ones on 9/11. This is a nation that could go about its business, and do it well, and prosper and flourish because of the free choices of hundreds of millions of individuals.
Yet, from listening to public discourse today, one would have a hard time believing that these truths are self-evident. It is not just on the left-most blogs, but in repeated statements from the majority party within the U.S. Capitol itself, that the notion of American weakness, ignobility, and culpability is put forth.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online