Should We Attack Terrorists?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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The four year old I baby-sit for put it best I think. "Someone should just say they're sorry." If only it was as simple as that, I thought. I've had many misgivings and second thoughts about even writing this. I'm not out to attack any group, to be the angry American you see on TV cursing people for being alive. I've never been that way, and this tragedy will not make me become that.

I am however, sad. I'm hurt, and I'm scared. Yes, I've been personally affected by the collapses in New York. And no, it isn't over. My boyfriend and friends are still searching through the rubble in the dim hope that some miracle will rise from the dust. And the question has arisen time and time again"¦ Should we attack? Yes. We should use all of our mighty force in this world to find those that planned this attack and bring them to justice.

It's no longer as easy as someone saying they're sorry. It's become so much more than that.

I've heard all the arguments about why we shouldn't start a war. More innocent people will die, we don't know who did it, we can't fight a group without fighting a country"¦ Think about the mother who started work at the WTC the day of the attack. She dropped her children off at school and headed off to work, not to return. Because she worked in a certain building, and because she lived in a certain country, she was killed. I know there are many stories like those "“ I know because I know the people involved. And still, her children think Mommy is coming home.

Our government knows more than it is sharing with the general public. They have been studying terrorist groups for years. They know the ties that one person has to another, and they know who is responsible. They are going to find those people and make sure this never happens again.

America, as well as Pakistan, has given the Afghanistan government ample time to extradite Osama bin Laden. Instead of realizing that they are placing their citizens in harm's way, they have grown more steadfast in their resolve against America by increasing the arsenal at the border of Pakistan. For years, America has turned a blind eye to terrorism. We place memorials, hold press conferences, and pretend we've solved the problem. What happened on September 11, 2001 proved to the entire country, if not the world, that the problem is more complex and alive than we could have dreamed.

The sleeping giant has awoken, and her citizens are outraged. Her leader is angry, but with reserve. If America were going to attack a country, it would have happened already. Because we are taking our time, and planning to attack the right targets, we are not doing this out of vengeance. We are doing this to protect everything that America stands for, for the freedom to be Americans.

The Taliban controls 95% of the government of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden, this sick man with a twisted desire to remove America and its ideals from the world, funds this group. And in exchange, they are now hiding him.

However, removing my personal opinions from this, let's take a look at history. What country would support a known terrorist, allow a massive attack upon the United States, the world's most powerful nation, and expect there to be no consequences? The history of the nation, indeed of the world, proves that attacks, especially unprovoked, are followed by retaliatory measures. The terrorists attacked thousands of innocent Americans. They hoped for more loss of life than actually occurred. We must find all of those responsible, not just bin Laden, and bring them to justice. We must remove the possibility that this can happen again.

How can we not attack? Attacking a country is wrong, except when they are supporting the terrorists. If they extradite all those involved, if we can bring them to justice, then no, of course we should not attack. But because there is no chance of that happening, there are no other options. A simple sorry and a prayer for peace will not end this problem. It is time for action, and that action is to attack.