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Search for justice must be sure, not swift

Alan Stewart, Sports Editor

Prior to the disgusting attacks last Tuesday in New York City and Washington, D.C., America was not unlike the children President Bush was speaking to that morning in Florida: innocent and unaware.
Then, with each numbing moment that passed and each traumatic image that came across our televisions and computer screens, citizens of this country and others around the world were filled with hurt, then anger. Anger towards a faceless transgressor. Anger so passionate we wanted to lash out immediately at anyone and everyone involved with the heinous crime.
The knee-jerk reactions most Americans agree should occur include military strikes, more sanctions abroad and even assassination attempts on “the prime suspect,” Osama bin Ladin, who was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and two embassy bombings in Africa in 1998. Most Americans also agree our country’s action should be swift.
Our country, and even more importantly, President Bush, walk a fine line. Do we go in to Afghanistan, snuff out bin Ladin (even though it’s still not 100 percent clear that he is the mastermind behind this latest assault) and wait for the circle of terrorism to return to our country? Or do we bide our time, make sure of our target and, as Secretary of State Colin Powell stated during the Gulf War, “Cut off the head and then kill it.”
Every reason to make a military strike has a counter-reason not to. When — not if — we kill innocent people overseas, we make ourselves no better than the wackos who slammed planes into the WTC towers and Pentagon.
Something should be done, but let’s make every effort to minimize the number of collateral-damage casualties. Also, let’s serve our revenge cold. Smashing into Afghanistan while smoke still rises from the rubble in New York and Washington, D.C., is the wrong response. We didn’t know when we’d be attacked and neither should our enemy.
Jules Winnfield, Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the 1994 cult-classic film “Pulp Fiction” popularized and appended a verse in the Bible (Ezekiel 25:17) that went something like this: “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
Our earthly shepherd, President Bush, will ensure that America’s desire for justice will come. Let’s just make sure it comes with stealth and to the appropriate party.
God bless our country.

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