piracy and terrorism, and to grant "letters of marque and reprisal" against the likes of bin Laden should he or his associates bear the responsibility for these attacks.
Why review such arcane matters at a time like this? It is important to recognize right away that the attack upon our nation provides neither the need nor the justification for the use of extra-constitutional measures.
While heightened vigilance would be wise, we cannot allow our country to become a garrison state. Although it may be necessary to cooperate with friendly governments, there is no reason to become further enmeshed in entangling alliances abroad.
These terrorist attacks illustrate, to tragic effect, some of the deadly consequences of our government’s penchant for becoming entangled in the wars and conflicts of other nations.
In the wake of this tragedy, it is wise to heed the counsel of George Washington, who, in his Farewell Address, advised his fellow citizens that "nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated."
The course of foreign interventionism, he warned, would lead the nation away from its legitimate interests and inflame passions abroad. "Hence," Washington concluded, "frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests."
Now, despite our dreadful experiences in the Balkans and the Middle East and the wise counsel of our esteemed Founding Fathers, the drumbeat is already sounding to turn this awful event into yet another pretext for ill-considered "collective" action under the aegis of an international authority.
General Wesley Clark, former commander of the NATO forces in Bosnia, emphasized that "there has to be a much greater degree of cooperation between nations to deal with this.... One resolve that will come out of this from the nations all over the world [is] that more has to be done collectively, together."
Later Clark went on to clarify that the need for such international cooperation is a message that "our government will drive … home very strongly in all of the international fora."
Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke averred that "to find the people responsible is going to take a unified international effort.
No one nation — not even the United States — can do it on its own." Meanwhile, Henry Kissinger recommended that this "integrated attack" be "dealt with in an integrated way."
The gravest long-term danger presented by the horrific events of September 11th is that the effort to find and punish perpetrators will become a war on the liberties of the American people.
The destruction of political freedom, in fact, is precisely the aim of terrorist revolutionaries and those who support them.
Marxist militant Carlos Marighella, whose tactical blueprint has been followed by terrorists worldwide, explained that terrorists attack innocent people in order to provoke governments "to intensify repression.
The police roundups, house searches, arrests of innocent people, make life unbearable.... Rejecting the ‘so-called