next in thread: mindgrope2001_09_11:10:28
Terrorism breeds imperialism.
As I write this, the first shots in the next war are still being fired, and America is, I hope, changing its course from a mixed policy of isolationism and interventionism to one of imperialism, pure and simple.
Despite the childish cant of the Left, imperial powers rarely expand by choice but rather out of a sense of necessity or self-defense. Rome didn't deliberately amass provinces, but rather got tired of beating off attackers, and found offense and conquest was the best defense (the history of Roman government has been described as a desperate attempt to keep up with the army, which kept conquering new lands in the name of peace.)
The government of Great Britain actively refused to get involved in India until the Mutiny, when they finally saw that the only way to get the benefits of British involvement in India was to rule, rather than simply support the rule of the East India Company.
The analogy to the current situation the United States is in is fairly clear, and I think the American response is likely to be the same: deliberate, unapologetic, aggressive imperialism in the name of peace and security.
The alternative, too horrible to contemplate, is the U.S. turning its back on the world, creating a "Fortress America" that would be of neccessity repressive and ultimately destructive of all American ideals of openess and democracy. It would make Americans and everyone else much poorer, and it would not lead to increased safety or security for Americans or anyone else--if anything it would make them more vulnerable.
If those are the only alternatives, then the choice is clear: more active, interventionist American involvement in world affairs. probably as the leader of a coalition of nations that are tired of the tribal squabbles of distant peoples spilling over into our backyards.
All of this assumes that the terrorists who have committed this hideous act are foreigners. If they're Americans, then the end of modern civilization has begun, and we can only hope something better will eventually grow from the wreckage.