The first step in the war against terrorism has been taken, and that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
If a member of your family dies, true friends will ask you: "What can we do for your family? What can we do to help you?" They will not say, "We will help you, but we want something in return."
That is what America now faces trying to get various countries to cooperate in our fight against terrorists, but some countries are demanding a quid pro quo. There's nothing President Bush and his administration can do about that callous attitude publicly.
Alienating countries like Russia and China would be self-defeating at this point, but Mr. Bush should be keeping a list of the countries that truly want to help the world and the countries that don't.
In just a few moments, we will run down a list of foreign countries and tell you where they stand.
The one exception to the help-you-with-no-strings-attached rule is Pakistan. The military dictatorship there could be overthrown by Muslim fundamentalists if the situation gets out of control. America should promise to help the general in charge in every way if he helps us move against Usama bin Laden and the Taliban.
Don't forget America must punish the states that are harboring terrorists, and Afghanistan is at the top of that list.
Now, back home, all Americans can help the war effort by getting back to normal, as Talking Points has said. Once again, it is normal to be afraid, but overcoming that fear is very important to the country's well-being. Take the plane ride, buy the TV, go out to dinner.
Look at it this way. There's an order to the universe, and you have nothing to do with it. The seasons change, the tides go in and out, babies are born, people die, and if you are meant to die at a certain time, then that's going to happen, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.
Taking unnecessary chances is dumb, but worrying about events beyond your control is self-defeating, and living in a free country that is on guard now should not be a confining experience. I don't know about you, but I'm not going to let these butchers change the way I live. I'd rather die than do that.
And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
We told you last night about some hotels, rent-a-car places and gas stations that price gouged after the terror attacks, which of course is ridiculous.
One of those hotels was reportedly a Holiday Inn in Manhattan and today the parent company, Six Continents Hotels, issued this statement:
"The hotel cited on the recent edition of The O'Reilly Factor has been contacted and an investigation is underway and any Six Continents Hotels found to be engaging in conscious price gouging will be subject to termination from the franchise system."
Well, we applaud the action of Six Continents.
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