As war moves closer, many Americans are getting edgier and that's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
Fear is a dangerous thing. It can cloud thinking, cause violence or be harnessed for self-preservation. All of that of course is up to the individual.
The terrorists have succeeded in injecting fear into our daily lives and that is their great victory so far. I hear it time and time again and I heard it from Phil Donahue on Good Morning America, this morning.
"But what happens if America strikes back and the whole thing escalates…" and on and on. I bet you've heard that line from some of your friends.
Well the truth is that America has no choice in this matter and whatever happens, happens.
It's like this: If somebody breaks in to your house and kills your loved ones, do you negotiate with those people? Do you depend on others to determine what course of action you take? Do you ignore other people who directly helped the killer?
Of course not. You take direct action. You either kill the person in self-defense, or call for police action against everyone who hurt your family.
That is what the U.S. is doing now. These terrorists broke into our home, killed 6,000 of us and now we must bring them to justice.
If other countries help us — fine. If they don't, that's fine too. Our government is responsible for righting this wrong — not Belgium, or the U.N., or anybody else.
There's a good chance that our enemies will hit us again, but we simply have to accept that. They'll attack us no matter what. History shows that if we show weakness to the world the anti-American incidents will increase.
Evil must be confronted and it is frightening to do that. Some of us won't even admit evil exists. But it does and make no mistake about it, evil has marked America. We must root it out by using the only thing it understands — force.
Very few Americans — including your humble correspondent — want this war. If there was any other way to stop terrorism we would embrace it. But there isn't.
The patriotic thing to do right now is to accept what you cannot control and live your life in a dignified, responsible way. If it is your time to die then that is what will happen. There is no use worrying about chemical attacks, or plane crashes, or anthrax.
Instead, enjoy the autumn. Take a drive with friends and have a nice meal. Take your kids to the pumpkin patch. Do all the things Americans have always done.
Nobody knows how all this will turn out, but I do know one thing: America is right and honorable to defend itself and bring all terrorists to justice. That is the right thing to do and I am willing to confront the fear of retaliation in order to do it.
And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for the most ridiculous item of the day, which is ridiculous in a good way.
Delta Airlines is giving away 10,000 tickets to people who want to fly to New York City. Even though Delta and all the other airlines are hurting financially, it is doing this promotion which is smart and helps New York.
That's the kind of thing we need to see more of in corporate America. Delta has the seats available, so they won't lose any money and they are creatively filling those seats and creating good PR.
Good job, Delta.
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