Is anyone still saying, “Give peace a chance?”

Greg Kane

America wants revenge.

It wants blood for the thousands of lives lost in the tragic terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. It wants destruction for its symbols that now lay in a pile of dust, smoke and twisted steel. It wants silence for every jubilant anti-American cheer broadcast in living rooms across the globe.

Payback is on the minds and lips of everyone from the President of the United States to the kid bagging groceries at Albertson?s.Unfortunately, those swept up in the “not on our turf” mentality fail to realize the big picture. Should the United States bring its “hammer of vengeance” to countries which harbor those responsible for the attacks, as President George W. Bush has promised, it?s likely the victims would be just as innocent and undeserving as those who perished last week.

People with spouses. People with children. People who had no idea the actions of a handful of lunatics would result in their death sentence. These are who will be at the other end of American bombs.

The fact is, it?s impossible to declare war on terrorist groups. They have no homeland to protect. There are no geographic boundaries that hold them. They are a nameless, faceless entity, difficult to identify and nearly impossible to eradicate.

So President Bush and other U.S. officials seem to be gearing up for the next best thing: to hit them where it hurts, go after the countries they operate from and blow up some of their buildings. The goal would be to show the world that the United States is indeed the most powerful nation on Earth.

And Americans are getting behind it.

It?s not hard to see why people are angry. In fact, they have every right to be. It?s impossible to avoid the image of American Airlines Flight 77 screaming into the second tower, sending a ball of smoke and flames into the famed New York skyline. The nation watched as the notion of U.S. invulnerability crashed to the ground along with the famed towers.

Taking military action on a country of people who likely had no hand in the incident is not the answer. If the United States were to attack Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden has reportedly been hiding, civilian homes and lives would be lost at a far greater clip than those of any terrorists.

Don?t think so? There is precedent. Hundreds of Panamanian civilians were reportedly killed when U.S. troops stormed their country to arrest its president, Manuel Noriega, for drug smuggling. Similar casualties have been reported in the Gulf War, which Americans watched in the comfortable safety of their La-Z-Boys.

And let?s not forget the most horrific of all, the detonation of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed more than 100,000 Japanese men, women and children and was celebrated on American soil with more fervor than any Palestinian child shown on TV in the past week.

Hopefully those responsible for the tragedy will be brought to justice. But the thousands of people killed in the attacks will not be brought back by more violence on an undeserving country. Enough lives have been lost. Enough buildings have crumbled. The best revenge America can have is to rise from the dust and respond with peace.