There are so many ways to attack us here and so few ways to block such an attack that we are bound to have some horrors down the line. Airplanes are but a small piece of the potential.

What we must be doing is persuading people out there that violence is not the way to go. The Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend is one of the best parts of our heritage and we should be spreading its message far and wide. Haiti may be an opportunity for us to show our caring side to the world — rather than simplistic attempts to control things with military force which we can’t afford anyway.

To personalize things here, one of my student summer jobs was working as an assistant to a blaster. It takes no great genius to blow things up.

We must concentrate on persuasion now — we are not involved in a crusade against any religion except those advocating violence and right wing Christians are doing as much of that as the violent Muslim fringe groups.

It is impossible for us to wage a military war against terrorism because it has become so diffused and violent ones are likely to turn up anywhere. Our TV is haunted by people who have gone berserk and blown away former colleagues at offices and such.

Spotting such people before they erupt is no easy game. Living in NYC, which has been a prime target, I am relieved on a day to day basis that we have not had some mass killing incident.

And so it goes in this new century.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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