1. Archive

Once again, lessons of terrorism intrude

Some reflections after Centennial Olympic Park at Atlanta:

What I originally wrote about for today was the resentment against an Ugly American trying to tell others whom to trade with, dumping on U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and hogging the limelight at the Olympics.

But the bomb in Centennial Olympic Park swept some of that aside with the outpouring of sympathy, solidarity and the realization that we are all vulnerable.

Whoever set off the bomb could not have chosen a more shocking place than the Olympics, except perhaps for one of the world's great places of worship.

As the most powerful nation on Earth, the United States has become, for many, the most responsible for their grievances.

Even in the most powerful nation on Earth, there is no hiding place from the terrorism by the angry, the oppressed and the criminal that has haunted the world.

The World Trade Center in 1993, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the apartment complex in Dhahran a month ago, TWA Flight 800 a week ago, are all testimony to those who may have forgotten the destruction of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut and PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie.

Terrorism is the weapon of the weak.

When all else fails, terrorist attacks are the ultimate _ if cowardly and sick _ attempt to get even and be heard.

In reacting, remember the past wisdom that the thing to fear is fear itself.

One danger is that the hunt for terrorists, looking for the enemy under every table, chair and bed, could lead to a witch hunt.

And just as important as hunting down the terrorists is addressing the grievances they feed on.

At home, as in a Middle East that still hasn't really learned the lesson, peace creates security more than the other way around.