A Declaration of War Against Terrorism

by | Sep 13, 2001 | Terrorism

On December 7, 1941, America was the target of an unprovoked, unmitigated and unjustified attack that left thousands dead and many more wounded. Americans understood the meaning of this day of infamy and responded appropriately–the sleeping giant was awakened. War was declared on December 8, and the evil was eventually vanquished. On September 11, 2001, […]

On December 7, 1941, America was the target of an unprovoked, unmitigated and unjustified attack that left thousands dead and many more wounded. Americans understood the meaning of this day of infamy and responded appropriately–the sleeping giant was awakened. War was declared on December 8, and the evil was eventually vanquished.

On September 11, 2001, America was again the target of evil. Make no mistake about it: what happened on that day was an act of war. America must now rise to the occasion and defend itself, or it will only face similar vile acts of destruction in the coming years. An unequivocal declaration of war by Congress should have been adopted on September 12–but Congress failed last week in contrast to its action with moral rectitude on December 8, 1941. It is not too late, though, and Congress should still adopt a declaration of war as its first order of business in its next session.

But against whom? In 1941, Japan at least had the honor of acting in the open in its attack on the U.S. naval base at Pear Harbor. During the military engagement, Japan’s colors and insignia were displayed on all of its planes and ships for any and all to see. The slaughter that was perpetrated on September 11–against innocent civilians–was committed by an organization that has hidden behind a veil of secrecy and suicide. The terrorist group does not even chose to acknowledge its responsibility in the communique such organizations have typically sent to newspapers in the past.

America knows, however, the countries who officially sponsor such terrorist organizations. The names of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, and Sudan easily roll off the lips of any American official asked to identify the countries who have provided terrorists with training facilities, asylum and financial support. America knows of the terrorist organizations that have murdered innocent people for decades, such as Osama bin Laden, Hezbullah, Hamas, and a multitude of Palestinian groups, to name but a few. (The sight on September 11 of the celebrating Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank should have sickened every American; they were celebrating the mass murder of innocent American citizens.) A declaration of war against terrorism should simply contain a list of every country and organization that has committed or aided terrorist acts against the U.S.–or stated an intention of committing such acts in the future.

It has been America’s inaction against these countries and organizations for the past 40 years or more that has permitted terrorism to fester and grow like a cancer. And just as cancer kills healthy bodies, terrorists yesterday killed thousands of innocent Americans and forever marred a beacon of civilization and progress–the New York City skyline. It is time to cut out and obliterate the cancer of terrorism–and its supporting ideology of Islamic Jihad–before it spreads and ultimately consumes more innocent and healthy lives.

The memory of the gleaming twin towers of the World Trade Center and its thousands of productive inhabitants who perished yesterday deserves no less.

Mr. Mossoff is a professor of law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. He is a Visiting Intellectual Property Fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, a Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University, and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. His scholarship has been relied on by the Supreme Court, by federal courts, and by federal agencies, and he has been invited numerous times to testify before the Senate and the House of Representatives on proposed intellectual property legislation. Visit his website at adammossoff.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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