The Lethal Writing on the Wall: In the War Against Terrorism, Peace Is Not an Option

By By Chad Armitstead

By Chad Armitstead

Being the unsuspecting type that I am, I allowed myself to read the writing on the wall?well, on the sidewalk?as I recently walked in the crisp air of the University of Utah’s campus.

“War will kill more,” the concrete said to me. The author had long since gone. I was horrified.

Though I understand the sentiment of the well-meaning chalk-vandal, that sentiment is dangerous. The statement itself is simply not true.

I felt the urge to write: “The terrorists will kill you.” I wouldn’t have meant this as a threat, but as a statement of the truth and a warning.

I mean it as what the terrorists themselves would say and not what I would threaten. I don’t wish any innocent person harm. I hope for the opposite. I am far from angry with the writer of the statement?last time I checked, speech was still free in the United States.

Manifested in the writer’s statement is an innate desire for peace. I both understand this and possess it myself, along with a majority of the human race. Therefore, I understand the resistance to the war we’re waging, however large or small that resistance may be.

However, these terrorists will kill innocent people. Our military and our president seek the guilty. These terrorists value death?death for a cause and death of U.S. Citizens. We, along with all civilized nations and people, value life.

The people we are fighting are the type of people who “will send their children out into the streets because they know that the good guys don’t kill babies,” to quote Dr. Laura Schlesinger.

They don’t care who you are or if you are an obstacle to their cause?they will kill you. This is their mission, and they will continue if the good don’t strike back, strike decisively and strike at the heart of the evil.

Terrorism knows no compassion. Terrorism does indeed have a face, many faces, all hiding and darkened by a calculated obscurity.

Borders do not confine terrorism. Its gnarled hand seeks not only to strangle the United States, but to throttle peoples and democracies everywhere.

If we won’t strike back to protect our own, then perhaps we’ll strike back to protect our Israeli brothers. We cannot forget that there are those who live where murderous bombs in the streets are a daily reality.

We are at war. Let’s not turn our soldiers into “baby killers” with our biting words. Let’s not repay the soldiers whose lives buy our freedom with empty insults and disdain. They are heroes. They have saved our way of life from tyrants domestic and foreign. They don’t want to die, but they will do it if necessary to defend your life and peace of mind.

There are those who sing the anthem, “Make love, not war.” I believe that they will sing this anthem until the hand of terrorism reaches the throat of their lover, or their sister, or their brother.

Perhaps a Taliban regime’s death sentence for walking in the streets with a woman to whom one is not related would subdue these so-called “peace advocates'” singing.

I side with Tony Blair when he says that inaction will cost more than striking back. In the words of a great leader, “for evil to prevail, it takes only for good men to do nothing. Those who truly love peace will eradicate their enemies when they refuse to negotiate on any terms other than lethal ones.”

This is not a time for partisanship or criticism. “A house divided shall not stand”?a sentiment echoed in our united Congress. We should add to it with each of our voices. If a heretofore fiercely divided government can unite, surely we can.

The United State’s undying spirit of freedom is unscathed. We still live where we are free to speak, write or draw what we like. We live where we use our freedom to unite and conquer.

I thank God that Congressional leaders like Dick Gebhart and Tom Daschle, with whom I regularly disagree, have the mettle to rise to an occasion such as this and unite for a few critical moments with a president they routinely oppose.

We can unite as well, hopefully choosing our voices and paper more often than anonymous concrete chalk messages to support the leadership of our nation.

The United States is doing what Dr. Laura Schlesinger calls “standing between the evil and the innocent.” As the United States and its people do this, the terrorists and perpetrators of evil will read a new and ominous message on the walls of their dark fortresses?until those walls no longer stand.

Chad welcomes feedback at: [email protected]