In the United States, President Bush had declared that the attacks in New York and Washington were more than “acts of terror” but were “acts of war”.
In a United States public opinion poll, nearly nine in 10 Americans believe the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon represented an act of war, while another opinion poll found that 92% of those surveyed said they would support military action in retaliation if the United States could identify the groups or nations responsible.
The mass atrocities carried out in New York and Washington on Tuesday, involving the hijacking of civilian aircraft and resulting in thousands of men, women and children being killed, maimed or injured, were savage acts and unspeakable crimes against humanity and can never be condoned by any civilized society.
All nations, governments and peoples must co-operate to bring the perpetrators of such heinous crimes against humanity to justice, in full accordance with international law without targetting or victimising innocent civilians.
It is imperative however that the insanity of the carnage in New York and Washington should not be followed by the insanity of mindless vengeance and atrocities reducing international relations to a battle between terrorism of nuclear power versus terrorism of the suicide bomber, creating in its wake new armies of innocent civilian victims, just like the innocent ones in New York and Washington on Tuesday.
While the international community must act as one to root out terrorism in any form, the time has also come for the world, and in particular, the United States administration, to look into the root causes of such terrorism to resolve and remove the conflicts that fuel the hatreds that create suicide-bombers - in particular the long-standing injustices in the Middle East.