Chile: A New Kind of War

The words [of President Bush] remind us of the missile attacks ordered by his predecessor on targets in the Sudan and Afghanistan and the bombing of Tripoli by Ronald Reagan. All in all, without having complete certainty about the origin of the terrorist attack, it would seem absolutely indispensable to control one’s desire for vengeance.

This demonstration, that a small group of people resolved to die and trained to cause damage to those they consider their enemies, could lead to extremely negative results. One can well imagine that the immediate response of the United States—and, in general, of all the countries that are victims of terrorism—will be the adoption of measures to prevent anything like it from happening again. Unfortunately, this means restricting civil liberties. It is almost certain that freedom of movement and trade will be affected. It is reasonable to assume, as well, that measures aimed at immigrants, which have broad support in Europe, will be sharpened. But even more disquieting is the idea of a police state as the only safeguard when faced with ubiquitous and technologically capable terrorists. This would be a serious event for Western societies, which have achieved a notable democratic modus vivendi. That is why all the countries that share these civilized values ought immediately to establish mechanisms of cooperation and information sharing as a means of effectively confronting indiscriminate terrorism.