When the question is asked "Why do they hate us?" most Americans correctly perceive "they" as being foreign terrorists who, in the opinion of President George Bush, are so resentful of this nation's underpinnings of freedom and equality that they're determined to destroy the United States.
The Sept. 11 hijacking of four fuel-laden jetliners, two of which were rammed into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City, one which struck the Pentagon and the fourth which crashed in Pennsylvania were manifestations of that hatred. The loss of thousands of innocent lives prompted the president to declare war on global terrorism. Thus for the past seven weeks, American bombers and fighter jets have reduced the nation of Afghanistan, which has been a safe haven for terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, to rubble.
As of this writing, bin Laden and the top lieutenants in his Al-Qaida terrorist organization were still at large, but the Afghanistan Taliban government, which permitted him to maintain his headquarters and operate his terrorist training camps, has been toppled.
Enemy: But just as foreign terrorists are viewed as the enemy, there are groups in the United States that also preach hatred and advocate the overthrow of the government. They, too, are the enemy of this nation and should be treated as such.
During a recent visit to The Vindicator, Ohio Lt. Gov. Maureen O'Connor, who is responsible for the state's anti-terrorism effort, was asked for her description of a terrorist.
"Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber," O'Connor replied without hesitation. By any definition, McVeigh was a terrorist. His bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building resulted in death of innocent men, women and children and the destruction of an important symbol of America. His hatred of the federal government inspired him to act.
Likewise, white supremacists, Christian Identity adherents, neo-Nazis, skinhead groups and other extremists also resort to violence to express their hate. Indeed, these groups are using the Sept. 11 attack to recruit new members, especially young, impressionable people. They've gone so far as to justify the attack by Islamic extremists that claimed the lives of almost 4,000 by arguing that it was prompted by U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East -- "the U.S. government acting on behalf of the Jews instead of on behalf of the American people."
President Bush has described the war on terrorism in relatively simple terms: Those who don't condemn terrorism should be considered supporters of terrorism.
For this reason, domestic terrorists need to be viewed as enemies of the state and dealt with in the same manner as foreign terrorists.