i also think it's interesting that bin laden made so much money out of capitalism and now hates it so much. i've heard before about the cognizant dissonance involved in the jihad mentality. for example, they seem to hate all things wester. but they must use videocameras and vhs tapes to make their speeches and modern radio and the internet ... all of which are modern techonological advancements. there is also something odd about fighting the "infidels" with modern weapons ... especially the widespread use of the ak-47, which has often been the icon of communist revolution (and communism is often most closely associated with atheism and "modernism").
i don't think, though, that the us should become a giant tiger. we are a beacon of civilization (along with other modern countries like japan and european states). our tolerance and help to other countries stem from the fact that we are civilized, not barbarians. we may not always agree with the direction our modern civilization takes, but the core values are good. we've shed so much blood and suffered so much to advance out of the dark ages to build this civilization. yes, some mistakes were made along the way: colonialism, imperialism, two world wars. but the long term trajectory has brought us here.
on the issue of mexian immigrants. that's a small side issue, but keep in mind that nafta makes close ties between the us, canada, and mexico a reality. in europe, eu members don't need passports or anything else to move freely between and within their countries. nafta is our version of the eu. so the move to give mexican immigrants a similar arrangement as, say, french citizens living in germany.
in short, i really like how colin powell and others in the administration have put the issue forward. they put it as an attack on civlization and the values of civilization. when i wrote earlier that those who attacked us were barbarians, i didn't mean that in any sort of ethno-centric way. i think anyone that knows me knows that. what i meant was that those who use terrorism (in any of its forms) are using weapons of the dark ages. those of us who have "grown up" (from all races and all creeds) uphold the values of civilization.
i'm glad also that powell emphasized that the us will attack terrorists ... all terrorists ... wherever they may be. i don't think it matters any more whether it was bin laden, the ira, hamas, the farc (in colombia), or the tamil tigers. all terrorists should be stamped out. no people in the world should fave the constant dangers of random attacks. and i also agree w/ some of the editorials that emphasize that we must not isolate ourselves, but rather come out to more deeply engage ourselves in world issues (like the middle east) in order to spread civilization and its values to those corners of the world where fear and hatred combine to produce terror and violence.