As the dust begins to settle on the darkest day in American history, the world must now consider how to deal with the scourge of international terrorism. It will not be enough simply to launch a few missiles or drop a few bombs; these will at best force terrorists to relocate, postponing but not stopping the next attack. Nor will it be enough to impose economic sanctions or ensure the diplomatic isolation of nations harboring terrorism; such measures are too feeble, and are likely to prove ineffective against an enemy who transcends national boundaries.
We, the undersigned, believe that the struggle against international terrorism requires a sustained and long-term battle. We therefore call upon the United States to declare war against terrorists and all nations which support terrorism. No doubt, a declaration of war is a drastic step. But if there is one thing the events of September 11th have revealed it is that drastic measures are required. No doubt, too, a declaration of war may frighten some with its implications of mass casualties. But there are ways to minimize those, both on our side, and on the other side, where innocent civilians must not be punished for the evil spawned by those who lurk unidentified in their midst. This is a different kind of war, the first war of the 21st century. It need not require the death and mayhem we traditionally associate with war, and it should minimize civilian casualties; but it does require the resolve, commitment, and long-term vision of a war.
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