As the American people so well remember, President Bush stirred emotions to fever pitch by promising revenge for the 9/11 attack. Actually, despite his promise to capture Osama bin Laden, dead or alive, the president let him live in order to invade Iraq. Last week, North Korea fired artillery at military and civilian areas on an island off the coast of South Korea which resulted in the death of two civilians and two members of the Marines. South Korean General told angry members of the Marines, we “will avenge the two at any cost, we will put our feelings of rage and animosity in our bones and take our revenge on North Korea.” Ah, words of anger. Yes, he promised to avenge the marines and he promised to punish North Korea. But, the questions are how will this revenge be enacted and will it lead to even more deaths?
Israel leaders love boasting about revenge, Arab leaders love promising revenge, and as they allow emotions to take over their minds, the only result is more deaths. We need calm in Asia, not rhetoric.