Amid the pain, horror and indignation that have accompanied the recent devastating attacks in the USA, a few American politicians and commentators have found the courage to control their reflexes… and have called upon their country to show self-restraint, to seek out the genuine perpetrators but to also fathom the responsibilities for its own policies which have stirred hatred in the Muslim world. Because even if it is finally proved that Muslims are not responsible for the attack, no one questions that the hatred actually exists. This minority of commentators, in other words, suggests what many of their Western European colleagues note as an imperative: The USA should not confine itself to comments about a war against civilization, freedom and democracy; they should not embark on a reflex reaction that involves bombing all suspects and putting pressure on all allies. They should not only track down the culprits but also explore the causes of the tragedy – without resorting to convenient justifications regarding paranoid fanatics but by analyzing the factors which bred so much violence and acts of self-sacrifice against them. This much-needed analysis… will be bypassed if the European political elites follow the logic of providing uncritical support for blind military strikes and massive restrictions on those individual freedoms that also happen to constitute one of the fundamental differences between the Western democracies and the theocratic or totalitarian regimes…

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