Jewish World Review Sept. 14, 2001 / 25 Elul, 5761

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
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Evil on display -- THE dictionary defines the story for us -- evil, adjective: morally bad or wrong. Causing ruin, injury or pain. So now we know the true nature of anybody who had anything to do with the terrorist attacks on America. The question is, what do we do about it?

Well, we punish them, of course. And in this case, there will be few, if any, who raise questions about insanity or disease, or trot out the litany of excuses we often hear in defense of the many evil-doers in our society. America has become a nation of excuses -- many of us look at heinous acts and apply our own rational standards to the perpetrators. Thus, a person like Andrea Yates, who brutally murdered her five little kids, has to be mentally ill and not responsible. Of course she's mentally ill. But not responsible? This is where that kind of thinking breaks down.

In the past, the Moslem terrorists who have caused so much destruction and pain to so many innocent people could, in my opinion, be considered mentally ill. They believe their god is going to elevate them to paradise for executing innocent human beings. If that isn't a mental illness, I don't know what is.

But that doesn't mean these monsters didn't know what they were doing. They did. They knew they were killing blameless human beings just as Hitler, Stalin and the other psychopaths of history knew. And for this they have to be brought to justice. Just because a person has a damaged mind doesn't mean we shouldn't punish him or her.

I have seen evil face to face. I once sat down across from Joel Steinberg, who brutally tortured and killed his little daughter. Steinberg denied everything to me, but his dead eyes told the true story. He is in prison for life, but more than one person has told me the man is sick and should be "treated."

Evil cannot be "treated" -- nor should it be. Evil has to be confronted and destroyed, and it matters not why the evil is in play. Society has no obligation to try to rehabilitate evil. If a person commits acts that cause pain and destruction, that person must be dealt with harshly.

There are obviously varying degrees of evil, but mass terror and murder are at the top of the list. The terrorists who struck America are modern-day SS men. They are no different than the concentration-camp butchers of the Holocaust, and any nation in the world that harbors them or condones their behavior should be ostracized, whether that nation produces oil or not.

Some commentators have ascribed the motives of these terrorists as trying to "demoralize" America. I strongly disagree with that. These people simply wanted to kill and create mayhem. They know the United States is not going to change its tenets. They know nothing favorable to their perverted cause will be forthcoming.

This action was simply a mass assassination. And they used their god as an excuse. How repulsive is that? How mentally deranged is that? How evil is that? The world deserves to be rid of killers and those who bring misery to human beings. Society needs to see evil for what it is and adopt a "zero tolerance" policy. I could not care less why child killers and terrorists decide to do what they do. They must be eliminated or banished in chains for their lifetimes. That is the only "treatment."

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and The Completely Ridiculous in American Life. Comments by clicking here.


09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate