Step out of the shadows, cowards.
No one has taken credit for the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., so we still don't know why they did it. We have an idea who, and we have an idea they hate Americans, but it remains a vague and pointless act of mass murder.
It's clear that suicidal madmen - the hijackers themselves - were willing to die for some cause. But it's just as clear that whoever planned the attacks, whoever financed them and whoever holds the beliefs for which the hijackers died is not willing to pay the same price.
They have slunk back into their holes, afraid to show their faces or speak their names. They know the United States and much of the world are prepared to exact justice on them. They have much to fear.
This is a crucial difference between true war and the war on terrorism that President Bush has declared.
In a true war, the sides are willing to take responsibility for their actions. They attack with the knowledge they will be attacked, and they are willing to put their forces in harm's way.
Not so with terrorists, of course. They kill innocent civilians, unable to defend themselves, then run away.
Just as horrible, however, is the destruction they will bring down on other innocent people. The United States and allies are now preparing a response to the terrorism that, it appears, will target far more than those directly responsible for the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.
If innocent people die in Afghanistan or elsewhere - and it seems certain at this point they will - the terrorists must take responsibility for those deaths, as well.
There may still be time for the terrorists to show their commitment to their cause. Step out of the shadows, cowards.