While I share your concerns, no way can the US, or it's real allies let this go.
I too thought that Bush would immediatly, and ineffectively, lash out.
He has not, and that's a good sign. Clearly Powell has advised him that the military solution will be long, difficult and sometimes not certain.
But, an effort has to be made, otherwise next time it could be chemical, biological or a crude suitcase nuke. And not just aimed at the US.
I'm not going to defend Isreal, or IMHO the US's wrong-headed policy towards them.
The fact is, these fanatics who carried out this attack, use the situation there as an excuse for their hatred, and exploit it too.
Fundamentalists hate liberal Western democracies, our very exsistance undermines their hopes of installing a Taleban-style theocracy on the world. They twist and distort the teachings of a great faith to achieve their ends. They seek to spark a new holy war between Christains and Muslims. That was the real intention of Tuesdays attacks.
No surprise that NY was the main target. All those various communities, faiths, nations living largely in peace together.
Freedom for both sexes, liberty, free-speech, the focal point of the USA's great melting pot.
New York is all these things writ large, that's why so many foreigners love the place.
All human virtues and vices are there, a microcosm of our age, a glowing symbol of our increasingly interdependant world.
How these fanatics must hate that city, and by extension, the US and the West.
To their bitter, twisted minds, NY is Soddom and Gomorrah. To a fundamentalist who thinks himself an omnipotent entity, the free world is proof of the contary.
So what the terrorists wanted to do on tuesay, what they still want to do, is destroy. Not liberate anyone.