Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.-George Washington
Terrorism is not new. You might get the opposite impression if you only read the weblogs of the far right.
When the Hessians brutally pounded, hacked, and pierced wounded American soldiers during the Revolution, George Washington could have responded with similar tactics but instead Washington commanded that American soldiers would, in the face of incredible terrorism, treat these heartless enemies civilly.
After the war a quarter of the Hessians stayed in America and became, in effect, part of the Revolution they had fought.
The audio for an NPR report that reminded me of this story was broadcast this morning. It will be available on the NPR website at 1 p.m. today.
George Washington's response to terrorism
This NPR page includes Washington's famous Rules of Civility.
The current President was not mentioned in the report, but the contrast of the characters of GW and the foul-mouthed, swaggering, "bring-em-on" GWB is too stark not to leap to mind. That a Revolution led by such character could devolve into the present administration is ... revolting.