You are absolutely right. " ...saying i don't care why you are upset but you hurt me so i'll slap you is equally unsustainable. It *does* matter why people are upset." Whoever did this had their reasons, and that can't be disputed.
Other posts have commented that America should make no move to actively wage a war against our enemies, "that we should maintain the moral high ground". In my opinion, that is exactly what will cause America to be destroyed in a nuclear firestorm. The best defense is a good offense. It's an old cliche, but it is accurate to the nth degree. The Roman Empire lasted for over a thousand years because they had the strongest army in the world, and they weren't afraid to use. The moral structures of the world have changed considerably since then, and it is generally unacceptable for one nation to invade another with the idea of conquest. Self defense is not conquest. Pre-emptive self defense is not conquest. Pre-emptive self defense is exactly that: defending ourselves against a threat before they have any more opportunities to harm us.
As I said before, I don't know who is in the Right here. I think perhaps that America does need to reevaluate our foreign policies regarding the mideast. But that need now lies secondary to a need to defend ourselves. And that defense can ONLY come through a strong offense. By hunting our enemies down and killing them. We can't simply say "Look, we stopped doing what you don't like, don't bomb us anymore please." It does NOT work that way. First, they won't stop until they're dead. They've already shown us that. Second, see the first point. I can't stress it enough. Beating up someone at school because you *think* he might be a bully isn't the right thing to do. Beating up someone that has killed countless thousands of our mothers, brothers, fathers, sisters, children, and friends is the ONLY thing left for us to do.
Maybe we brought this on ourselves. But whatever retaliation is made is equally warranted. "Proportional response"? It is an ideal that is simply not practical. Say you poke my eye out because you don't like the way I look, or the way I talk, or my opinions on anything. Should I poke your eye out? No. I should kill you. Why? Because by your actions you have indicated that you are willing to do great damage to people, and are a danger to myself and others. Call me any name you want and disagree to your hearts content. Perhaps I'll stop and think about what caused you to say it. If I don't change my behaviour, after consistant requests, perhaps the only step left is for you to poke my eye out. So be it. But if you attack me, I am going to defend myself. It's not a matter of who's right anymore. It's a matter of survival. If you're using a knife, I am going to use my gun. If you're using a gun, I am going to use my gun first. If you're using car bombs and hijacked airplanes, take a wild guess what I'm going to use.
This could very well be the end of America. But we won't walk quietly into the hereafter, and you can be damned sure we won't go alone.