Few places lend themselves to blood lust like the pages of our nations op-ed pages. Want to know why so many have been thrust asunder in Iraq? Go back to the winter of 2003, and read the op-ed pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post. You'll find Thomas Friedman, noted Middle East expert, advancing the notion that the Middle East needs to be slapped around a bit with a war or that they need to see the mocking genitalia of American servicemen and women.
Richard Cohen, on the other hand, is a kind of poor-man's Tom Friedman:
And yet revenge also suggests a proper concern for the dead. The people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, cannot simply be dismissed, erased — as if they had not been killed in a huge crime. It's not just that bin Laden is still at large. So are the Taliban members who sheltered him and stayed with him after Sept. 11. This should not be complicated: The killers of Americans ought to pay for what they've done. It is good foreign policy.
Perhaps I could rephrase a bit: the killers of Americans, and people near the killers of Americans, and future Americans who die in future revenge attacks for our very general notion of revenge, ought to pay for what they've done.