The Fateful Gamble in Moscow

The New York Times, October 29, 2002

To the Editor:

It is a truism that we live in a global communications village. As the recent terrorist attacks in Israel, Indonesia, the United States and now Russia (front page, Oct. 26) indicate, the success of terrorists to strike under the pretext of moral equivalency in one part of the world encourages indigenous terrorists to murder self-righteously in other parts of the world.

Validating or legitimizing terrorist-chosen grievances as ''root causes'' or equating the deaths of those murdered by terrorists with casualties incurred during selfdefense efforts encourages copycat terrorists internationally.

Policy differences aside, what all who are committed to civilization need to recognize is that international terrorism today is part of a cycle of terrorism rather than the morally misleading equivalency of a "cycle of violence."

Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 26, 2002