I understand your frustration, it is currently being exemplified by Cheney and Bush all over the world news... "get `em before they get us".... now no-one is saying Saddam Hussein is an angel, that man deserves life less than the ebola virus.... just for what he has inflicted on his own people, never mind anyone else. But the "overwhelmng and immediate appliication of force" is not the answer... it never has been... just ask the germans who initiated WW2 under a charismatic leader and destroyed thier country. Look at the Israeli/Arab conflict... application of force again simply leads to more force, the protestant/catholic conflict in N.Ireland.... a never ending loop of violence and counter violence.... this scenario has been repeated through out history.... never with a long term successful outcome.
The maxim you mentioned which essentially translates as "an eye for a head, a tooth for a leg...." is (and I maybe wrong in the exact interpretation) straight from the Koran.... if you do harm to one muslim, then you do harm to all.... and it is one of the few circumstances where a true muslim (unlike Bin Laden and his lackey`s) is allowed to use force.
So if America starts a conflict in Iraq without categorical proof (even congress has`nt been allowed to see this "proof" let alone Americas allies) then effectively she is declaring war against Islam.... (hence the warnings from all the arab states including Eygypts Mubarach(spelling
?) where he warns that no arab leader will be able to control their people if America follows this threat through)... a war against a religion.... any religion (never mind one as populous as Islam) is one no one country can hope to win.... statistics show that the expected numbers of Muslims in the Year 2000 was 1.9 billion (http://www.islamicweb.com/begin/results.htm
) obviously it will be more now... they also have great wealth concentrated in a relatively few numbers.... this is idea from a terrorist perspective, and all muslims are willing to lay down their lives for Allah.
Now I believe if America attacks Iraq then Bin Laden and his scum will sit down and laugh their socks off at how America has helped them. They will be flooded with volunteers and even more money... plus contacts that may result in obtaining nuclear material. All because of a policy of "get `em, before they get you"... At this stage without proof, the best thing that can be achieved is to set the CIA after Bin Laden gloves off.... which the prez has already done... it may take time but he`s the one you want now... unlike Hussein, Bin Laden has brains and money.