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Dreadful shock waves have been reverberating out of control since the terrorists struck at the heart of Washington and New York, severely disrupting every aspect of human life and activity, not only all over the U.S., but worldwide. People have since been overtaken by paralyzing uncertainty, fear, total loss of direction and purpose.

And while the delicate and serious nature of the situation dictates maximum caution, self-control and wisdom in managing one of the most serious crises of our time, ironically we are witnessing the exact opposite. Many feel a dangerous push in the direction of chaos that will compound and consolidate all negative consequences of the Sept. 11 atrocities, an upheaval which will most definitely be much harder to control.

What recently emerged as a serious counter productive development is the untimely threat of widening the scope of war to include other organizations and countries, including Iraq.

That should be avoided at any cost, and any such irresponsible threats, which may be the result of some hardline elements in the U.S. administration not resisting the temptation to settle old scores in Iraq or elsewhere in the region, should be abandoned.

Issuing confusing signals this time will only lead to a disastrous disintegration of the coalition, unity of purpose and action.

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