From a speech May 20 by Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr. at the University of Montana:

Perhaps terrorism is the truth behind the old classical myth of the dragon's teeth. Whenever a dragon's tooth fell on the ground, so the tale is told, it sprouted into a fully armed man. Today when a drop of blood falls on the ground it is almost bound to sprout vengeance and retaliation from one side or the other.

Thus it is that retaliation or the imposition of collective responsibility can fuel the cycle of violence in which it is hard to distinguish the terrorist and the avenger. . . .

Collective responsibility, of course, is the order of the day when two nations are at war. . . . And that is one of the reasons that the Constitution hedges the power to declare war with great precision. Only the Congress can declare war, and only the president can implement that decision. It is intended to be the coordinate decision of the whole government. . . .

Terrorism presents a certain dilemma because it is a form of warfare that often falls short of full war. Yet, while taking all precautions and enhancing every intelligence resource, we cannot forswear the use of force.

Before turning to that alternative, however, we must strive to preempt the need for imposing collective responsibility by taking collective action. In short, we must do everything we can to develop an effective policy -- by building a consensus here at home, by enhancing cooperation with our friends and allies, and by strengthening, not weakening, international institutions.