The terrorist catastrophe in New York may have possibly marked the beginning of the end of an open society in the US. This, coupled with President Bush's apparent insularity, does not bode well.

No one knows, as yet, who is responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre and the US's prime suspect has denied any involvement.

Speculations are both plausible and ridiculous. Some contend it was the work of an internal white supremacist organisation, while others have readily targeted Islamists.

In the light of the US state's countless enemies from every section of the political divide, perhaps the most unlikely conclusion may well be the soundest.

Lives have been lost, tragically, and open society in the US has been threatened. The question is, can some semblance of democracy be upheld after this or should

we start adopting a more insular attitude, thus playing into the hands of separatist ideologues?

-Mike Walls, Brighton