Jewish World Review Sept. 11, 2003 / 14 Elul, 5763
Guaranteeing the terrorists return
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | On the second anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans feel considerably more secure than they did in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
There is a good reason for this. Since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been no successful terrorist attacks on American soil. Since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been no successful major terrorist attacks against American targets anywhere in the world.
It is worth reflecting for a moment on why this is so.
We cannot attribute the absence of bloodshed to a change of heart on the part of our attackers. The tapes allegedly made by Osama bin Laden which are played periodically on Arab television networks contain more dire threats than ever. If he could hurt us, he would.
So why hasn't al Qaida struck again?
It could be luck, or:
But terror can return as swiftly as it receded if policies change.
Iraq, by accident or design, has become the central battlefield in the war on terror. Operatives from al Qaida and Hezbollah are being drawn there, like moths to a flame. By engaging them there, we keep them out of New York and Washington. And if democracy takes root in Iraq, the terror-supporting regimes in Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia are doomed.
The Iraq policy of all the Democratic presidential candidates, save Sen. Joe Lieberman, is camouflaged surrender. Turn the country over to the United Nations, and then leave. This would please the French. But is America made more secure by winning the approval of the French, or by relentlessly pursuing our enemies?
America's foreign policy defeats, from Vietnam onward, have all been failures of political will. Our soldiers have demonstrated in Afghanistan and Iraq that the war on terror cannot be lost on the battlefield. But it can be lost at the ballot box.
The war on terror is well begun. But it is far from over. If we declare victory and go home, we can be sure the terrorists will follow us back here.
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