Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 2003 / 18 Elul, 5763

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It's the war, stupid



http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | For a country smack in the middle of World War III we certainly are a blasť bunch. We're worried about how much fighting the people who want to kill us will cost and whether we have an "exit strategy" in Iraq. Craven politicians and crazed columnists are second guessing President Bush, who, at times, looks like he's first guessing the nation's foreign policy. Since Mr. Bush, for some inexplicable reason, will not spell it out for you, it falls on me to do so.

There are around the world thousands of Islamic fanatics who want to kill Americans because they believe Allah is down with that. These people are taught from the time they are children that Jews and Americans are undeserving of life on this planet. There is no negotiation with the most of these zealots; there is nothing one can say to dissuade them. They want blood, and they will use any and all means to get it.

A number of nations help these killers and allow the murderous anti-American indoctrination to continue generation after generation. Iran, Indonesia, Syria and Saudi Arabia are the most threatening to us, although the Saudis do have some pro-American government officials like Prince Bandar, its ambassador to the United States. Iraq used to be a terrorist enabler primarily by helping the homicide bombers kill civilians in Israel, but Saddam Hussein was open to causing trouble for the USA however he could.

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The Islamic killers thrive on the Palestinian situation. As long as the Palestinians are denied a state of their own, the propaganda machine that demonizes Israel and America will roll along unchallenged in the Arab world. So the only way to break down the hatred many Arabs have toward us is to forge a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement that both sides can live with.

In order for Israel to cooperate in this effort fully, it needs to feel secure. Having the Americans in Iraq helps that effort. Also, the USA needs a democratic outpost in the Middle East to put pressure on the terrorist states of Iran and Syria. A foothold in that region makes it infinitely more difficult for Al Qaeda to carry out its evil doing. Just the huge CIA presence in Iraq alone gives the USA a major advantage in learning about terrorist operations before they hurt we the people.

This nonsense about the United Nations rescuing America in Iraq is something Aesop would have published. The U.N. is a chaotic chamber with no sense of urgency about terrorism and no sympathy toward the USA. Now some of that antipathy might be justified, but not when American lives are at stake. In a perfect world, all countries that aid and abet terrorism would be isolated and embargoed. But this is far from a perfect world.

The failure of France, Germany, Russia and China to aggressively help America neutralize terror states is an outrage of historic proportions. France is the worst. The Chirac government lied to Secretary of State Colin Powell about enforcing the U.N. resolution demanding Saddam cooperate with the weapons inspectors. Then France actively undermined both the war and the occupation. President Bush should level with the American people about the duplicity of France and, to a lesser extent, Germany. I know this would cause an uproar, but what the French have done to hurt America and Israel is unconscionable.

At the same time, the Bush administration must begin earnestly persuading nations that are not overtly hostile to us that we don't want to dominate the world, we want to make it safe for everyone.

Finally, World War III is unlike any war in history, and mistakes will be made in the fighting of it. The Bush administration has the correct global view regarding terrorism but poor communications skills both within the country and abroad. The sad truth is that most people don't even know that World War III is underway and have little understanding of the strategies and stakes. But believe me, you and your family are in danger. We must stop the partisan bickering and acknowledge that brain-washed fanatics have us in their sights. And this time there's no Geneva Convention and no limits on deadly weaponry. This time there is no "exit strategy."

It's us or them.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.

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