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Are We Safer in Long Run?

Reader comment on item: Is the Middle East "Freer, More Hopeful, and More Promising"?

Submitted by Zentrist (United States), Dec 17, 2008 at 21:05

Today, apparently, Bush said that there "can be no debate" but that we are safer. (I did not see the speech at the Army War College.)

Does it not remain to be seen? al-Qaida is not concerned about this battle or that, this tactic or that. Its strategy is long range and involves the PR thing, the "hearts and minds" issue of one point five billion or so Muslims. Four or even eight years? That is nothing to bin Laden and his deputies. These Islamic terrorists have been at it for a long time and they will keep going. I have the sense that we are just smashing them down here and there only to have them pop up over yonder in greater numbers. The efficiency of a small number of determined jihadists to cause chaos and doubt--well, look at Mumbai and the potential there for more exponentially evolving calamity.

And what if the Islamists strike us soon, here, spectacularly? Will this cruelty have been Bush's fault, or Obama's?

Professor Eidelberg of Jerusalem makes a strong argument, if i read him correctly: our humanistic liberal democracy is no match for the ruthless cruelty of the likes of bin Laden and Company. The question is, What do we do about this ongoing threat, obviously still alive in strategic link-points, especially Iraq in recent days (several fresh suicide bombings). The incident in Baghdad of the shameful shoe-throwing only underscores the violent hearts of the people. Millions and millions of Arabs and Muslims are dancing for joy over this violent assault on our President ("those who live by the sword indeed could die by the sword--or the shoe"). Bush could easily have lost an eye (and eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth). The Vengeance-Society that is the Mideast is alive and well, although the recent release of Palestinian prisoners is to be noted.

Mr. President-elect: my non-expert advice is that you listen--and I've noticed what an exceptional listener you are--to Dennis Ross and Company. There must be a way of finding a win-win solution to the difficulties, a win-win deal in which both sides feel relatively comfortable, if that is not too bourgouis an expession.

Let us push (first, get some rest!) and push hard (let Hillary do the heavy-lifting--she's a pro). Let us focus, bigtime, on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. The "much too Promised Land" needs to be apportioned with Justice, Wisdom, History, Fairness, Smarts, Toughness--and NO LOOSE ENDS, as in the Camp David Loose Ends Accords. President Bush advocated, and Hillary agreed: The World Needs a Palestinian State. This is long overdue. May God Bless Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Dennis Ross and Condi Ross, Rice I mean, among other very noble and incredibly patient and hard-working souls...they have made a difference, and they will yet make a difference with their thoughts, work and prayers. An especial thanks to Daniel Pipes for his unique contribution to the issue of Awareness and the limits of an overly soft "dialogue." Soft power, smart power, hard power: all of it, and them some, will no doubt be required. God bless NATO and its brave soldiers. God bless the Israeli Air Force. And God bless the non-suicide-inclined Palestinians. To hell with fanatics of violence and blood, whoever and wherever they are. Let the Lord forgive them if he will--some of us cannot.

Submitting....

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