Monday, September 27, 2004

The fight ahead

Belmont Club: "Just after Izz El-Deen Al-Sheikh Khalil climbed into his white Mitsubishi in Damascus a bomb planted in the vehicle exploded, ending his career. Khalil was member of the military wing of Hamas living in the Syrian capital. The Syrian government blamed Israel for the attack, characterizing it as 'an Israeli act of state terrorism in the heart of Damascus'. Israel responded coyly, neither confirming nor denying their involvement in Khalil's death. But the strangest reaction of all was from Hamas."

Interesting article and comments.

My own thoughts, posted as a comment at the Belmont Club a few moments ago:

"Doug's point is well taken. Time is NOT on our side, it is on theirs. As Rumsfeld famously commented regarding preventing terrorist attacks, "We have to be right every time; they only need be right once."

As nuclear weapons proliferate to undependable regimes, the only thing that keeps the terrorists from attacking us with nukes is that they don't have them yet. The same is true of chemical and biological WMD as well. When they obtain them, they WILL use them.

It is a race against the clock. We must kill or eviscerate ALL the potential terrorists before the weapons with which they can strike become even more terrible. Bringing democracy, contract law, and independent judiciaries to the Muslim world will ultimately succeed in coopting the source of new suicide attackers, but it is a process which will unfold in decades, not years.

We don't have that kind of time.

We are undertaking some of the active measures required, as evidenced by the recent killings in Afghanistan and Pakistan of key al Qaeda operatives. Libya seems to have preemptively succumbed to the threat of force. But we need to step it up dramatically.

As mentioned in a comment above, the terrorists who will carry out these attacks don't care if they die. When their lawyers, bankers, patrons, and apologists, who never seem quite so anxious for martyrdom, start paying the price, their organizational back may be broken ~ but not before.

I have no doubt that John Kerry would respond forcefully, perhaps even including such drastic measures, to a WMD attack on America. I have no such confidence that he would pursue Islamist terror with similar vigor preemptively.

Frankly, I'm not sure that George Bush will take preemption to its necessary extremes to succeed, either. But he will surely be more likely to do so than Kerry would.

# posted by Adjoran : 11:22 AM "


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