Of course, WE, the Americans and the "coalition of the willing" must decide that we will stand fast to the convictions with which we entered (a) the war on terror and (b) Iraq. Parties have so muddled the reasons for this intervention in Iraq that many are quite confused at this point. At times it seems the current Administration itself is confused--at least its spokespersons (plural!) aren't very clear in articulating their and our purposes. I think this is an important part of the problem.Secondly, WE have to decide what, or whom, we care about. Do we care about a vision of peace for the Middle East? Further, do we care about the survival of the state of Israel? Make no mistake: the radical Islamists have the massacre of Israel's Jews and the elimination of "the Israeli entity" as their first priority.
- How do we know this? They say so repeatedly.
- Do they mean what they say? We can't afford to take the chance they don't--can we?
I know it's probably not fair to use the Holocaust as an equivalent example here, but it's a dreadful fact of history that Hitler meant what he said. If we had understood in the 1920s what we knew in May of 1945, would we, the Germans, the Europeans, have behaved differently? If we had understood in the early '60s what we understood about Southeast Asia after the last helicopter left "Saigon" and after the Pol Pot came to power in Cambodia, would we have chosen differently?