the Next Front in the War on Terror
By Doug Patton
world is watching, and on this, more than any other day,
God is watching, too.”
those words, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations concluded
his impassioned remarks to Sunday’s hastily called emergency
meeting of the 15-member Security Council, which had convened
to consider its response to Israel’s attack on suspected
terrorist camps inside Syria.
ambassador recounted the bloody details of the latest suicide
bombing against Israel, this one perpetrated by a 27-year-old
Palestinian woman who detonated her payload in a popular
restaurant jointly owned by Jews and Arabs. The blast killed
and injured innocent people from both groups.
describing the carnage – 19 dead and 60 injured – the ambassador
then laid out his country’s justification for its attack
on Syrian soil, the first in two decades. His remarks followed
the usual denials and accusations from the Syrian ambassador,
who had come to ask the world body to condemn Israel for
the “unprovoked” attack.
I listened, I was reminded of the column I wrote on the
night of September 11, 2001. I thought of a charred meadow
in Pennsylvania, a smoldering slash in our Pentagon and,
of course, a pile of twisted, smoking rubble at the south
end of Manhattan Island where the World Trade Center had
stood just a few hours earlier.
remember thinking about the obscure true story of a violent
bully who had terrorized the citizens of the tiny town of
Skidmore, Missouri, back in the 1980s. After enduring years
of rape, theft, assault and attempted murder, all of which
had been met with official ineptitude and indifference,
the good citizens of Skidmore finally elected a very unofficial
posse to shoot this man down in the street as he came out
of a local tavern. To this day, in the now-peaceful town
of Skidmore, no one has ever been tried for that killing.
working title for that angry column was “Shot to Death on
Main Street in Broad Daylight.” But when I had finished,
I realized that the proper title was “Now We Know How Israel
Feels.” Indeed we did, at least on that day.
9/11, we have suffered no more terror on American soil.
Meanwhile, Israel has continued to experience nothing but
terror. Surrounded by a sea of hatred, the tiny democracy
has granted concession upon concession to its enemies, all
the while resisting the temptation to use its nuclear arsenal
on people who are bent on its annihilation, and who are
willing to destroy themselves to achieve it.
has always understood the nature of her enemies. On 9/11,
we understood, too. But the images of that day have faded,
and we need to see them again – repeatedly. We need those
images to remind us that there are people in this world
who want to destroy us, and that they are the same people
who want to destroy Israel.
United States and Israel have been marked for destruction
by the radical forces of Islamic extremism, thereby making
us allies in this war on terrorism. Israel has identified
Syria as the next front in this war. Syria is another thug
state, a veritable nest of terrorist activity, and the United
States should make it clear that we back Israel and that
we will commit to them whatever is necessary for victory.
We need to steel our resolve for the battles that are to
come, just as we did during World War II, when we united
with our allies in the common goal of defeating the Axis
better place to start than in Syria? Who knows, we might
even find Saddam and his WMDs.
Patton is a freelance columnist who has served
as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor at
the federal, state and local levels. His weekly columns
can be read in newspapers across the country, and on www.GOPUSA.com,
where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for
Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com).
can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.