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The war is not over
By Scott Shore
Before we begin the Victory Parades over Iraq, we should keep in mind that the battles in Iraq were only part of a longer-term struggle against an international terrorism that threatens Western civilization itself. Saddam Hussein was only the most blatant and immediate example of state-sponsored terrorism. Iraq was a nation which had attacked Kuwait, looked to dominate the region and become the new leader of Arab/Islamic resistance to the America and the West. While Saddam Hussein was clearly the easiest candidate for a global Darth Vader; there were other countries with evil designs, weapons of mass destruction and the means to finance and deliver the weapons. If there was anything unfortunate about the term "axis of evil", it was only that it was so limited by mentioning only Iran and North Korea.
Clearly Syria is a more serious enabler of terrorism than any other country. Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are all headquartered in Damascus and receive active support from that government. One should remember that the peace process between Israel and the Arab world has always been ultimately destroyed by these specific terror organizations. While it is certainly true that the Palestinian Authority itself has undermined the peace process, these groups have sealed the coffin on any possible agreement between Israel and the Arabs. The Syrian terror groups have had worldwide impact and are integral parts of the al-Qaida terror network. Recently we learned that Syria sent military equipment to Saddam during the war (as well as Russia) and has already acted as a haven for the neighboring Ba'athist State. Syria is also a major aggressor against another Arab State, Lebanon. Syria controls the politics of Lebanon and the large Bekaa valley is under Syrian military occupation. It is from the Bekaa valley that Israel is often attacked by Ketusha rockets and missiles.
Iran is also a major financial and material supporter of Arab terrorism. Some hope does exist within the younger generation of Iranians who have become tired of the rule of octogenarian mullahs and look forward to a freer nation. It could be that the "liberation" of Iran would be more appreciated in the Western-inclined, non-Arab Iran than totalitarian Iraq. North Korea has already been allowed to become an atomic power due to the Clinton Administration's serious neglect of its responsibility and its lack of will to execute a serious military operation. Clinton was happier bombing Iraq, Libya and Serbian citizens as a diversion from his romantic trysts -- not as a part of a serious foreign policy. It was under Clinton that Iraq was permitted to avoid entirely its responsibilities after the first Iraq war.
If we are going to fight terrorism, we have a long way to go. We may never have a definitive victory although that should be our aim. We should look to dismantle every major regional and global terror network entirely. We must do to the terror groups and the sponsoring countries what we have already done to Iraq. This means we must work to create coalitions not only in fighting Middle Eastern/ Islamic terrorism (the most dangerous today), but also the truly psychotic regime of North Korea or the deadly killers in Peru or those trained in Cuba. This means we have responsibilities that span from Malaysia to Pakistan to Africa to Latin America to homeland security. Can we continue to do business as usual with China that has refused to play a responsible role in North Korea? What should be our policy with countries that have built and continue to build the infrastructure of evil regimes like France, Germany or Russia?
Does this make American policy one of "imperialism"?? Absolutely not. It makes America responsible as the only superpower in the world today with the ability to ensure the future of international law and the creation of meaningful international institutions for the preservation of peace and freedom for ourselves and future generations in America and the world. This is not swaggering jingoism, but a sober, mature burden and one worthy of a nation founded by Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe and a nation maintained by the great Abraham Lincoln. This is a war that gives few Americans joy but leaves us with tremendous pride in our precious, free nation.
(c) 2003 Scott Shore.
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