Sunday, April 01, 2007

Frum & Perle: Twenty-Four

AETE, pgs 124-125 & 128, in which they argue that America -- and everyone-with-her-not-against-her -- must make war on terrorists who attack Israel:

[The officials of Canada and the EU] have quite another reason for their soft line on Hamas and Hezbollah: They seem to have adopted a scale of terrorist activity with different gradations of unacceptability. For them, terrorist attacks on Israel should not be compared to terrorist attacks in Paris or Toronto. Nor is it only foriegn governments that condemn some terrorists more forcefully than others. The U.S. State Department agains and again sends its spokesmen Richard Boucher out before the cameras of the world to draw distinctions between terror groups that murder Israelis and terror groups that attack Americans. Actually, Boucher does not so much draw distinctions as simply insist on them. Within the space of two weeks in September 2002, for example, Boucher was called on first to condemn an Israeli-targeted attack on a Hamas terrorist leader in the West Bank and then to defend an American-targeted attack on an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen. When queried on this seeming contradiction, he asserted that the justifications for American-targeted killings "do not necessarily apply in other circumstances." Why not? "We all understand..the situation with regard to Israeli-Palestinian issues and the prospects of peace and the prospects of negation and the prospects of the real need to create an atmosphere of progress." It's a very strange idea of "progress" that would grrant immunity to one of the world's deadliest terrorist movements.

The distinction between Islamic terrorism against Israel, on the one hand, and Islamic terrorism against the United States and Europe, on the other, cannot be sustained.

Hamas and al-Qaeda seem to raise their money from the same sources and are quietly assisted by many of the same influential people in Saudi Arabia. Hezbollah's South American infrastructure offers concealment to al-Qaeda operatives in this hemisphere. Likewise, European reluctance to act against European supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah protects Eureopean supporters of al-Qaeda as well.

Worse, the ideology that justifies the terrible crimes of Hamas and Hezbollah is the same ideology that justifies the crime of al-Qaeda. If it's okay to blow-up civilians in a holy war against Israel, it is equally okay to blow them up in a holy war against India, or Russia, or us. We would not have got very far against Nazism if we had said, " It's wrong to shove Poles, gypsies, and the mentally impaired intp gas chambers, but it's perfectly fine to do it to the Jews." Likewise, we won't get very far against the ideology of global jihad as long as we suggest that some terrorist jihads are acceptable forms of "resistance" while others are not.


Those who encourage the Arab and Muslim world in the idea that some jihad murders are permissable are tacitly aiding those who argue that all jihad murders are permissable.

We cannot always compel other nations to act against all terror groups. But we can do this:

1. Purge from our own institutionsal thinking the illusory distinction between the "political" and "military" wings of terrorist organizations. These distinctions are a fraud.
2. Cease criticizing Israel for taking actions against Hamas and Hezbollah analogous to those the United States is taking against al-Qaeda.
3. Focus public attention on those of our allies who permit Hamas and Hezbollah or similar groups to operate on their territory. There's a term for this kind of complaisance: "harboring terrorism." If France does it, the United States should not scruple to say so.
4. So long as Hamas and other terrorist groups operate uncontrolled inside the Palestinian Authority -- and as long as Hezbollah is permitted to occupy most of Southern Lebanon -- then the PA and Lebanon's effective ruler, Syria, should be deemed state sponsors of terrorism and thus vulnerable to all sanctions that U.S. law and policy mete out to those implicated in murder as an act of policy.

Should we make a war of terror on the ETA or Nepalese Maoists or the Shining Path or Chechnyan guerrillas or the IRA? All terrorists are equal, right? After all, terrorists by nature attack civilians for an ideological reason. But Frum and Perle don't say, because after all, who among neocons really cares about the targets of these other terrorists? They don't live in the 51st state; their foreign policy, unlike Israel's, hasn't been hijacked by crazed fundamentalists, as has the United States', as well. Finally, they aren't part of the tribe -- what do they matter then?