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Now we know how Israel feels

By Doug Patton
web posted September 13, 2001

Several years ago, in the tiny town of Skidmore, Missouri, a town bully literally terrorized the entire county. After years of appeasement, which only served to make him bolder, a handful of citizens shot him to death on Main Street in broad daylight.

Brute force. That's how you deal with a bully. Knock him down and make sure he doesn't get up again. That's the only thing that will stop him because it's the only thing he understands. The modern state of Israel has understood that ever since its birth in 1948.

Today, America does, too.

Upon his capture, Adolph Eichman, the monster who actually carried out Hilter's holocaust against the Jews, was quoted as saying that the death of one hundred people is a tragedy; the death of a million people is a statistic. A soul mate of those who planned and executed the monstrous attack on America, Eichman understood that it is nearly impossible to get our minds around these kinds of numbers.

As I watched the horrible videotape from every conceivable angle, realizing that tens of thousands of my countrymen lay mangled, crushed and buried beneath the rubble of the former World Trade Center, my disbelief turned to a steely, burning anger. Islamic zealots had attacked my nation. We were in a war with rules that favor America's enemies through policies that long ago tied our hands.

In the seventies, we were told that it was inappropriate for a great and free people to have as their national policy the deliberate, surgical assassination of the modern-day Hitlers of the world. Surely, we were better than that, we were told.

In the nineties, we were told that the Cold War was over and we no longer needed a great and powerful intelligence-gathering apparatus.

We were told that if only we would force our friends to give terrorists more land, they would be content. If only our side would stop retaliating, our enemies would stop attacking us. If only we would reason with them, there would be peace.

It is the Constitutional duty of the federal government to protect the borders of this country. I was glad to hear President Bush say that when it came to our response, no distinction would be made between those who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

We know who these people are. Despite their protests, denials and disclaimers, they are the usual suspects, the fanatics of the Islamic world. They are the same cast of characters who have vowed to exterminate the State of Israel and have generally terrorized civilization for the last twenty years: Ossama Bin Laden and the radical Taliban government of Afghanistan which gives him safe haven; Saddam Hussein, still in power in Iraq after all these years; Yassir Arafat, chief thug of Palestine; Mohamar Ghadaffi, Libyan strongman; and the crazies in Iran.

It's a target-rich environment. We should pick one - probably Bin Laden in Afghanistan - and hit it soon and hard. We should continue to strike until the terrorists are destroyed or the government involved cries uncle. We should not seek the approval of the world, as we did when we left Saddam in power in 1991.

We also should recommit our national will to give Israel whatever it needs - up to and including tactical nuclear weapons - to defend itself.

If we do not act, we could very well be looking at additional attacks. In fact, some experts are predicting that the next wave of assaults could be nuclear, chemical or biological.

Those who believe that any nation can appease its avowed enemies, or that there is any reasoning with the terrorist fanatics of the Islamic world, are fools. The wealthy, world-class bullies who terrorize the block on which we all live cannot be appeased. They will have to be shot to death on Main Street in broad daylight. ESR

Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a speechwriter and policy advisor for federal, state and local candidates and elected officials. His work appears in various newspapers and on numerous web sites, including,,,, and (c) 2001 by Doug Patton

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