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It gets worse. This demonic Disney-America is not just a remote theme park that one can visit for a harmless vacation from reality. It is a
powerful and active presence throughout the world. It supports brutal and corrupt governments like that of the Shah of Iran. It pays for
Israeli military adventures in Lebanon. It foments wars between impoverished states, and uses their weakness to control the flow of oil
and money. It manipulates the UN while hiding behind a façade of self-righteous and arrogant self-congratulation. It exports movies that
glorify adulterous sex, drugs, money, and astonishing violence, and these adrenaline-soaked movies are crafted with a demonic attention to
psychological details that are fatally attractive to the minds of children and adolescents. Disney-America is, in this view, the Great Satan.
Within the logic of this radical perspective, there can be no greater deed than a mortal attack on such a satanic enemy.

Okay, I need to back off a little and cool down my rhetoric.


God almighty. With such rhetoric it almost sounds like you believe what you write to be true. But it is false from beginning to end.

America is founded on separation of church and state. It is founded on individual freedom. It is founded on diversity and tolerance. It is governed by the will of its people.

All these elements create a powerful attraction for people of other nations. A fatal attraction?! No, a positive role model. The adolescents who yearn to emulate American youths are not a threat to themselves. They are a threat to the authoritarian societies and regimes in which they live. Every American feminist is a threat to the oppression of women in those countries. Every Moslem who is free to practice his religion in America is a threat to the Ayatollahs of Iran.

The ease with which the images of freedom and prosperity are spread through satellite TV, and cell phones, and the internet, intensify a thousandfold the challenge to the stranglehold that those medieval regimes have on their people. They are in a cultural war against us.
They feel that the only way for them to stay in power is to demonize our culture. The goal of their campaign of terror is to drag us into all-out war so that they can further radicalize and overtake other Muslim countries.

It is unfortunate, although understandable, that our goverment has employed the lexicon of war. It creates an expectation here and around the world that the U.S. is about to unleash a barrage of B2 bombers and cruise missiles and that there may be heavy civilian casualties on both sides. I don't think it will happen this way. This "war" will largely be fought in the shadows. It will be a war of handguns with silencers and police raids and spies and seized bank accounts and laser guided bombs through open windows.

After the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972 the Israeli Mosad embarked on such a shadow war in Europe. Within a few years the Black September terrorist organization was wiped out, and hardly a word leaked out to the media. That is the kind of war that will, or should be, fought. While it is fought, America will have to be on its toes defensively to guard against desperate acts of revenge as the terrorist network, hopefully, goes through its death rattle.

The other element of this war has to be retaliation. Retaliation is not revenge. It is not something that is done to satisfy our emotions. It is a means of establishing a deterrent. Establishing that if you hurt us you will pay a price. Such retaliation must be swift and harsh. It is the language that despots understand. On the night after the terrorist attack there was a CNN report of bombardment on the outskirts of Kabul. Too bad those were not American missiles. They should have been.

Bin Laden bombed the Khobar tower in Saudi Arabia, the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the USS Cole, and now the heart of America. Yet we continue to respond as if we are bound by some rules of etiquette in dealing with him. As if we have to collect proof and present an indictment. As if he will have Miranda rights when he's arrested. It's time to wake up. When you are threatened by a rattlesnake you smash its head. You don't worry about animal rights.

Elan
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