By George Friedman
"You were right, I was wrong, and I apologize." This is what good friends and neighbors say when time and circumstances prove that a trusted friend was right and you were wrong. This native-born American thinks its time for us to speak those words to the State of Israel, our neighbor in democracy and Western values.
For years, Israel has been waging a lonely war against terrorism. For years, they have valiantly tried to wage this war, in the most humane way possible. They have warned us for years that radical Islamic terrorism would spread to the rest of the Western world. They told us that Islamic radicals would not stop at eradicating Israel, but were targeting Western values and culture. They told us it was a Jihaad against the West. They urged a united front against not only the Islamic terrorists, but those who aid, abet, comfort, harbor, and support them. But we didn't listen.
Instead, we urged them to show "restraint" in the face of horrific violence and terror. We criticized them for doing what any government must do, protect the lives and safety of its citizens. We told them to wage war with one arm tied behind its back. We gave this advice with the smug assurance that the violence and destruction Israel faced every day would never touch our lives here in America.
This all changed on Tuesday, September 11th.
And so, as an American I say to our friend and neighbor in democracy, "We're sorry. You were right. We were wrong."
America has one true friend and ally in
the Middle-East. It is Israel. Let's never forget that. This valiant
little country is the sole outpost of freedom and western values in the
Middle-East. It is subjected to unrelenting criticism and lies from the
very nations that seek to undermine and overthrow our American way
Who is first to jump in when there is a natural disaster in the area? Israel. An earthquake hits Turkey, and it is Israel that's quick off the mark sending in medical and technical help. Who offered to take in displaced persons - Muslims - from war-torn Europe? Israel. Who exports its technical, medical, and agricultural expertise to any country in the area willing to accept its helping hand? Israel. Who without hesitating absorbed thousands and thousands of refugees from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union? Israel. And, who was first to offer help to the U.S. - military, technical, medical -- in the wake of the World Trade Center disaster? Israel.
And where were our so-called Arab "friends and allies" last Tuesday? Strangely silent. Some muted words, but not much action.
And so, my friends, the lines have been
drawn. The cowards who perpetrated the dastardly acts of September
11th were in the end stupid. They have united America and the free world
as never before. The fight against terrorism will be waged not as a police
action, but as a war. Complete, total, and without "restraint."
The messages are as follows:
To our little brother and friend Israel, we say we are sorry. Join us in the fight you told us was coming, and do what you need to do to defend yourself. No longer will we tolerate idiotic rants from hypocrites that "Zionism is racism." Defend yourself as we are about to. Take off the gloves.
To our Arab "friends and allies" we say,
war has been declared. You are either with us or you are against us. There
is no equivocating or negotiating or word mincing. We will overfly your
countries in the effort to eradicate the curse of terrorism. You either
let our planes fly over your air space, or you attempt to attack them and
suffer the consequences. And another thing, until you allow free elections,
free press, equal rights for women and those of a religion other than Islam,
shut up about your criticism of Israel, the only
> democracy in a sea of dictatorships. We don't want to hear it, and won't. And oh yes, one last thing. Don't threaten us with oil. American know-how built your oil industry, and American know-how can take it back. You can't eat sand and oil. It's a bad mix and won't go down well.
To the Islamic fundamentalist cowards who attacked us on September 11th and those who aided, abetted, supported, and harbored them or any other terrorists, we say this. You have awakened the sleeping giant. We will find you and we will destroy you. What remains of your sorry lives will be spent hiding and running. You will never have a moment's peace.
Our neighbor and friend Israel has faced it alone, but no more. United in determination and purpose, the freedom-loving nations of the world will crush the curse of terrorism and avenge the horrible losses of September 11th. The gloves are off. The hand is untied.
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