While the U.S. has tried to avoid statements about a culture war, Ahmadinejad has no such reluctance. He speaks of a "clash of civilizations" between Islamic republics like Iran and Western "ideas and concepts of government" that he says have no place in Islam. The U.S. is a "sunset" power, he says, while the Islamic Republic is a "sunrise" one.
That's a pretty clear ideology, matched by an agenda. It says that nothing Israel does to pacify or mollify these religious fanatics will deter them from their "God-ordained" goals, which consist of the elimination of Israel and the domination of all other nations under Islamic rule. These are not secret records kept from the world. They are published documents that are part of government policies and religious doctrine. To pretend people who say such things don't really mean it is to be guilty of self-delusion in the extreme.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government says it won't negotiate with extremist organizations like Hamas, but only with elected leaders of the Palestinian Authority. But what if Hamas supporters win seats in the announced Palestinian parliamentary elections in January? Even if they don't, the objectives of the Palestinian Authority are the same as organizations with which Israel will not negotiate.
They are all crocodiles. Tossing pieces of "chicken" in their direction will never satisfy them. They want it all. They say so, and their actions prove they are serious.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.