Here are two multiple choice questions: If you had to select which agency or body you would rather have looking into the latest plot to blow up targets in New York City, would you pick (a) The New York Times; (b) a congressional committee headed by Rep. John Murtha; (c) The government of Lebanon?
The second question: which of the following would you prefer to guide the behavior of those looking into said plot (a) The United States Supreme Court, which recently ruled that suspected terrorists have certain rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Convention - though they are neither American service personnel (to whom the UCMJ applies), nor adherents to the convention's requirements; (b) the United Nations, which rarely enforces resolutions it mostly does not pass; (c) the government of Lebanon?
I choose "c" as the answer to both questions.
The monitoring of the lead suspect in the alleged plot, Amir Andalousli, was conducted in Lebanon with the assistance of U.S. agents and kept secret for months. Thank goodness The New York Times didn't get wind of this and publish it prematurely. Had they revealed the investigation and the attack subsequently came, a Times editorial would probably have criticized the Bush administration for failing to prevent it.
These occasional successes we hear about in the anti-terror war (and one hopes there are many more about which we don't hear) are helpful reminders that no matter what happens in Iraq, the conflict is nowhere near an end and probably won't be for years, perhaps generations, to come. How can it end when so many believe their "god" requires them to act without rules and without conscience under their brainwashed doctrine that only they are right and everyone who does not agree with them deserves to die? Holding such a belief leaves no room for them to negotiate with Western diplomats whom they regard as "infidels."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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