Writing in Haaretz, columnist Ari Shavit calls 2006 "the most embarrassing year of Israeli defense since the establishment of the State of Israel." He laments the absence of a "learning curve" by the government, its slowness to react to provocations and its caution, which he calls "a recipe for disaster." Shavit adds, "Its attempt to prevent bloodshed is costing a great deal of bloodshed." And the cause of these failures? "We were drugged by political correctness."
The U.N.'s failed efforts in the region extend at least to 1978 when it created the Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in response to the Coastal Road Massacre during which Palestinian terrorists based in Lebanon hijacked a bus and murdered 36 hostages. After invading Lebanon to destroy the PLO's terrorist base, The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling on Israel to "immediately" withdraw. It established UNIFIL to "assist the government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority to the area." That never happened and terror returned. When Israel again cleaned out the area in 1982, terror returned as Hezbollah. Too many years elapsed before Israel acted again, thus allowing Hezbollah to establish tunnels, weapons and manpower, which made the current war much more difficult for Israel.
Within the memory of most people over 40, the free world could distinguish between good and evil. But today, fewer make such judgments and "one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter." Instead of the World War I lyric "we won't come back till it's over, over there," we - or in this case Israel - comes back before it's over. As a result, it isn't over and it won't be over until Israel and the West get over moral equivalency and political correctness and fight to win. The evil guys are fighting to win.
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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