Cal  Thomas

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - While President Bush is ordering more American troops to Iraq in an effort to quell the violence and stabilize the Iraqi government so that it might ultimately take charge of its own security, what remains of leadership in Britain is competing amongst itself over who wants out faster.

Not to worry, though. The British Security Service, MI5, has announced plans to send out e-mail alerts of changes to the national Threat Level. They'll have to send a lot of e-mails if the terrorists get the message that the West can't take the heat.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose rhetoric about the terror threat and assistance to the United States' fight, which has been heroic and an example of the classically British "stiff upper lip," is to be replaced as Labour Party leader and prime minister later this year by Chancellor Gordon Brown, whose rhetoric and announced plans for withdrawal of British troops expose his limp upper lip.

Brown announced his desire to place Britain's national interests above the historic "special relationship" Britain has enjoyed with the United States. The only problem with that thinking is terrorism. In the fight against terrorism, the interests of the United States and Britain are inextricably joined. Perhaps Brown should recall Benjamin Franklin's remark: "We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately."

While Tony Blair has managed to stand against the tide of anti-war British public opinion, Gordon Brown appears ready to sink under it and take Britain down with him. Already inundated with legal and illegal Muslim immigrants, some of whom continue to teach and preach jihad and the overthrow of all elected governments, how will Brown's rhetoric transform those for whom Western-style democracy is an affront?

"The British national interest is what I and my colleagues are about," said Brown. But the British national interest - indeed, the international interest of all free people - is to defeat this virulent strain of Islamofascism. They are committed to defeating us.

Brown says his "strategy" is to defeat terrorists by capturing their hearts and minds. That is unlikely to succeed against people who want to explode bombs that will tear into OUR hearts and minds. Brown thinks the same strategy that worked in opposing communism in the '40s and '50s could be a "model" for the next chapter in this war. He is badly mistaken.

Cal Thomas

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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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