Writing Tuesday in The Daily Telegraph, British military historian John Keegan compared the Palestinian terror war to the Iraqi insurgency. "What is going on in Iraq," Keegan writes, "resembles the second Palestinian intifada, though it is more intensive and better organized. It is also more difficult to counter, since the Western forces lack the detailed intelligence to which the Israeli security forces have access."
Keegan's statement is both true and false. It is certainly true that, from a strictly military perspective, Iraqi terrorists and foreign terrorists who fight with them in Iraq have mimicked Palestinian terror techniques, just as American forces have adopted Israeli counterterror tactics in combating them. It is also true that Israel, which has been fighting the Palestinians for upwards of 100 years, knows its enemy much better than coalition forces know their opponents in Iraq.
Yet, tactical capabilities aside, the US and its coalition partners will likely emerge victorious in Iraq, while Israel is losing its war against Palestinian terrorism. The reason for this has little to do with military prowess and everything to do with a vision for the future. The Americans and their allies in Iraq, including the 85 percent of Iraqis who intend to vote on January 30, have a clear vision of where they want to go. They wish, through ushering in democracy and liberalization, to better the lot of the Iraqi people while ensuring, through counterterror warfare, that the terrorists will have no future at all.
In Israel, in spite of the Israel Defense Force's mastery of its realm, the policies of the government are creating a situation in which Palestinians who are not involved in terrorism continue to live on a dead-end street while the terrorists who are responsible for both their suffering and the suffering of the Israeli people are given respect, legitimacy, power ? and the future.
This week, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors the Arab press, released a transcript of the televised confession of Muayed al-Nasseri, who commanded Saddam Hussein's "Army of Muhammad" throughout 2004. In his confession, Nasseri said that his organization was founded by Saddam immediately after the fall of Baghdad to US troops in April 2003. He then detailed its links to the Syrian and Iranian regimes and to other terror forces operating in the country.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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