Four years later, Americans were treated to a fast-paced game of ping-pong: first Gore won, then Bush, then… no winner. An itchy trigger finger led the media to call a razor-thin margin in Florida in Gore’s favor—before all of the polling places had closed. Voters were given some half-hearted apologies, but the media’s ADD hasn’t much improved.
In most instances, the media’s impulsiveness merely creates headaches. But if foreign policy moves to the media’s liking, people die. If President Bush had acceded to the cries for a pullout from Iraq, it would have been open season on U.S. soldiers the world over. Terrorists and thugs would have looked at a pullout as a sign of weakness, and they immediately would have tried to replicate the results in other countries. The terrorists are patient—9/11 involved at least five years of planning—and we must be no less so in fighting them.
Israel understands the need for patience. The “roadmap” will lead to nothing but quick headlines and false hope. Israel knows this, yet is going along anyway. Notes an administration official, “Sharon doesn’t want to be seen as standing in the way, and he knows that the Palestinians are going to screw this up.” Palestinian terrorists do not have as their goal the creation of a Palestinian state. What they want is simple: the murder of every last Jew. Forcing Israel to pull back its defenses in the hopes that Palestinian terrorists can change their very nature in a news cycle is not just naïve, but dangerous.
Israel will eventually be allowed to reconstitute its defenses, but only after more terrorist attacks. The only question is: how many innocents will have to die in the meantime?
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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