Joel Mowbray

Perhaps the starkest contrast voters have in front of them this fall has nothing to do with taxes or health care or even strategy on the war on terror.  It is something much more fundamental, rooted in values and worldview: the ability to recognize evil.

And looking around the Democratic Party, it may be a recurring issue for some time to come.

John Kerry had to deal with a one-day flare-up a couple weeks ago for having praised Yasser Arafat as a "statesman" in his 1997 book, "The New War."

But it was something else Kerry wrote that was profoundly more troubling.

Think about the following quote for a moment: ?Terrorist organizations with specific political agendas may be encouraged and emboldened by Yasser Arafat?s transformation from outlaw to statesman.?

There are two problems with that sentence.  The first?and obvious?one is not just labeling Arafat a ?statesman,? but calling the terrorist merely an ?outlaw.? 

In a technical sense, though, Kerry was semantically correct: Arafat spent a long time as an ?outlaw? before being brought back from his exile in Tunisia by Israel in order to serve as a ?statesman? and negotiating partner. 

Kerry, though, could almost be forgiven for his flattery considering that in 1997, when the Massachusetts Senator wrote those words, huge swaths of the international community were still suffering from an Oslo hangover and were treating Arafat as a legitimate leader.

But look again at the first part of that sentence.  Kerry expresses a sincere belief that terrorists can change their stripes, if only they have a positive role model.

That sounds like a prescription for a troubled teen, not a terrorist.

The Democratic presidential candidate tries to soften the sentence by referring to ?terrorist organizations that have specific political agendas.?  But the only ?political agenda? terrorists have is to terrorize through violence, particularly murder.

Yet Kerry thinks that if you show a terrorist the light, then he will be both ?encouraged and emboldened.?

In other words, make love, not war?with terrorists.

Terrorists, though, are not redeemable.  Period.  They are not projects who can be rehabilitated with heavy doses of TLC.  They are evil, and they must be eliminated.

It doesn?t seem like the Democratic standard-bearer has changed much in the past seven years, either. 

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, 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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