As President Bush laid out the moral divide so clearly two years ago, there are but two sides in the War on Terror: the terrorists and those fighting against them. International leader after international leader has been asked to pick sides, and even most of the dictators and strongmen have wisely sided with the United States.
But one leader who is openly flirting with the terrorists?after years of overtly protecting them?is still receiving at least the nominal support of the United States: Palestinian Authority dictator Yasser Arafat.
The Associated Press reports that Arafat is looking to create a leadership organization that would include, among others, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the most notorious of Palestinian terrorist groups.
Arafat has been down this road before, of course. This time, however, there seems to be more urgency.
The holdup in the past, notes the AP, has not been over morality or ethics, but rather power: ?In the past Palestinian Authority officials have said they would be willing to cooperate with Hamas if it recognized the authority's leadership. Hamas has so far not responded to the proposals.?
In other words, Arafat has no problem whatsoever partnering with a group responsible for the suicide bombing deaths of 52 mostly young Palestinians and 377 mostly civilian Israelis. The only sticking point is that the bloodthirsty terrorists must submit to Arafat?s leadership.
Arafat?s leadership, of course, would not necessarily mean less bloodshed. It would merely mean better-organized mass murder.
So why is news that Arafat is openly wooing avowed terrorists be met largely with silence that implies quiet acceptance from the international community?
In the War on Terror, it is obviously necessary for the United States to work in the short-term with any number of unsavory characters. Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak and now Libyan madman Moammar Ghadafi, to name a couple of ?partners,? are not exactly guys you?d like to invite to the family picnic. And for the record, nobody?s foolish enough to believe that the likes of Mubarak and Gadhafi are entirely on the up-and-up.
But that?s a far cry from publicly locking arms with some of the bloodiest terrorist organizations on earth.
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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