Jonah Goldberg

When U.S. forces killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, bin Laden's "prince" in Iraq, Democrats presented Zarqawi's demise as good but trivial news. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla. - who might (shudder) take over the House Intelligence Committee should the GOP lose the Congress - explained, "It won't stop the insurgency. I have found if you liken it to the drug lords, for example, as soon as you imprison one, kill one, another takes his place."

Why shouldn't this same logic apply to bin Laden and the global Islamic insurgency? Does anyone believe that this polyglot army of jihadist murderers will disband and become TV repairmen the moment bin Laden is dead? This is as naive as believing that U.S. withdrawal from Iraq wouldn't be scored as another jihadist victory. Not only have Hezbollah, Hamas and the rest of the League of Extraordinary Murderers never taken marching orders from bin Laden, but like all jihadist groups they always view such withdrawals as an invitation to even more brazen terrorism.

The terrorist threat is here to stay whether we like it or not. That means the debates over racial profiling, wiretapping and the structural deficiencies of the Middle East - no matter how wearisome compared with news about Brangelina's baby they may be - are not going away. (Britain's vindicated anti-terror laws, by the way, make the USA Patriot Act look like an ACLU directive.) We'll all learn this because, again, example is the school of mankind, and our enemy has an ambitious lesson plan.

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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