Rich Tucker
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Sometimes one almost envies the terrorists. At least they’re allowed to say what they mean. Consider Hezbollah.

It aims to turn Lebanon into an Islamic republic in the style of Iran. It also wants to conquer Israel and end Western influence in the Middle East. And it’s willing to fight to accomplish those goals.

So is Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization that makes no bones about its desire to destroy Israel through “holy war.” Even Iran speaks clearly, when we’re willing to listen. Last year President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel should be “wiped off the map.” No diplomatic subtleties there.

In light of their words, recent events are no surprise.

On June 25, Hamas militants tunneled into Israel, killing two soldiers and capturing a third. On July 12, Hezbollah invaded Israel from a different direction, coming across the Lebanese border and capturing two more Israeli soldiers.

Israel responded to both attacks with military force. That only makes sense. Imagine if Canada sent soldiers into, say, Minnesota and attacked American border guards. We’d respond with overwhelming force to such an invasion -- especially if the Canadians had been telling us for decades that they planned to destroy us.

The fact is, Israel is merely the front line in this fight. Radical Islamists, who’ve made it clear that they aim to destroy our democratic way of life, are on the offensive. So what’s the West’s reaction?

“The extremists must immediately halt their attacks,” announced the official statement issued by the G-8, the club made up of the leaders of the world’s industrial powers. “It is also critical that Israel, while exercising the right to defend itself, be mindful of the strategic and humanitarian consequences of its actions. We call upon Israel to exercise utmost restraint.”

How very measured. How very diplomatic. How very useless.

Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah have any intention of halting their attacks. They exist to attack. That’s what they say, and that’s what they mean. By pretending that their deliberate attacks are in any way comparable to Israel’s well-proportioned response, the G-8 leaders are fooling themselves into believing that these are people, as Neville Chamberlain might have put it, “we can do business with.”

Unfortunately, there’s nothing unusual about our inability to speak clearly. It’s become such a habit that, on the rare occasions when somebody says what he means, he opens himself up to international ridicule.

For example, as the summit came to a close, an open microphone caught an exchange between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for Townhall.com.