Thomas Sowell

The terrorists have spoken in words and in deeds, including suicide bombers. They have what Churchill once described in the Nazis as "currents of hatred so intense as to sear the souls of those who swim upon them."

We saw that on 9/11 -- or should have seen it. But many, especially among the intelligentsia, are determined not to see it.

Of all the Western democracies, only two have no choice but to depend on their own military forces for their survival -- the United States and Israel. The rest have for more than half a century had the luxury of depending on American military forces in general and the American nuclear deterrent in particular.

People who have long been sheltered from mortal dangers can indulge themselves in the belief that there are no mortal dangers. Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran or North Korea -- and, through them, in the hands of hate-filled terrorists -- may be all that will finally wake up such people. But that may be tragically too late.

Those who keep calling for an end to the "cycle of violence" are what make such violence more likely. "World opinion" in general and the United Nations in particular can always be counted on to counsel "restraint" in response to attacks and "negotiations" in response to lethal threats.

What that means is that those who start trouble will have a lower price to pay than if those they attacked were free to go all out in their counter-attack. Lowering the price to be paid by aggressors virtually guarantees more aggression.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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