John: Regardless of where the term was first used by Lowry, he was re-positioning NR after its founder, Bill Buckley wrote here that the American objective in Iraq had failed and was the cause for continuing troubles there. Never mind who Lowry might have been referring to, or whether there is anyone other than Buckley (but there are, viz. George Will and others) who subscribe to that view.
Actually, you are demonstrably wrong. You do need state support — such as the Taliban gave bin Laden — to mount significant terrorist attacks. They need safe sanctuary and — as Zawahiri’s “please send 100 large” letter to Zarqawi showed last summer — money. That is what they get from places such as Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The “kill the head and the hands die” metaphor is right on point. My issue is that while you may never eradicate terrorism altogether, you can deprive it of essential assets by ending state support. Even the State Department agrees with this, which is one reason they list nations who are state sponsors of terrorism. Even if you were right — which you aren’t — the answer to a threatening “ecosystem” is agent orange, not voting by people who — such as the Palestinians — chose to be governed by terrorists.
To your last point, I never said this can be dealt with quickly. As I’ve said again and again and again, this is a long war. We have to prosecute it more vigorously to win at all, or we will inevitably lose. On Iran, it’s no longer possible to sit on the fence. Declare yourself: are you willing to wait for Iran to have nuclear weapons before we act? That’s what the result of giving the issue to the UN will be. None of this is easy, none of it is a “cakewalk” and all of it is essential to preserving our society against the threat of state-sponsored terrorism. Or do you think there isn’t such a thing?
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