In today's editorial, the San Francisco Chronicle, treats us to a lesson in ineffectuality and cluelessness, called "Terrorism's Hand Must Be Stopped". Referring to the attack on Israeli tourists in Mombasa:
A heartless attack on vacationing Israeli families in Kenya should convince anyone of the ever-changing, elusive face of terrorismIt wasn't "terrorism" that killed nine Kenyans and three Israelis, it was individual terrorists with a particular origin and a specific agenda. Who were these terrorists? The Chronicle does not attempt to characterize them other, than calling them "terrorists".
The attack is part of a dangerous pattern since Sept. 11, 2001, where unsuspecting civilians were drawn into the line of fire around the world.The pattern started long before Sept. 11, 2001. Didn't these guys read their own newspaper before then? Just for starters, there was the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam (1998), The bombing of the World Trade Center (1993), Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie (1988), the Achille Lauro ship hijacking (1985), the Munich Olympics Massacre (1972), the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (1968).
The evil of terrorism cannot be eliminated by a single nation, but only by a huge alliance of countries large and small. Sharing information and building a broad anti-terrorist coalition remain the best bet in this new war against an unseen enemy.The evil is not disembodied "terrorism", but the radical ideological movements and institutions that incite the terror, and this enemy is less unseen than the Chronicle wishes to admit. World War II was a war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and not, say, a war against the breaking of windows or rape. Similarly, we cannot hide our heads in the sand and pretend that we are in a war on "terrorism". We are in a war against certain regimes and radical elements in the Islamic world. Our enemies include sovereign states, such as Iraq, non-governmental entities such as Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hizbollah (all of which enjoy various forms of state sponsorship), and the elements in the governments and societies which support the terror networks, such as in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran.
And yes, having more allies to fight these enemies might be better than having fewer allies. But that doesn't mean that a "huge alliance" would be more effective than a smaller but committed alliance, and it shouldn't mean that we have to wait for others to join in before we get started.Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at November 30, 2002 04:21 PM