The Corner

National Security & Defense

The Ongoing, Increasing Problem of Terror

Permit a little walk down Memory Lane — not a good walk. In the summer of 1982, I was in Paris briefly. I had just graduated from high school. An event made an impression on me: a terror attack in the Marais district, the Jewish district. Terrorists assaulted a deli called Goldenberg’s. They killed six people, including two Americans.

That was thought to be a helluva massacre: six people. (Five were killed in our Boston Massacre, 1770.) Today, the number seems quaint.

The terrorists were Abu Nidal and his gang. Saddam Hussein, in Iraq, sheltered Abu Nidal and his gang. This is worth remembering when the Republican presidential nominee says that Saddam was a great foe of terrorists, and therefore a force for stability.

In 1982, you might have said, “Ah, Jews. Arabs and Jews. Whaddayou expect?” But the whole world — the whole civilized world — is now Jews, so to speak.

What I have to say is not very sophisticated. It would not pass muster at the Council on Foreign Relations. But I think you have to kill these jihadists, and kill them, and kill them, until they simply tire of being killed and leave civilization alone.

A final thought, for now: Al Haig used to say, “Go to the source. You gotta go to the source.” He meant Moscow and Havana. Don’t waste your time with the FMLN and these other scrubs (JV teams?). Go to the source.

Similarly, Iraq, Syria, and Iran are home bases for terrorists worldwide. (And I have confined myself to three.) I know that, for more than ten years, we’ve been tired of the phrase “Either confront them over there or confront them here.” Yeah, yeah, yawn, yawn, warmongering neocons. But some clichés are true, whether we want them to be or not.

Paraphrasing Trotsky, or whoever it was, you may be tired of terrorists, but they’re not tired of you. Nor will they be, until we obliterate them.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More
Film & TV

Murder Mystery: An Old Comedy Genre Gets Polished Up

I  like Adam Sandler, and yet you may share the sense of trepidation I get when I see that another of his movies is out. He made some very funny manboy comedies (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy) followed by some not-so-funny manboy comedies, and when he went dark, in Reign over Me and Funny People, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

New Deal . . . Conservatives?

I am second to none in my admiration for William F. Buckley Jr., but on matters of electoral politics his judgment was not exactly infallible. For example, he floated the idea of having former president Dwight Eisenhower join Barry Goldwater’s ticket as the vice-presidential nominee, which was possibly ... Read More