Jewish World Review July 24, 2006 / 28 Tamuz 5766

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The wake-up call | While millions of Americans are enjoying the summer, taking nice trips and relaxing on the sand, the leaders of Hezbollah are also enjoying the season. From their sanctuary in Iran, the terrorists have announced that they are armed and ready for World War III. Taking a cue from President Bush, the killers are gleefully trotting out the taunt: "Bring it on!"

So now we have al Qaeda and Hezbollah threatening to kill Americans, and what are many Americans doing about it? Playing politics or ignoring the situation, that's what.

Instead of presenting a united front to the world, the USA is bickering over the "rights" of captured terror suspects, war strategy in Iraq, and whether it's bad for newspapers to alert terrorists about top-secret investigations designed to stop them from murdering people.

When are we all going to wake up? I mean, what is it going to take for "we the people" to understand the goal of the terrorists? There is no reasoning with this group, no negotiating with them. They hate Jews and Americans and, in general, all non-Muslims. They want to cause as much destruction as possible. They love this recent violence in the Middle East, which they, alone, started.

Are you hearing me, San Francisco?

Immediately after 9/11, the vast majority of Americans were engaged in the terror war. We wanted strong leaders who would right that terrible wrong. We demanded action, justice for the murders of 3,000 Americans. We didn't care to hear Phil Donahue say the invasion of Afghanistan was wrong. We condemned loopy University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill for comparing the 9/11 victims to Nazis. The American public was in a fighting mood.

No longer.

Now we are weary of this unending, complicated terror war business. We are besieged with misinformation spit out to us by ideologues on both sides who seek to use the terror war to advance a political agenda. We are exhausted.

But that is no excuse, because we are also in grave danger. Iran is the primary threat. That country is enjoying the death and destruction its terror proxies are causing, and it desperately wants to up the ante by developing a nuclear weapon.


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The sad truth is that apathetic and misguided Americans are actually helping the fanatical Iranian leaders as well as the terror killers themselves. Every political division in this country is cheered on by our enemies. They believe the American people are selfish and weak, a group more interested in foolish entertainment and blind ideology than in aggressively defending itself.

The Germans and Japanese made the same calculation in the 1940s, and they were wrong. But Ho Chi Minh was right when he said America would not pay the price in Vietnam.

So who's correct now? Will Americans pay the painful price to win the war on terror? Or will we retreat to our Blackberries and iPods and video games? Will we continue to allow partisan politics to divert attention from the real threat, or will we demand that our leaders win the conflict?

In the summer of 2006, that is the hot question. And, at this point, there is no clear answer.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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