Jewish World Review Oct. 18, 2004 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan 5765

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It's a scandal U.S. is
almost alone in Iraq | Sometimes in life you have to stand and fight, even if it means extreme discomfort. That's what's going on inside Iraq right now and, personally, each one of us will have to face a vital confrontation some time in our lives.

Iraq may not be the right place to engage Islama-facism, but it is the reality America faces. Incredible circumstances like Sept. 11, faulty intelligence on weapons of mass destruction and a unique world war against terrorism have conspired to bring America a challenge that is simply brutal. But to surrender to that challenge would open a door of unintended consequences that would threaten all of us.

An Iraq run by terrorists would be another Afghanistan under the Taliban. Jihadists would be trained and dispatched to spread fear and death throughout the world. Eventually, the nuclear scientists in Iran could very well provide that kind of weaponry to the terrorists in neighboring Iraq. That's a doomsday scenario if there ever was one.

You would think the rest of the world would understand the threat, but many countries simply look the other way, calculating that America or Israel will take the brunt of any high-tech terrorism. We know now that Saddam bribed high-ranking officials in France and Russia, and perhaps even China, through the United Nations' oil-for-food program. So it's not hard to understand why those countries refused to move against a gravy train dictator spending billions to keep himself in power. But Saddam is gone, so why not help stabilize Iraq now? Surely that would enhance world security.

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The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and China have no answers to that question. And so the chaos in Iraq, which is largely being driven by homicidal terrorists, is being confronted by the United States and a few allies when every civilized nation should be clamoring to help defeat the terrorists inside Iraq.

This fight is a defining moment in American history. All the screwups in the past mean little when the future of that country is considered. Both President Bush and John Kerry have failed to define the seriousness of the situation to Americans, many of whom are still in a fog of anti-war state induced by Howard Dean and other cut-and-run types.

The difficulty and frustration of the war in Iraq is almost painful to contemplate as Americans are dying nearly every day. But no president can allow terrorists to create a nuclear jihad zone.

And there is no question that is what the terrorists want — a place where they can operate with impunity, a place of hatred and unlimited violence.

Sometimes you must stand and fight even when others do not have the will or the courage. This is one of those times.

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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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