Jewish World Review April 5, 2002 / 24 Nisan, 5762

Greg Crosby

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First You Have to Get Their Attention | Remember the old joke about how to get a mule to obey? It goes like this: It seems a farmer was complaining to a friend about the trouble he was having in getting his stubborn mule to move. After listening to the farmer's complaint, the friend said he knew just what to do.

"Get a two-by-four and whack the mule across the head with all your might," advised the friend. The farmer was taken aback. "But how will that get him to move?" asked the farmer. "Well, you see," the friend said, "first you've got to get his attention!"

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that the only way to stop (or at least curtail) the terrorism in the Middle East is to first get the attention of the terrorists. Bombs over Baghdad would make a pretty good attention-getter, for starters. America must invade Iraq immediately -- dive right in with a tremendous show of force and determination. Once the bombs start falling on Baghdad, once Saddam Hussein is taken out, once the rats nests and training camps are put out of commission in Iraq, believe me, we will get the full and complete attention of every Arab terrorist in the world.

We know who the bad guys are and it's time to knock them out. Terrorist groups like Al Qauda, Abu Nidal, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Hamas and others do the dirty work but take their instruction, money and orders from the bigger rats. The links between Osama bin Laden and Saddam have been well documented and written about in detail by respected New York Times columnist William Safire, among others. Similarly, Yasser Arafat's ties to bin Laden have been widely reported by intelligence agencies and the press. And it's no secret that Sassam and Arafat are long-time buddies, too.

You might recall the ship that was stopped, just three months ago, carrying over 50 tons of arms sailing from Iran on it's way to Arafat. Just a week ago Saddam announced that he will pay any Palestinian family $25,000 if their son or daughter straps on a bomb and kills innocent Israeli civilians. Last year Saudi Arabia pledged over $400 million dollars to the families of suicide bombers. Their hate-filled "Wahabbi" strain of Islam is exported to overseas mosques and religious schools the world over, including here in the U.S. Just one big, happy terrorist family.

So far we've been busy killing and rounding-up terrorist foot soldiers in Afghanistan, but that's not nearly good enough. We've got to put the high-ranking leaders of terror out of business. We've got to shut down the biggest of the big shots. Only after these thugs get whacked across the head by a big two-by-four will they be willing to discuss a long truce.

History has shown us that no amount of appeasement will work with these people. These murderous despots view any concessions made by "the infidels" as weakness. As long as they think they can get what they want by killing innocent people, their terrorism will go on and on. And if you think 9-11 was bad, it could get worse -- much worse.

These enemies of civilization have proudly and loudly admitted to the world that they have no regard for human life -- including their own. They claim to be ready to die as martyrs for their cause. I don't quite buy that completely. While I'm certain that they don't care how many of their young people blow themselves up in the short term, I don't think they'd relish the total extinction of Islamic people from the face of the earth -- if they really believed it might happen.

But we need to get their attention. Something big has to hit them. Something's got to shake up their world to such a degree, that it would cause them to stop the killing and rethink their doctrines and their future. We can't kill all the terrorists, but we can take out enough of the big boys to scare everybody else. We can demonstrate that the terrorist business is a losing proposition. President Bush was right when he said fighting and winning the war on terrorism would not be quick nor would it be easy. But it must be done.

Once the oppressors are out of power we can begin planting the seeds of freedom and democracy for the people of those countries. We can start by throwing out the school books which have been teaching their children hatred and bigotry for the past 40 years. No, none of this will be easy.

But first we have to get their attention.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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