Alan Caruba / Jun 11, 2003

The Palestinians think they are onto something. Unable to take on Israel militarily, but totally dedicated to killing every Israeli, they are seeking to destroy that nation one suicide-murderer at a time, calculating they can sacrifice enough of their youth at a rate of killing ten or more Israelis for every "martyr."

In Iraq, the American military is being killed one soldier at a time, not in combat, but with drive-by shootings and similar tactics. As the level of terror and the death toll rises, those seeking to install an Islamist government or one run by Saddam's sons believe Americans will tire of these random killings and leave. What the "elite" Republican Guards could not win, random acts of terror just might.

Already some Americans are disputing the need to have gone into Iraq because weapons of mass destruction have not been found barely weeks after the main element of combat has ended. Never mind that Saddam's regime had years to become expert at hiding WMDs or trucked them into Syria for safekeeping. And never mind that what we have found are the mass graves of what some are estimating as possibly a million victims of that brutal regime.

Apparently, destabilizing the status quo in the Middle East, a cauldron of medieval resentment and, after 9-11, a clear threat to America, is not sufficient reason to be there.

Here in the United States, Americans are already tired of the terror "alerts" that go from yellow to orange and back again. Even headlines that predict another al Qaeda attack in some major city no longer evoke anything other than a wait-and-see attitude. It's not that anyone either doubts it or believes it strongly, it's just that they have other priorities.

This is the fatigue of terror. We need to stop condemning the Israelis every time their people are killed by Palestinians who have no intention of seeking a peaceful answer. We need to let the Israelis know that they have carte blanche to suppress and end the Palestinian terror campaign by whatever means necessary.

Forget about tolerance. No religion on earth is more intolerant than Islam. Whether it is called fundamentalist, Wahabbi, Sunni or Shi'ite, Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda or any other name, Islamists are devoted to the domination of Islam over all other religions and all nations. The Muslims committed to this cause will take as long as is necessary for the fatigue of terror to bring about accommodation and ultimately surrender.

Then the "victims" of Western civilization will be able to share their faith and culture with the rest of us. In time women will have to accept their inferior status along with anyone who refuses to convert from their faith to Islam. Criminals will know they risk having their hands or their heads chopped off. Since the Koran doesn't have a bad word to say about slavery, that practice might be reinstated too. As to a democratic, constitutional government, well, you can forget about it.

By then, though, you will have been so worn down by the years of mindless acts of terror that you will just hope there's something else on the television than the daily readings from the Koran.

Alan Caruba is the author of "Warning Signs", published by Merril Press. His weekly column is posted on, the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.

Copyright, Alan Caruba, 2003

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