I’m delighted to see ARI commenting forcefully upon the recent conflicts in the Middle East. Dr. Onkar Ghate just published an excellent op-ed The Indispensable Condition of Peace. Here are the first two paragraphs:
As Israeli soldiers reenter Gaza and bomb Lebanon, and Israeli citizens seek shelter from Hezbollah’s missiles, the world despairingly wonders whether peace between Israel and its neighbors can ever take root. It can–but only if America reverses course.
To achieve peace in the Middle East, as in any region, there is a necessary principle that every party must learn: the initiation of force is evil. And the indispensable means of teaching it is to ensure that the initiating side is defeated and punished. Decisive retaliatory force must be wielded against the aggressor. So long as one side has reason to think it will benefit from initiating force against its neighbors, war must result. Yet this is precisely what America’s immoral foreign policy gives the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Hezbollah reason to think.
Read the whole thing.
Debi Ghate also just published a letter to the editor on the proper response to Islamic terrorism:
Islamic totalitarians have explicitly stated their goal: to forcibly impose Islamic law around the world. To succeed, they will continue to attack those parts of the world that oppose their “divine mission.” The United States, Israel, Canada, England, India, and any other country that places the least bit of value on freedom and progress, will continue to be targets.
The freer nations need to recognize the real nature of this enemy: an ideology that demands complete submission to Allah, either voluntarily or at the point of a knife. Do you wait for the knife to slit your throat or do you fight back and defend yourself?
The combined military strength of the freer countries is more than enough to eliminate decisively and definitively the assorted collection of murderous terrorists and the governments that support them financially or ideologically. There is no need for an endless global conflict. What there is a need for is a recognition that those of us living in freer countries have the right to take any necessary actions to defend ourselves–and that our lives are at stake.
Vice President, Academic Programs
Copyright (c) 2006 Ayn Rand(R) Institute. All rights reserved. [Reprinted with permission.]
Israel has surely not turned a new philosophic leaf with its attack upon Lebanon, but perhaps they’ve learned the more concrete lesson that ceding territory to terrorists is not a path to peace. In any case, I’m glad to see that Israel is finally retaliating against the increasing and monstrous threat of Islamic totalitarianism. That won’t last long, but Western civilization desperately needs to buy itself some time to recover from its own self-inflicted altruistic wounds before an effective war against its totalitarian enemies can be fought.