Monday, August 30, 2004
GOP convention: I wish I could've been there tonight to see Rudy Giuliani's speech in person. It was a thing of beauty.
What most of the media will focus on is the attacks on John Kerry's flip-floppity nature ("John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combatting terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined course."). But what is perhaps the most informative part of Giuliani's speech won't be in the news -- because it's ancient history. History that too many of the American people have forgotten.
Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years.
And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.
The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.
Action like this became the rule, not the exception.
Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences.
In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer.
They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.
Some of those terrorist were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.
So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was "accommodation, appeasement and compromise."
And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.
Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table.
How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?
Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing
Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.
John Kerry has promised to respond as president if America is attacked.
Unfortunately, that doesn't work anymore.