(An excerpt from Thomas Sowell's literary wake-up call, "Point of No Return," available in its entirety on RealClearPolitics.)
"...What kind of people provide a market for videotaped beheadings of innocent hostages? What kind of people would throw an old man in a wheelchair off a cruise liner into the sea, simply because he was Jewish? What kind of people would fly planes into buildings to vent their hate at the cost of their own lives?
These are the kinds of people we are talking about getting nuclear weapons. And what of ourselves?
Do we understand that the world will never be the same after hate-filled fanatics gain the ability to wipe whole American cities off the face of the earth? Do we still imagine that they can be bought off, as Israel was urged to buy them off with "land for peace" -- a peace that has proved to be wholly illusory?
Even ruthless conquerors of the past, from Genghis Khan to Adolf Hitler, wanted some tangible gains for themselves or their nations -- land, wealth, dominion. What Middle East fanatics want is the destruction and humiliation of the west.
Their treatment of hostages, some of whom have been humanitarians serving the people of the Middle East, shows that what the terrorists want is to inflict the maximum pain and psychic anguish on their victims before killing them.
Once these fanatics have nuclear weapons, those victims can include you, your children and your children's children.
The terrorists need not start out by wiping our cities off the map. Chances are they would first want to force us to humiliate ourselves in whatever ways their sadistic imaginations could conceive, out of fear of their nuclear weapons.
After we, or our children and grandchildren, find ourselves living at the mercy of people with no mercy, what will future generations think of us, that we let this happen because we wanted to placate "world opinion" by not acting "unilaterally"?
We are fast approaching the point of no return."