Friday, July 14, 2006

Israel Takes Its Gloves Off

I have been thinking all day about the Israeli defense of freedom and democracy, and their attack on the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. I think Israel is doing the whole world a great service. To the extent that the Israeli defense forces can wipe out terrorist sanctuaries, training grounds, organizational headquarters and personnel, they are making the world a safer place.

Yes, of course, no one likes war or the collateral damage that accompanies war. But in their own defense, Israel is doing the kind of things to Hamas and Hezbollah that is being silently applauded throughout the Middle East.

Moderate Arab governments in places liker Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia hate Hamas and Hezbollah almost as much as Americans and Israelis do. The Saudis have even criticized Hezbollah and implicitly, Syria, for having started this fight.

The usual pacifist hand wringing in places like France and socialist Spain and Italy is to be expected. No surprise there. Calls for Israeli restraint may sound great in the smoking rooms and coffee tables in Western Europe and throughout the halls of the United Nations, but there has been absolutely no restraint from the terrorist groups that started this fight.

Israel is doing what it has to do for their security and self-preservation. They have every right to defend themselves (as they did twenty-five years ago when the Israeli air force launched a preemptive strike that decimated Saddam’s nuclear reactor in Osirak). And, as a byproduct, they may very well help the Iraq war and the cause of peace throughout the Middle East. This is the unspoken word that I believe is reverberating in that part of the world.

And if Iran—which is the primary source for terrorist financing and equipping—wants to disrupt oil supplies with some silly action in the Strait of Hormuz, then so be it. The U.S. and Israeli forces will destroy the Iranian air force and navy in maybe 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, the handwringers here in the U.S. worrying about long-term damage to the economy and stock markets are just that—Nervous Nellie handwringers. Oil prices will come back down as soon as this short war is completed.

Fundamentally, American business has never been healthier, or more profitable. Lower tax rates have spurred a tremendous boom in private investment that continues to spread throughout the economy. Job hiring will continue spurring family incomes. In the face of wartime uncertainty and the geopolitical risks that are temporarily driving up oil prices, stock markets have temporarily slumped.

But oil supplies are more than ample. Prices will soon drop when the Israeli defense forces eventually rest their case, and once the inevitable diplomacy takes over to clean up the hopefully decimated remains of these totalitarian terrorist groups. They will pay dearly for their manic hatred of democratic, freedom-loving nations.

When the dust clears, as it will before long, the world will thank Israel for its courage. Some nations like the United States will be more vocal, others will be quiet. But everyone will soon see that Israel’s furious response in the face of senseless terrorist attacks will make the world a better place.