I will not get into the philosophy of the Middle-East conflict. Palestinians believe wholeheartedly that the land today occupied by Israel was promised to them by their God. Likewise, Jews and Christians believe that land was given to them by theirs. I do not debate either of these points, as neither has any validity over the other. The land is land, it can be shared, it should be shared. This is my stance.

Despite this view, however, I do have some things to say about the respective governments of these conflicting ideologies. Namely, the government of Israel headed by Prime Minister Sharon and the Palestinian Authority headed by Yasser Arafat. First, we’ll deal with Israel.

Whether or not the state (nation) of Israel should exist is beside the point, because it does. The argument that Israel should be disbanded because other people lived there before and were displaced makes as much sense as evacuating the United States and giving it back to the American Indians. So I won’t deal with that either, because what’s done is done. I’m going to look at it this way: the nation of Israel is being bombarded with suicide bombers from organizations existing in Palestine. These bombers are killing themselves and hundreds of innocent Israelis that have done nothing but live their lives and go to public places. Well no wonder they’re pissed!

Israel has been working for peace. They have constantly extended peace proposals and signed cease fires which were soon thereafter broken by the other side. They support allowing the Palestinians to retain control of their territories, but they do so demanding only security for themselves in return. They have not been given security, so they have not given Palestine the control they demand. Sharon has to protect his nation, and is justified in doing so. Though, admittedly, Israel should NOT have put settlers in the occupied territories that make up Palestine. That was their major blunder, in my opinion.

Now on to Palestine. This psuedo-state composed of territories occupied by Israel is run by a man named Yasser Arafat. Organizations under his control claim responsibility for most of the suicide bombings in Israel. He condemns these attacks when speaking in English to the world, and then praises them in Arabic to his own people. His organizations have violated every cease fire the man has signed, and he will not settle for anything less than the entire region under his control. He believes that Israelis are infidels in his holy land, and wants them removed. If they won’t leave willingly, he seeks to bomb and terrorize them until they do.

This is the situation in the middle east, like it or not. Look at the history and see who fired the first shot or detonated the first bomb after every cease fire and you will see that reality backs me up here. As a world, we have mistaken Yasser Arafat for a statesman when the man is nothing more than a terrorist and a liar. It is that simple. I hold no racism towards Palestinians, they have some valid complaints, but in their response—the constant slaughter of innocent civilians—they have whittled their relevancy to that of the Taliban. They should be treated accordingly.

Many will say that Israel is guilty of similar terrorism, and certainly—looking that the numbers—more Palestinians have perished in the recent conflicts than have Israelis. But the Israelis who died were sipping coffee at a pub, dancing at a club, or eating at a restaurant. They were walking down the street, or working as police officers, or reading a book on a bus. Meanwhile, the Palestinians who died were on their way to suicide bombings, shooting at police officers, or mobbing Jewish businesses. Most Palestinians killed by Israeli forces were killed in the commission of crimes against humanity. Most Israelis killed by Palestinians were killed in the commission of being human. And that’s that.

But what is even more disturbing to me than the constant slaughter of innocent people is the lack of backbone that the world is demonstrating in response. In the days and weeks following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, the world stood up briefly in unity to declare that terrorism would no longer be tolerated. Very emphatically, everybody agreed that this kind of slaughtering of innocent people could not continue for it threatened freedom worldwide. These nations, generally, stood behind our toppling of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

But when President George W. Bush properly referred to Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as an “axis of evil” that supported terrorists, the world stood aghast and attacked the United States and our president with harsh words and warnings. When rumors circulate of an impending effort to topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the world expresses clear dislike for the idea. When Israel invades Palestinian territory to root out terrorists and isolates their treaty-violating leader, the United Nations condemns the actions. Even the United States government stands hesitantly behind Israel, always being careful to press that Israel leave a “path to peace” with the Palestinians.

Well President Bush was right in the beginning when his rhetoric stated that the only way to ensure peace was to destroy states that sponsor and protect terrorists. His decision not to stand 100 percent behind Israel’s effort, in fact his decision not to send in US troops to help, is as spineless as Europe’s failure to support us 100 percent against terrorism wherever it is.

The resolve of these nations and the resolve of our president is failing in the face of the real magnitude of this worldwide terrorist problem. We should settle, in fact the world should settle, for nothing less than the wholehearted destruction of the governments of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Palestine. These governments support the killing of innocent civilians in the United States and in the nations of its allies. They support it with money, with land, and by looking-the-other-way and they must be punished and they must be stopped. Furthermore, we must install powerful governments to impose order in nations like Somalia where there is no central authority to reign in terrorists. Until this is done, the world will not be safe for Democracy and people will continue to die in their offices, their restaurants, and their homes in Israel, Europe, and the United States.

Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority, Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi government, the Iranian government, and the government of North Korea must be destroyed, toppled, and replaced. They are killers, if not directly then by nature of their support for killers. They are as evil as Usama bin Laden and the Taliban government of Afghanistan were, and they are as much of a threat to freedom worldwide. The world’s hesitancy to stand up against them is reminiscent of their hesitancy to stand up against Adolph Hitler’s German regime in the 1930s and 40s, and will have results equally as disastrous—if not more so.

This is as black-and-white as President Bush put it when he said that nations are either with us, or they are with the terrorists. We know Arafat, Hussein, and bin Laden are with the terrorists, but where does Europe stand? Where do we even stand? Our problem is we aren’t even 100 percent behind our own rhetoric regarding our war on terrorism. We claim we are at war with terrorism wherever it resides, and yet we will not consider Yasser Arafat to be a terrorist leader. We settle with our allies’ halfhearted (or lack-of) support of our need to expand our anti-terror campaign. We’ve let political correctness and petty politics get in the way of making this world a safe place for our citizens, and for everybody else.

The legislatures of European nations and the UN ring today with weak and spineless ramblings for a peace that in reality can only be acquired through the destruction of the agitators who struggle to prevent it. It is these weak and spineless nations that will be the first to fall at the hands of those terrorists they have chosen to support through their inaction—the same inaction that felled Europe to a different kind of terrorism more than a half-century ago.

But with the United States’ weak resolve and wishy-washy views of terrorism, would we be willing or able to step in and save them again?