08/04/07 — Allegiances: U.S. shouldn’t have to shoulder anti-terror burden alone

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Allegiances: U.S. shouldn’t have to shoulder anti-terror burden alone

There is one aspect of the war on terror that really does need renewed emphasis.

It has been neglected because the United States has always been considered the savior of the world — even though many countries deny that fact to save face. So, while many nations talk about making the world safer, this one actually puts its money where its mouth is and gets the job done.

And, as usual, that kind of sensibility and concern for the future of children halfway across the world has made this country vulnerable to criticism again — and caused many here to wonder if it might be time for a change in policy in Iraq.

And in one sense, they are right.

Those who are calling for more Arab countries to get involved in preserving peace in the Middle East are dead-on correct.

The truth is, no matter how many uprisings we quell between factions in Iraq and no matter how many despots we send packing, there will never be peace in the Arab world until the countries that are located there decide it is going to be a priority.

Generations have fought each other in countries around the Middle East. Religious sects remain some of the most contentious of enemies. The ferocity of the battles, which often claim the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children, is legendary.

Add to that stress the seemingly insane determination of the Islamic militants, and you have a recipe for continued strife and continued tragedy.

Without a serious commitment from the leaders of the nations of the Middle East and their neighbors, the terror network will continue to flourish and thousands will continue to suffer.

And as long as few western nations are willing to get their hands dirty in the business of quelling unrest in the region, there is little the U.S. can do to achieve a lasting peace.

It is time someone started reminding people just how much this nation does to assist struggling nations and citizens who are striving for freedom. It is time to count up the aid that is sent around the world and how much comes from the coffers of the United States and its allies.

It is time to put some value on the assistance this nation gives to other countries — and to demand more from those who receive it.

And it is time to force the Arab world to understand that harboring terrorist networks, and turning a blind eye to the tragedy they create, are tantamount to declaring that you are for the other side.

It is time to require more from those who seek our help — and to demand more responsibility from those who claim to be our allies.

Maybe then there will be an end in sight for the global war on terror.

Published in Editorials on August 4, 2007 9:56 AM