09/15/12 — Sabers heard: The new foreign policy just not the answer, obviously

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Sabers heard: The new foreign policy just not the answer, obviously

They call it saber rattling.

The idea is that you send a message, a warning, that perhaps, just maybe, the enemy might have miscalculated in its latest attack, and that there is reason not to push any harder or further.

It is an expression of might and resolve and a sign of strength of character.

In the simplest of terms, it is an expression that "enough is enough."

And we are there.

We have tried the mea culpas -- the world apology tour when we told all our foes that we are the bullies -- the country that has not respected their sovereignty and that has pushed them to hate us because of our insistence on the American way or the highway. We have diminished our role in the world as a champion for those who needed us throughout history -- and called ourselves imperialists instead.

That has not worked.

We have tried promising respect for violent thugs, negotiating with them as they are still bombing civilians and declaring their hatred of Americans and vowing to destroy all who come into their paths.

That has not worked.

We have even tried telling everyone how much we respect Islam, watching while our commander in chief observes a Muslim holiday, but does not comment on our own Easter celebration.

And you see where that got us.

We have damaged alliances with allies who have been our partners for generations -- and good ones at that -- to negotiate with two-faced leaders who cannot control their own countries, let alone make promises to be part of a true partnership that is based on mutual respect and not violence.

We have done just about everything wrong that we can over the last four years -- and the result has been the same. Except now, American embassies and interests have been attacked and some of our citizens have lost their lives at the hands of thugs and cowards.

So here's the truth -- not the sugar-coated kumbaya that masquerades for foreign policy these days. And not the fake hawk speeches that have come much too late.

You cannot now, nor ever will you be able to, negotiate with people whose religious fervor drives them to kill others who believe differently -- and who believe there is a reward in the after-life for such behavior.

You cannot negotiate with cowards and thugs who see no value in human life and who do not distinguish between combatants and children.

And you cannot possibly fight in any way other than "all-in" if you are going to help the good people -- the ones who want peace and harmony and who want their countries to move forward.

You can't step back.

You can't soften your public response to their heinous acts.

You cannot announce when you won't be there anymore.

Otherwise, you just repeat the mistakes of the past, and we end up back at war.

There is no simple answer to the problems in the Middle East. No matter what anyone says, they do not know exactly what it will take to create the peace and understanding so many crave. We have had generations to learn this -- and many years of mistakes to understand that it is time to make a different choice.

Militant Islamists are not going to stop because President Barack Obama makes mention of a Muslim holy day -- or if he praises their religious beliefs.

They are going to mouth the words about peace and a new future, and then get back to their mission.

They will understand one thing and one thing only -- strength and resolve.

So, it is time.

No more speeches.

No more capitulation.

No more olive branches.

It is time to send a message -- and a strong one.

And that might mean we need a little more saber rattling.

Published in Editorials on September 15, 2012 10:54 PM