Monday, October 06, 2003

The War: "Restraint" in the war against Islamic Militants

I'm shaking my head at this AP report:

The Bush administration is calling for restraint in the Middle East following Israel's strike against Syria while labeling the Damascus government a supporter of terrorists.

The administration did not criticize Israel for Sunday's attack, which Israel said was directed at a training camp for Islamic Jihad, the group claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing that caused heavy casualties Saturday in Israel.

But the State Department declared that Syria "must cease harboring terrorists and make a clean break from those responsible for planning and directing terrorist action from Syrian soil."

Arab leaders warned that a "circle of violence" could surround the region after Israeli warplanes attacked deep inside Syria for the first time in three decades.

The U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss Syria's complaint to Secretary-General Kofi Annan about the strikes near Damascus.

President Bush telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to offer condolences and condemnation for the Haifa bombing that killed 19 people.

The two agreed on a need to continue fighting terrorism and "on the need to avoid heightened tension in the region at this time," said Ken Lesius, a White House spokesman.

Administration officials said Israel had not informed Washington in advance of its retaliatory strike nor indicated whether it intended any move against Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to remove him from his West Bank headquarters.

The State Department has listed Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism since the list's inception some 30 years ago. It contends Syria offers sanctuary and political protection to groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad--all considered terror organizations by the United States.

The United States is urging Israel and Syria "to avoid actions that could lead to an escalation of tension," said Joann Moore, a State Department spokeswoman.
Why is the US calling for Israel to avoid actions that could lead to an escalation of tension? There doesn’t need to be ‘restraint’ in the war against terrorism--there needs to be righteous anger and the willingness to act. Murderous and tyrannical enemies who are morally committed to destruction don’t deserve a pass--they deserve martyrdom.

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