In Nablus, a young man is kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists — who then set him free on learning he is an American because they don’t want to end up like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi so recently did.
I am irresistibly reminded of a piece of cynical wisdom from the mouth of the mad Roman emperor Caligula, born of experience in dealing with the barbarians of his day: Oderint, dum metuant: “Let them hate, so long as they fear”.
It is best of all to be loved, of course. But Islamists will never love the khufr; not even the most self-abasing of the postmodern Left’s bootlickers can make that happen. The next best thing is that jihadis should crap their pants when they think about the death-from-above consequences of molesting Americans.
I would actually prefer to have them fear molesting “all civilized people”, rather than just “Americans”. Unfortunately, I don’t see the will to instill the required level of fear anywhere but in the U.S., and I don’t consistently see it here. Not a single Democrat is willing to talk about making the active enemies of our civilization fear its wrath, which is one of several reasons I can no longer consider voting Democrat.
Then there are the practicalities. The U.S. military is implicitly defending all civilized people whenever it waxes a jihadi, but in our world of nation-states it would be a bit much to require it to explicitly retaliate for the death of (say) a Frenchman.
Still…having even bush-league terrorists fear harming Americans is a good start, and as neat a vindication of George Bush’s foreign policy and the war in Iraq as anyone could ask for. The war is not, after all, breeding terrorists; it’s killing the leaders and frightening the small fry into letting go their victims.
Caligula may have been a mad bastard, but understood the barbarian mind and the stringency necessary to deal with it better than most of today’s politicians. Since they will not love us, let them be afraid. Very, very afraid.