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Shot to Death on Main Street

January 12, 2009

On that awful evening of September 11, 2001, my gaze alternating between my television screen and my computer screen, I wrote a column called "Now We Know How Israel Feels." In that piece, I retold the true story of Ken Rex McElroy of Skidmore, Missouri, a local bully who terrorized an entire rural county until, after years of abuse, theft, rape and attempted murder, a handful of Skidmore citizens shot him to death on Main Street in broad daylight. Recently, like those citizens in Skidmore, the nation of Israel had had enough.

Imagine that Canada, Mexico and most of Central America are run by fascist dictators whose sworn goal is the annihilation of the United States. Picture Canada as a leading sponsor of terrorism, as the primary supporter of a terrorist organization operating out of Mexico, and as a rogue state developing nuclear weapons in defiance of the entire civilized world. Further imagine that this terrorist group also is supported by Cuba (which may have weapons of mass destruction smuggled in from another country). In our little scenario, this nasty terrorist group has begun firing missiles from Tijuana into downtown San Diego.

Now imagine that the United States is the size of Rhode Island and you have a more personal picture of how the Israelis must feel right now.

The modern state of Israel has understood since its inception in 1948 that brute force is the only way to deal with a bully. Knock him down and make sure he doesn't get up again, because it is the only thing he understands or respects. After 9/11, most clear-thinking Americans understood that concept, too.

Hamas has a long and bloody history of murder against the Jewish people, and Americans need to be reminded that, like most of the Islamic governments in the Middle East, this vicious terrorist organization has vowed to destroy the state of Israel.

Now, after years of forced appeasement, Israel is faced with a choice: submit to annihilation or crush its foes once and for all. The lessons of the 2006 conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon have not been lost on the Israeli leadership. The choice in that conflict to avoid the use of ground troops led to a public relations disaster as Hezbollah showed the world photo after bloody photo of innocent bystanders hit by Israeli rockets and bombs. No one seemed to notice that Hezbollah was firing rockets from residential Lebanese neighborhoods, just as Hamas is doing now.

The fact that a majority of Palestinians were stupid enough to vote Hamas into power to represent them does not mitigate the fact that it is a terrorist organization, and Israel should stop trying to negotiate with them. As surely as al Qaeda, Hezbollah and any other terrorist group must be destroyed, so must Hamas.

After decades of pushing the Israelis to surrender territory and make peace with those who have sworn to destroy them, the world is now witnessing the results of that appeasement. Islamic extremists, who view compromise as weakness, have been emboldened by Israel's actions in recent years. Now, as is always the case when dealing with bullies, the time has come for Israel to respond to an imminent threat to their security. The Israelis should continue to attack until Hamas is destroyed, then turn their attention to Iran, the primary sponsor of this terrorist organization and a potential nuclear threat in the region.

No free nation can appease its avowed enemies, nor reason with terrorist fanatics. There is no possible negotiation with them. Like Ken McElroy of Skidmore, Missouri, they must be shot to death on Main Street in broad daylight.

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Copyright ©2009 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.