BESLAN, A SURVIVOR'S TALE

Date: 9/14/2004

Comment

News accounts of the carnage in the Russian school are heartbreaking. The photographs of the horror should serve as yet another wakeup call to the West.

A surviving child told the story of how the black-clad practitioners of the "religion of peace" repeatedly stabbed an 18-month-old baby when they ran out of ammunition.

Other witnesses told how screaming teenage girls were dragged into rooms adjoining the gymnasium where they were being held and raped by the "holy warriors" who reportedly videotaped their exploits.

Reports said children were forced to drink their own urine and eat the petals off the flowers they had brought their teachers after nearly three days without food or water in the stifling hot gym.

This war is not over it's just beginning.

And, despite the way it is characterized by politically correct government officials in the United States, it is not a war on terrorism. It is a war against Islamic imperialism.

Look around the world at any of the dozen or so major conflicts taking place in the world today and they all have one thing in common one of the participants is an Islamic jihadist army or terrorist group.

Now Russia has experienced its own Sept. 11-style attacks first there were the two airliners blown out of the sky, and now this attack on innocent schoolchildren that has left hundreds dead in its wake.

Here's what I would do if I were president of the United States. I'd set up a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin and propose a close alliance in this war. The alliance would include intelligence sharing. It would include backing of Moscow in its efforts in Chechnya. It would include oil contracts for Russia after this war is over.

One of the factors holding Russia back in such an alliance today is its close relationship with Iran. Russia is actually helping Tehran develop its nuclear bomb-making capabilities. This, of course, has to stop.

I would whisper in Putin's ear that the Iranian regime he is supporting is not long for this world. There's going to be a change soon. That is a fact. Because of Russia's proximity to Iran, Moscow wants good relations with Tehran. And this alliance against the jihadists will ensure those good relations.

We need Russia in this global fight. Imagine what the Russian military and intelligence services would mean in combination with the U.S., Great Britain, Australia and Israel. Who needs Germany or France with that kind of coalition? This week, Israel is thinking along the same lines meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and offering humanitarian aid, increased intelligence cooperation and antiterrorism expertise to Moscow.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon phoned Putin Sunday, and, according to a statement released by Sharon's office, the two agreed to increased cooperation. But we need more than cooperation. We need a real alliance an alliance with a capital "A" like the one that conquered Hitler.

We need to fumigate the world of these pests once and for all. We need a counter-jihad strategy. We need to recognize the unholy war that is being waged against us and start fighting smart and tough. We need to remember that the threat we face is the same threat facing the entire civilized world. We need a coalition that is not based on sympathy or specific policies but on mutual interests and self-defense.

If such an alliance were achieved, this global jihad might be contained and defeated in half the time it would otherwise take. There is nothing merciful about fighting with one hand tied behind our backs. We need to be on offense. We need to be aggressive. And we need to employ overwhelming force. There are going to be more tragedies like Sept. 11 and the school massacre before this war is over. I just hope we don't have to wait much longer before we take the kind of initiatives that are going to be absolutely necessary to victory over the Islamic terrorists.

Many other nations and peoples are being hit and hit hard right now. It's time to rally them all in our common cause.

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