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His curse & His love, mercy
GOD made man in His image, holy, pure Gen1:26,27; 2 but thru disobedience
to His command was cursed Gen3.
GOD cast fallen, lost man from His holy place with a flaming sword
guarding the access to the tree of life Heb4:12; 12:29 Zech13:9 Rev3:18,21.
GOD's curse continues Deut11:26-28 Mt19:17 Heb5:9 but in Christ Gal3
we are free as no disobedience may enter/abide 1Jn2:6; 3:4-6 or 8,10.
GOD's curse continues on all believers like Esau for rejecting His offer
as Christ's death, love, grace was in vain Rom9:13 Heb12:15-17.
GOD's curse continues on all fools like Mat25 who experienced heaven Eph2:6
but fell away 1Cor5:5 Heb6:4-6; 10:26-31 2Pet1:4 into 2:20-22.
GOD's curse continues on all disobedience Mat25:41,46 Rom1:18; 2; 7:5; 8:6a,13a
1Cor15:22a Eph2:3,4 2Thes1:8,9 Jude Rev14.
GOD's image is absolute obedience to His holy commands, copying Christ 100%,
by faith in His grace, love, power, work 1Jn5.
GOD's love and mercy in times past offered refuge cities
for certain bloodguilty offenders Num35 Deut4 Jos20.
GOD's love and mercy in times past offered an exact cleansing process
for His blessing upon people, land, etc. Deut21.
GOD's love and mercy warns us Mat16:23-27; 18:1-10 against offence,
even others' bloodguilty sins (abortion...war, etc.) 2Cor6:14-18.
GOD's love and mercy over His creation Jn3:16 holds the community
responsible for members' sins until we are 100% separated.
GOD's love and mercy separates His holy prophets Zech13:9 Mal3:3 1Pet1:7; 2:5,9
to intercede 2Cor5:18-6:10 Col1:28 till right in His eye.
GOD's love and mercy offered Heb7:26; 10:14 for a true cleansing process
as we walk as Him 1Jn1:7 into 2:6; 3:6,9 separated.
GOD's love and mercy for His own demands a blood avenger Rev16:6; 17:6; 18:24(20)
to judge 1Pet5:13 the 3 part church Ps1:5 1Pet4:17,18.
 Robert Bristow
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[see Elders: Sep '95 4 of 4]
Focus on the Family: a true focus
Part 4b
Ex20..You shall not kill.
Mat26:52..Put your sword into its place, for all who
take the sword will perish by the sword.
GOD's hard command to love all mankind is rarely believed, lived, taught
in the current church, witness Focus on the Family advocating, promoting guns.
GOD's hard command to love all mankind essentially prohibits willful use
of any violence to others, doing all in our power never to harm another.
GOD in flesh, Christ, plainly forbade His disciples use the sword, an almost
impossible command when clearly the circumstances were self defence only.
GOD, the Prince of Peace Is9:6, can never condone, justify war/violent act
by man upon man, which is all satan's evil work, being the ruler of this era.
GOD's few true people or saints or transformed or in union copy Him,
as any violent act against another is sin, and sin is death, eternally.

Rom12..I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of GOD, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to GOD, your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what that good and acceptable and perfect will of GOD.
9 love without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

11 Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the LORD;
12 Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance Mine, I will repay," says the LORD.
20 Therefore "If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

GOD in love desires global harmony, peace, unity based upon His holy law of love, so any
transgression against His law will result in His holy judgement, yet no war is holy-just.
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GOD demands we love
GOD, Is9:6, our Prince of peace demands we love, but few truly obey His hard word
to secure eternal salvation.
GOD empowers obedience to complete, fulfil, satisfy His demands,
but few seek His power to fight satan, self, sin.
GOD's true children refuse satan's way, giving up ALL
not to harm another Mat16:24-26, even defence Mat26:52,53.
GOD's true children really copy Christ thru blood, disgrace, pain,
showing His death to qualify for His resurrection and life.
GOD allows satan Jn8:44 1Jn3:8,10 to work Mat23(Jer23 Ez34)
since Acts20:28-30 2Pet2 1Jn2:18,19.
GOD's delusion 2Thes2:11,12(2Cor11:13-15) trips false believers, happy in sin,
but claim to be as Him 2Thes2:4 1Jn2:6.
GOD's family; mouth, anointed or lukewarm, must Zech13:9(Jn8:39 Rom2:13 Jm2)
to abide or Jn15:6 Mat10:28 1Cor3:15; 5:5; 15:22,25 Rev20:11-15.
 Robert Bristow
As GOD is love, the love of GOD is holy and man(animal) can only truly
express Him when and if His holy nature resides in us and only thru growth
i.e. growing into love(Him) can we express all, pure love, as Him.
Jn14 1Pet1:22 is the 1st level of man expressing the love of GOD,
Jn15 1Jn2:6 is the 2nd level of man expressing the love of GOD,
2Cor7:1 Phil2:12 is the 3rd level of man expressing the love of GOD,
beloved...2Thes2:13 1Jn3:2.
GOD's power(love) goes around sinners; partly thru the ungodly, filled;
fully thru the holy, righteous; mightily thru His beloved or His true servants
Amos3:7 1Cor2:16 Heb1:1.
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[Feeding Others]
[see Elders: Sep '95 4 of 4]
A man on a mission
U.S. News & World Report
Monday, March 18, 2002

    Nothing less than the most pristine moral clarity will serve to honor the American soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan. But that is precisely the quality our commander in chief has brought to the global war on terrorism. We salute that vision even as we grieve for those who have given their lives, as more may be fated to do. Our brave dead would be betrayed by anything less. So would our civilization.
    We are fortunate to have in George W. Bush a president who recognizes the forces of darkness for what they are. For him, the war on terrorism is an intrinsically moral cause. As he put it, "Evil is real, and it must be opposed." This is the only tolerable response in a world where the enemy is not merely unrestrained by civilized values but glories in their debasement.
    Another kind of American leader might have yielded to the temptation to temporize in the face of such an enemy. He might have settled for the acclaim of a quick success in Afghanistan, a war a chorus of quaking Jeremiahs called unwinnable. It would have been easy to pretend that the job had been done with the installation of the new interim government in Kabul, just as it was easy to claim victory when Kuwait was liberated a decade ago. But from the very beginning President Bush has denied himself a cheap victory by defining America's war aims much more broadly. The first priority has been to get the murderers of 9/11, but the president has held fast to two critical doctrines in their pursuit. First, there must be no distinction between the terrorists who commit atrocities and those who harbor them. Second, the world's most dangerous regimes will not be permitted the option of menacing us with weapons of mass destruction. Bush has hammered home his message by naming names: North Korea, Iran, Iraq. All three not only support terrorism but also threaten world peace. The best defense, Bush knows, is a good offense. In other words, we must get them before they get us.
    Resolve. Americans have responded to this leadership dramatically. If Bush was barely elected back in November 2000, he has been massively re-elected by the American public since 9/11. He surprised the world with his swift military response and has emerged from the first phase of the war more convinced than ever that America alone has the power to complete the task–with a coalition if possible but alone if need be. "We can't stop short," Bush warned. "If we stop now . . . our sense of security would be false and temporary."
    We are, it is clear, in a war of historic proportions. Many do not appreciate the newfound resolve of President Bush and his team, much less that they mean what they say in viewing this war as a defining moment in our history. The British are resolute, but the Europeans as a whole are nervous. Their preference is to confront problems through "constructive engagement," to jaw-jaw as a way of dealing with disputes, especially through international institutions. They fear a president who, in defense of American life and liberty, might act pre-emptively in anticipation of threats. They know, too, that military might permits America to make decisions in matters of war and peace that could change their lives, though they have little control over those decisions.

    The media will, of course, attack this or that part of the Bush administration's action, without fully embedding it in a context in which all choices are between bad and worse and all options fraught with risk. The danger here is that the media can influence policy without having to bear responsibility for its results. But this administration understands only too well that America is the principal target of terrorist networks and regimes that, if married to weapons of mass destruction, could make 9/11 a pale shadow of future carnage. The next attack could bring casualties in the hundreds of thousands. Bush has rightly concluded that such risks are too great to be put to a vote or a veto by others.
    The first target in the war's next phase, clearly, will be Iraq. The West's lackluster efforts at nonproliferation have done little more than delay the inevitable–a Baghdad with nuclear weapons. So Bush and his team are determined to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. This, after all, is a man who uses poison gas on his own people, invades his neighbors, and dabbles with weapons of mass destruction. He is as close to a psychopath as we have ruling any country in the world today. The late Hafez Assad of Syria, no slouch of a dictator himself, once compared the tyrant of Baghdad to a chain smoker: "He cannot help lighting another one before he has finished the first. Only with Saddam, it is wars, not cigarettes."
    The United States is prepared to take the risks, and is right to do so, in forcing a change in Iraq. Delay will only increase the risks. Not even the attempts of Palestinians to escalate the violence in the Middle East should cloud or confuse this message from Vice President Dick Cheney, as he tours the region this week. "I will not wait on events," Bush stated recently, "while dangers gather."
a) Mideast [see GOD's holy judgement, Hebrews]

Don't hold Israel Back
The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, April 9, 2002

    JERUSALEM -- President Bush yesterday called once again for Israel to withdraw its forces from the West Bank "without delay." Until last week, Mr. Bush had displayed remarkable courage in resisting demands to curtail Israel's right to defend itself against relentless Palestinian terror. Now, abandoning that principled position in the quest for an elusive cease-fire, the president has revived the expectation that the Israelis must cease while the Palestinians keep firing. More tragically, he has reverted to a misconceived U.S. policy in the Middle East that, for over 50 years, has consistently backfired.
    Since its creation in 1948, Israel has been the target of Arab terror. In the 1950s and '60s, "armed infiltration," as it was then called, caused hundreds of casualties and made life on Israeli streets and border settlements nearly as precarious as it is today. Yet, in spite of these losses and Israel's clear-cut case for avenging them, the U.S. denied Israel's right to retaliate. "The USG has consistently opposed reprisal raids," Secretary of State John Foster Dulles wrote in March 1955. "Such raids dangerously heighten existing tensions." Similarly, in November 1966, Dean Rusk declared, "We have said frequently that we cannot agree to or condone [Israeli] retaliatory action."
    The rationale behind this policy was not so much moral as it was economic and strategic. American leaders claimed that Israeli reprisals could interrupt the flow of Arab oil to the West, while driving moderate Arab states into Soviet -- later, Islamic radical -- arms. There was also the belief, ultimately belied by Jordan's King Hussein, that an Arab defeated by Israel is an Arab less willing to make peace.
    None of these scenarios ever transpired, however, and, rather than peace, America's policy helped produce the very wars it sought to preclude. The terrorists learned that Jews could be killed with impunity, while frustrated Israeli leaders concluded that if they were going to be condemned for minor retaliations, they might as well respond massively.
    Such was the case in 1956, when the Israelis, forbidden by America to strike back at terrorist bases in Egyptian-controlled Gaza, went ahead and drove the Egyptians from Gaza and Sinai. In 1967, again, Washington's refusal to let Israel go after Yasser Arafat and his al-Fatah terrorists emboldened Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser to remilitarize Sinai and rally the Arab armies to war. Israel replied with a pre-emptive strike that snowballed into the Six Day War. The pattern resurfaced in 1982 when Israel, fed up with rocket attacks over its northern border, and America's objections to punishing the PLO for launching them, invaded Lebanon.
    Once war broke out, America repeatedly pressured Israel to cease firing before it could achieve its objectives. The results were disastrous. By forcing Israel to relinquish its gains in Sinai in 1948 and 1956, for example, the U.S. aided Egypt's ability to threaten Israel's existence again in 1967. The U.S.-imposed cease-fire in the 1973 Yom Kippur War saved attacking Arab armies from destruction but impaired Israel's deterrence power for years. The current onslaught of Palestinian terror can be traced in part to Arafat's last-minute evacuation from Beirut in 1982, another feat of U.S. intervention.

    To be sure, Israel has not always yielded to American dictates on security. During the latter stages of the Six Day War, Israeli leaders ignored U.S. insistence on a cease-fire and proceeded to capture Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Paradoxically, Israel's determination to stand up for itself strengthened rather than dampened its image in the U.S.
    The rule was again demonstrated in Israel's 1981 attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor, an act that President Reagan at first denounced but then rewarded by elevating U.S. cooperation with Israel. Conversely, when Israel buckled to pressure -- in the Gulf War, when Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir agreed not to respond to Iraqi scud attacks -- it earned Washington's contempt, and gained nothing in terms of defense.
    For over half a century, U.S. attempts to rein in Israel militarily have encouraged Arab aggression and contributed to a series of inconclusive wars, setting the stage for even bloodier clashes. By submitting to restrictions, Israel has compromised, not enhanced, its security.
    The question of peace and war in the Middle East today hangs in the balance. Either President Bush can continue to bend to pressure and try to prevent Israel from defending itself, or he can allow Israel to finish rooting out the terrorist infrastructure in the territories. The first path, as history proves, leads only to escalating terror and larger-scale Israeli reactions, with a risk of regional war. Only by standing firm with Israel in its legitimate fight against terror can President Bush pave the way toward a viable cease-fire and renewed negotiations on ending the conflict. It is not too late -- the pattern can still be broken.

Israel and the Bush Doctrine
By George F. Will
Monday, April 8, 2002

    Fox News broadcast President Bush's speech in Georgia on Wednesday afternoon live, a few hours after a suicide bomber perpetrated the Passover massacre in a hotel in Netanya, Israel. During part of the speech, Fox used a split screen--Bush speaking on one side, while the other side showed pictures of the aftermath of the blast that blew body parts 50 yards from the hotel. Bush could not have known that he was being seen on a split screen as he said this:
    "I laid out a doctrine and it's really important for when the United States speaks it means what they say. And I said that if you harbor a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist; if you feed one or hide one, you're just as guilty as those who came and murdered thousands of innocent Americans. It's an important part of any foreign policy to do what you say you're going to do, and we did. Thanks to the mighty United States military, the Taliban no longer is in power."
    The juxtaposition of Bush's statement and the pictures of the carnage in Netanya was useful. The suicide bomber went to Netanya from the West Bank. There, in the jurisdiction of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority, terrorists are trained, armed, incited and dispatched. According to the Bush Doctrine, Israel has a right, indeed a duty, to do to the PA what the United States did to the Taliban: destroy it.
    However, as Bush was speaking in Georgia and body parts were being collected in Netanya, Secretary of State Colin Powell was in Washington saying this about the practice of murdering Jews as they observe Seder: "This sort of activity and the tolerance of this sort of activity will destroy the very vision that the Palestinian Authority stands for and Chairman Arafat says he is committed to."
    Powell's response to mass murder--to the PA's longstanding policy of nurturing an atmosphere in which mass murder is celebrated--represents an alarming degree of incomprehension on his part. Not since Cyrus Vance said in 1978 that Leonid Brezhnev shared America's "dreams and aspirations" has a secretary of State seemed so impervious to the obvious. Powell's version of the PA's "vision" is this: "A Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel, behind secure and recognizable borders." Powell's version is his, not Arafat's. And it is absurd.
    What kind of a state does Powell think will be built by men who send suicide bombers to discos, pizzerias, weddings and Seders? When Powell issues his ridiculously recurring demands for Arafat to order PA security forces to crack down on terrorism, does Powell know that Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service, praises suicide bombers?
    Powell certainly knows that the PA's maps of Palestine are, as the Nazis used to say, Judenrein --cleansed of Israel. The PA's jurisdiction reverberates with incessant incitements to murder and genocide. When Daniel Pearl was forced to say, "My mother is a Jew. I am a Jew," and then had his throat slit, that was applied Arafatism.


    U.S. policy has been impervious to the obvious fact that a secure Israel is incompatible with the PA's purpose. That purpose is to establish a state whose capital is an undivided Jerusalem and whose western border is on the Mediterranean. Powell's willful disbelief of such unpleasant truths, which the PA hardly disguises, is of a piece with the delusional behavior that has surrounded the farcical Saudi "peace plan."
    The plan has been consistently misdescribed as merely a matter of "land for peace." Such an exchange must mean that Israel surrenders something tangible, crucial and irrecoverable without a war, in exchange for words that can be repudiated in a trice. But never mind that. The Saudi plan actually calls for Arab nations to recognize Israel after Israel accepts a peace satisfactory to the Palestinians. That would involve much more than Israel's withdrawing to the (indefensible) 1967 borders. It would involve a "right of return" of those, or the descendants of those, who fled Israel in 1948, expecting to return after Arab armies destroyed the new nation. This "right" would mean the end of Israel.
    The Saudi plan was a public-relations ploy by a nation with a public-relations problem: 15 of the 19 September 11 terrorists came from there. The Saudis' well-chosen conduit for their plan was New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, a consistent advocate of Israeli concessions. Friedman breathlessly reported that the Saudis were Friedmanites, offering normalization of relations after Israel's total withdrawal to the 1967 borders and creation of a Palestinian state.
    Because Friedman has become a participant, or at least a pawn, in the process, note that his judgment about the process is, to say no more, fallible. In July 2000, at Camp David, Arafat spurned a recklessly generous Israeli offer--control of up to 95 percent of the West Bank, removal of 40,000 Israeli settlers, redivision of Jerusalem and a limited right of return. Friedman was sanguine about Arafat's destruction of the Camp David meeting: "There will be a great temptation to pronounce the Israeli-Palestinian peace process over. That would be a great, great mistake. The truth is, it has just begun... The days of the intifada are over."
    Friedman said, "The Palestinian police now have guns--and that changes everything." He meant that the intifada dare not become more than a people's movement with stones, because "the last time the Palestinians used guns against Israeli guns was in a place called Lebanon and it ended with the P.L.O. on a boat to Tunis."
    The current phase of the 54-year war against Israel began 18 months ago, shortly after Friedman's bulletin that the peace process "has just begun." The PA, which is the PLO masquerading as a government, has earned the fate that befell the PLO in 1982: exile, far from Palestine. Pending that, the fiasco of the Saudi plan and the "Arab summit" in Beirut demonstrated, albeit redundantly, that "the Arab world" remains a geographical, not a political expression, and that is a very good thing indeed.

Arabs and Democracy
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, April 3, 2002

    Natan Sharansky, the one-time Russian émigré and now Israel's Deputy Prime Minister, once told us that "It's much better to deal with a democracy that hates you than with a dictator who loves you." There's a lesson here for the war now raging in Palestine as well as for the future of America's war on terror, especially when it moves from Afghanistan to liberate Iraq.
    This week's establishment wisdom seems to be that the current violence between Arabs and Israelis is the result of President Bush's failure to be "engaged." Bill Clinton might not have been able to deliver peace in seven years of his own epic "engagement," runs this argument, but Mr. Bush should now sail his Presidency into the same rocks.
    But what precisely is the President's engagement supposed to deliver, and from whom? He might be able to lean on Ariel Sharon again to pull back from the West Bank, but that didn't stop the suicide bombers the last time. And if suicide bombers work in the Middle East, rest assured they will soon appear in Times Square and Chicago's Miracle Mile.
    We keep reading about the Tenet plan, or the Mitchell principles or the Oslo understanding. But these are all at their root land-for-peace proposals that Mr. Clinton tried to midwife over seven years. That process collapsed when Ehud Barak offered more concessions than any Israeli government ever has, only to have Yasser Arafat reject them and resume his intifada, this time with pizza parlor bombers.
    The flaw in all this thinking is the one Mr. Sharansky fingered long ago: It depends upon making peace with a leader who has no democratic legitimacy. Under Oslo the Israelis (backed by the U.S.) winked to themselves that they could sub-contract their security out to Mr. Arafat. Sure he was a despot, but he would be their despot. As Yitzhak Rabin once tellingly cracked, Arafat could take care of Hamas without human-rights critics and the supreme court.
    This was doomed to fail because without the benefit of an election Mr. Arafat has no legitimacy beyond Palestinian nationalism. He held one vote after returning to the territories but backed out of one that was supposed to be held in 1999. Before Oslo ran into a wall many Palestinians complained about the "Tunisian occupation," a reference to the crowd Mr. Arafat brought back with him from Tunisian exile.
    Without an electoral mandate, his survival depends on placating the most bitter-end Palestinians, the ones who demand a permanent war against "Zionist occupation." So instead of building a Palestinian consensus for peace, he arms his own police force and deputizes his own terror wing to compete with Hamas. Even now Mr. Bush urges him daily to put a stop to terrorism, but we wonder if Mr. Arafat could do that even if he wanted to.
    The Arafat mistake is only the latest example of how dealing with Mideast dictators has become a Faustian bargain, not just for Israel but also for the U.S. American Presidents have gambled for 40 years that these rulers can buy stability, and that the alternative is far worse; in the long run they come back to haunt us.


    The Shah of Iran created a backlash against the U.S. that we are still paying for. Meanwhile, the Saudis created Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, as a way of deflecting domestic criticism from their own dictatorship. It's no accident that America's best friend in the region, Turkey, is the one Islamic regime with a history of free elections.
    This is why we believe the best chance for peace in Palestine, and for stability throughout the entire Middle East, goes through Baghdad. Iraq is a serious country with a proud history and, at least before Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party arrived, with something of a middle class. Liberating Iraq from Saddam and sponsoring democracy would not only rid the region of a major military threat. It would also send a message to the Arab world that self-determination as part of the modern world is possible.
    This assumes, of course, that the U.S. and its allies would do the job right this time. That means not merely toppling Saddam with one more Baath thug but staying long enough to underwrite an election under United Nations auspices. The Iranian people, already restive under the mullahs, would then take heed and liberate themselves. Arab leaders throughout the Middle East would have to adapt to the same lesson, including the Palestinians.
    The advice Mr. Bush is now getting, to throw himself into the middle of the Palestinian-Israeli war, is a counsel of paralysis. It will tie him down, like Gulliver, pulled this way and that by the latest bombing or "peace plan." It ultimately will derail the war on terror.
    The violence in Palestine doesn't need another mediator; it needs an outside shock that changes Arab assumptions about what is possible. It needs a pro-Western Iraq on the road to democracy .

A Mideast Vietnam?
The Wall Street Journal
Friday, April 5, 2002

    JERUSALEM -- Because the names remain the same, and because the moral is such a tidy one, Ariel Sharon's current battle against Yasser Arafat has been widely compared to Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. "As in Lebanon," writes David Ignatius in the Washington Post, "Sharon appears to have leapt into this military campaign without knowing where he would land." "For Mr. Sharon," adds Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, "tanks seem to work no better in the West Bank than they did in Lebanon."
    Yesterday, even President Bush, while not mentioning Lebanon directly, called for Mr. Sharon to "halt incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas, and begin the withdrawal from those cities it has recently occupied." This, he said, would "lay the foundations of future peace."
    The argument here is as conventional as it is wrong. Israel's invasion of Lebanon accomplished its principal objectives: the destruction of the PLO as a military threat and the pacification of Israel's northern frontier. Between 1983 and 2000, fewer Israeli soldiers were killed patrolling the security zone in southern Lebanon per year than Israeli civilians died last week in various terror attacks. But even this misses the point. Back then, Israel was fighting a "war of choice" -- a battle for security, but not for survival. Today most Israelis recognize that they are engaged in a "war of no choice." Now the question is, will they wage it accordingly?
Fruitless Year
    At least until last week, the answer was no. Instead, Mr. Sharon spent a fruitless year in office pursuing a military strategy eerily reminiscent of the one followed by the Johnson and Nixon administrations in Vietnam -- America's own great war of choice. Not surprisingly, the results had been equally dismal.
    First, Mr. Sharon broke his most basic campaign pledge by agreeing to negotiate under Palestinian fire. But as with President Johnson's strategy of "fight and talk," this only had the effect of prolonging the conflict. Not only did the constant prospect of a negotiated breakthrough stay Israel's hand militarily, it also ensured that Mr. Arafat would take no serious measures against terrorism, as he could always declare a cease-fire after each suicide bombing and so put the diplomatic onus on Israel to respond in kind.
    Second, Mr. Sharon allowed himself to fight a reactive and largely symbolic military campaign. Periodic F-16 raids, usually against empty buildings, did terrible damage to Israel's public image but little to dent Palestinian war-making capabilities. And as with the U.S. in Vietnam, the Israel Defense Force rarely struck first, never set the terms of battle, never developed a serious counterinsurgency strategy and never administered the sort of blow that could have broken the enemy's will to fight. As a result, Palestinian terrorists grew emboldened as they crossed one Israeli red line after another without serious consequence.

    Third, just as the U.S. neither invaded North Vietnam nor seriously challenged communist safe havens in Cambodia and Laos, Mr. Sharon effectively created terrorist safe havens by giving fair warning of where he would strike, and where he would not. Thus the IDF gave 12 hours' notice of its raid into the Balata refugee camp, plenty of time for Palestinian gunmen to clear out but not much time for innocent civilians. Similarly, in its first incursion into Ramallah last month, the Israeli government made it clear it would not attack Arafat's sprawling Mukata compound. No surprise, then, that that is where Palestinian terrorists fled, and why Israel now finds itself having to go in with main force.
    But Mr. Sharon's gravest error was explicitly to assure Mr. Arafat this his grip on power would not be challenged. So long as Israel insisted that its goal was a negotiated settlement, not the destruction of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Arafat had nothing to lose personally from waging war, and thus little incentive to stop it. That his people have suffered terribly as a result has so far only accrued to his diplomatic advantage.
    Now, it seems, everything has changed. No longer is Mr. Arafat merely "irrelevant" to Mr. Sharon. He is "a bitter enemy." And no longer is the IDF engaged in what amounts to a game of diplomatic gestures. It is, by Mr. Sharon's own declaration, at war. But again, the question is, how will it wage that war?
    Here, too, Vietnam offers an instructive parallel. In April 1972, following the withdrawal of most U.S. military personnel from South Vietnam, Hanoi launched a major military offensive, to which the U.S. responded with a naval blockade, the mining of Haiphong harbor, and the commencement, after a four-year lull, of B-52 raids on the North. These steps repelled the North's offensive and brought a resumption to peace talks -- which Hanoi once again used to stall and regroup. Finally, in December 1972, President Nixon resumed "Linebacker," an aerial bombardment so intense it brought the North to its knees in 11 short days. After years of sterile negotiations, a peace treaty got signed within the space of a month.
    Even as Colin Powell prepares for yet another "peace" mission to the Mideast, the lesson for both Israel and the U.S. is clear. If what they desire is a negotiated settlement with the Palestinian Authority, nothing but the severe application of force will do. Any resumption of a "peace process" with Mr. Arafat before Palestinian gunmen are thoroughly beaten, Hamas and Islamic Jihad members imprisoned in large numbers in Israeli jails, Palestinian arms caches seized and the Palestinian Authority's military forces brought down to the sizes stipulated by the Oslo Agreement, will at best bring a brief reduction in the violence. It will then resume, with greater ferocity, following the next, inevitable, suicide attack.
    But there are long-term lessons, too, for Israel as well as for the U.S. The 1973 peace accord did not, of course, bring peace to Southeast Asia. It merely got the U.S. out of South Vietnam, which was then left to the mercies of a neighbor whose political leadership, ideological stripes and territorial ambitions remained unchanged. Any deal Israel might reach with Mr. Arafat -- even one involving the creation of a Palestinian state roughly within the territorial lines proposed at Camp David -- will suffer the same handicap.

A regime in which there is no democratic accountability, in which schoolchildren are educated on a diet of anti-Semitic literature, in which clerics call openly for the wanton murder of Jews and Americans, in which suicide bombers are spoken of as martyrs, and in which entire wings of Mr. Arafat's own organization have been put on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations is not one that is ever going to live in peace with its neighbor. In this, too, the man in Ramallah is no different than the "hard men of Hanoi."
Path to Peace
    What this means is that there can be no political horizon with the Palestinian Authority, that the path to peace does not "go through Chairman Arafat," as Ari Fleischer averred recently. Israel's campaign against Mr. Arafat must swiftly be carried forward to its natural conclusion, and that conclusion must be the destruction of the Authority and its terrorist sisters, the exile of Mr. Arafat, and the complete demilitarization of Palestinian areas. Following that, it may be possible to talk about the establishment, with responsibly managed foreign aid, of a peaceful and democratic Palestinian state. Then again, it may not. Such uncertainties are still preferable to the current state of affairs.
    Let's return for a moment to the Vietnam analogy. Until last week Israel fought the Palestinians as a war of choice, as a war that could be fought with restraint, as a war in which victory was not strictly necessary, as a war that could be allowed to drag on endlessly, as a war that could be fought in the knowledge that one's home, family and way of life were not really at risk. This is the way America fought against, and lost to, North Vietnam.
    But with Israel, there is a difference. Because in this war, Israel is not America. In this war, Israel is Vietnam -- South Vietnam -- and it faces an enemy, both in the Palestinian and Arab worlds, literally suicidally bent on its destruction. This is why Israel must now fight as if it were fighting for its life, because it is fighting for its life. And this is why the U.S. must not abandon this ally as it did the last one.