Bombing in Saudi Arabia
By David Holcberg (San Francisco Examiner, May 18, 2003; Globe and Mail, May 19, 2003; Detroit News, May 28, 2003)
How did Islamic terrorists react to the U.S. announcement that it would withdraw its troops from Saudi Arabia--a central demand of bin Laden? With bombings that killed at least seven Americans.
The terrorists interpreted the U.S. withdrawal as a concession to bin Laden's demands and as proof of U.S. weakness. From their perspective, the U.S. withdrawal shows that terrorism pays, and that the more they terrorize Americans the more they stand to gain.
The lesson to be learned is that concessions--apparent or real--will not change the minds of Islamic terrorists committed to destroying the U.S. and its influence in Muslim countries. Concessions only embolden them. If the U.S. wants to end Islamic terrorism it must not appease terrorists--but ruthlessly and methodically destroy them.