- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hezbollah and other Islamo-fascist terrorists concluded long ago that “if it bleeds it leads” doesn’t simply apply to the sensation-hungry media. Islamo-fascist mass murderers maintain public bloodletting (their enemy’s and their own) is a victory in itself.

We know “big bloodletting” means big headlines. But for Hezbollah’s philosophers, mass bloodletting serves another purpose: It is demonstrates terrorist commitment and moral will.

Islamo-fascist “death cult” terrorists are convinced their forceful willpower (when combined with actions demonstrating millenarian certitude) ultimately guarantees defeat of liberal Western couch potatoes and sheep.

The Islamo-fascists aren’t the first international mass murder movement to deserve the moniker of “death cult.” In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, transnational anarchists touted “politics of the bomb” and “propaganda by deed.”

The anarchists spilled blood — over a seven-year period (1894-1901) they killed a French president, a Spanish prime minister, an Italian king and a U.S. president (William McKinley). However, they failed to ignite a global revolution they claimed would produce an earthly paradise of justice once the ancien regimes disappeared in flames. The anarchists believed their own propaganda, and by doing so misjudged the enormous strengths of liberal capitalist democracies. They totally underestimated the United States.

Unfortunately, the anarchists’ agitprop techniques inform contemporary terrorists, and the dregs of its half-baked philosophies continue to deform a few lost corners of human culture. A romantic notion of anarchist violence energizes much of the radical-chic rhetoric emanating from American college campuses, providing pseudo-intellectual tropes for anti-Americanism and “anti-globalization.”

These are the rear-guard actions of a dead-end ideology posing as the avant-garde.

We will all be better off when Islamo-fascism follows anarchism’s path. Pray for the day when the proponents of Hezbollahism and bin Ladenism are mere academic crackpots. But defeating Islamo-fascism means men and women who love their own liberty enough to defend it (wherever they live on this often tortured planet of ours) must once again display more spine than the killers.

Defeating death cults entails persevering despite loss of life and heinous outrage. At the moment, the world’s most critical demonstration of the will to persevere and destroy terrorism is Israel’s confrontation with Hezbollah in northern Israel and southern Lebanon.

During the 1990s, Hezbollah (with Iranian and Syrian support) fought a grinding guerrilla war against Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon. Under international pressure to withdraw as a prelude to a peace deal, Israel pulled out. Hezbollah touted Israel’s withdrawal as a loss of Israeli will to fight.

But Hezbollah’s Iranian masters never thought the U.S. would be in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The Iraqi election of January 2005 ignited Lebanon’s “Beirut Spring” pro-democracy rallies. Those rallies shook even the most willful tyrants in Tehran and Syria. The appeal of liberal democracy brought couch potatoes and sheep into the streets — indicating they weren’t couch potatoes.

That is why I know this Israel-Hezbollah war is no accident. Tyrants and terrorists must dash the hopes of couch potatoes and sheep. The will of the tyrants and terrorists cannot be successfully mocked and challenged or it’s over for them. And, oh yes, Iran’s holy quest for a nuclear weapon cannot be thwarted, either.

But tyrants and terrorists’ willpower and warfare are being challenged. Over the last two weeks, criticism of Israel from the usual amen corners has been conspicuously circumspect. It appears U.S.-led diplomatic efforts designed to give Israel the time to defeat Hezbollah are working.

Let’s hope Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice can buy Israel a couple of months. Israel indicates it intends to destroy, bunker by bunker, Iran’s investment in Hezbollah. The Israelis are killing Hezbollah’s fighters — and letting the sensation-hungry media document their deaths.

Hezbollah can proclaim a victory-in-death, but like the claims of its global anarchist antecedents, the bloody tout will be desperately hollow.

Austin Bay is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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