Imagine the following situation:

A roving homicidal maniac runs amok in your neighborhood, spraying bullets in all directions, killing your wife and wounding you. Frantically, you call the police.

“This is terrible,” they say. “We will take drastic new steps to increase your security. We are going to distribute flak jackets and bullet-proof helmets to all citizens.”

A week later, the homicidal maniac launches grenades at your house and fires special armor-piercing bullets, killing one of your children. Again you call the police.

“This is horrible,” they say. “We have new improved measures to protect you. We are going to distribute lead-lined bodysuits to all citizens, raise electrified barbed-wire around all houses, and begin a weapons search of all cars entering your neighborhood.”

“Enough!” you cry. “He found a way through your flak jackets, he’ll find a way through these new measures if he really wants to. Why don’t you just go out and catch him?”

“Well,” they reply, “did you know there is a whole nest of these killers? We can’t be sure exactly which one was responsible for the deaths you’ve reported, so all we can do is improve our security measures.”

This is an exact parallel to the international terrorism problem and the “solution” being offered to it. Terrorism is on the rise in the West, and against America in particular, and all our authorities promise is “more security.”

Preventing a fanatical terrorist from committing slaughter is impossible. To check every one of the millions of items of baggage and cargo on every flight is logistically and technologically unfeasible. And every new technological device created to detect weapons is just a new impediment for terrorists, backed by the resources of states like Iran, to overcome.

No amount of security will deter fanatical terrorists who are prepared to die for their cause. Even if they are identified, there is always a Libya or Iran ready to hide them from punishment and train new killers in their place. These people are the new kamikaze pilots, fanatics who will stop at nothing to maim and kill.

We, the Americans, the passive victims of terrorism, must now publicly reverse our policy and take an active, military stand against terrorism and its sponsors. We know who the sponsors are. From the Palestinians at the 1972 Olympics, to the hostages in Iran and the terrorists responsible for the Lockerbie disaster (now holed-up in Libya), we have abundant evidence as to which countries are responsible, yet all we have done is issue verbal reprimands and impose toothless trade sanctions. Meanwhile, we invite these countries to sporting events and award peace prizes to their leaders. Is it any wonder that terrorist attacks continue?

The time is long overdue for retaliatory action, and this is what we must do: launch a real war against terrorism.

The President must announce on air and to the world that our policy is changing. He must issue an ultimatum to the sponsors of terrorism–and he must act upon it. He must name the most guilty country–Iran would be my choice, but Libya would do–and give them four days to dismantle their entire military, including their regular armed forces and their special terrorist training camps. Or else, they will suffer the most massive air and missile attack that our military can launch.

When the four-day deadline expires–which it will–the President must appear again on world television, and announce the orders that will send smart missiles against every bridge, power plant, military post, airport, harbor, communications center, major factory and government center in Teheran.

One attack like this should be enough to show the world that America is no longer a paper tiger. If not, Tripoli, which is as guilty as Teheran, would receive the same ultimatum.

Only when the sponsors of terrorism see and feel the devastating consequences of force visited upon them will they abandon their policies. Only then will America be safe from terrorism.

Also by Leonard Peikoff: End States That Sponsor Terrorism.

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Leonard Peikoff

Dr. Leonard Peikoff, a philosopher, is Ayn Rand's legal and intellectual heir. He was a close associate of Ayn Rand for thirty years, and today is the preeminent spokesman for her philosophy of Objectivism. He is author of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand and The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America. His most recent book, The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out, (2012) develops an hypothesis explaining the major trends in philosophy, literature, physics, education and politics throughout Western history.

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