Allison has already hit some of the highpoints in our colleague Yasmine Rassam’s piece entitled “Hostage Crisis, Take 2” in the L.A. Times. Because the piece is so important, I have no qualms about treading in Allison’s footsteps. I, too, urge you to read Yasmine’s article.

While many pundits and Democrats are urging us to throw in the towel in Iraq, Yasmine explains why we can’ afford to do this: 

“IF THE ANTIWAR CROWD and Democrats have their way, the United States will be Iran’s hostage once again. An immediate pullout from Iraq would be a victory for Iran, a regime that has declared its ambitions to wipe Israel off the map and establish a caliphate throughout the Middle East. If we allow democracy to be defeated in Iraq, it will only get harder to release Iraq and perhaps the greater Middle East from the grip of its would-be rulers in Tehran.”

The unfortunate thing is, as Victor Davis Hanson says, we keep having to relearn the lesson of just how dangerous terrorists are. Read VDH’s whole piece, but here are several of the lessons many of us STILL need to absorb:  

“First, death is the mantra of terrorists. In urban landscapes, they hide among apartment buildings, use human shields and welcome all fatalities – friendly or hostile, combatant or civilian. Death of any kind, they think, makes the liberal West recoil, but allows them to pose as oppressed victims.

“Their nihilistic hatred intimidates, rather than repels, third parties – whether “moderate” Arabs, Europeans who back off from peacekeeping in Lebanon, or the Western public at large. Our enemies call Jews “pigs” and “apes” and employ racist caricatures of the U.S.’s African-American secretary of state. Meanwhile, we worry about incurring charges of ‘Islamophobia,’ when we should be stressing our liberal values and unabashedly contrasting Western civilization with the 7th-century barbarism of the jihadists.

“Sixth, there is little evidence of either the efficacy or morality of the vaunted ‘multilateral’ diplomacy. The French have steadily downsized their proposed contribution to the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. Cash-hungry Russia sold its best weapons to terrorists. And oil-hungry China supplies Iran with missiles.

“And seventh, the reputation of the international media in the Middle East for both accuracy and fairness has been lost. In the recent war in Lebanon, news agencies were accused by bloggers of publishing staged photos, and one agency, Reuters, was embarrassed when it found out – thanks again to the work of bloggers – that one of its freelancers had doctored war-zone photos.”