We the People == By Amil Imani

Monday, 11 February 2008
In the United States, the oath of office for the President of the United States is specified in the U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 1):

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

 For other officials, including members of Congress, they “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support the constitution.” They must recite an oath to support and protect the United States citizens from her enemies.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

In an oath of office, no matter in what capacity one serves as a public servant, he or she must be reminded that everyone at all levels must first and formost focus on the needs and the security of its citizens rather than on the desires of his or her services. With that in mind, one must be ready to follow the bylaws as his or her guide and exercise the functions of the office with which he or she is entrusted. 

Democracy, by its accommodating and benign nature, is susceptible to corruption and even destruction by forces from within and from without. With this realization in mind, the founding fathers of the United States enshrined the Constitution to safeguard and protect the rule of the people.

While America opens its doors to the poor, the hungry and the oppressed of the world, Americans open their hearts to the less fortunate people of various lands by their unsurpassed generosity. No nation gives more aid to international charities, as a percentage of its gross domestic product, than the American people.

Recent migration of Muslims to non-Islamic lands began as a seemingly harmless, even useful, trickle of cheap and necessary labor. Before long, greater and greater numbers of Muslims deluged the new territories and as they gained in numbers—by high birth rate as well as new arrivals—Muslims began reverting to their intolerant ways by, for instance, demanding legal status for Sharia (Islamic laws), the type of draconian laws that, for the most part, resemble those of humanity’s barbaric past.

There is no need to belabor the point that Islam is not, and has never been, a religion of peace. Islamism has set a new record for brutality, contrary to the contention that there is no reason to worry about it. Jihadist Wahabism’s tentacles are reaching out from its cradle in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf Arab Emirates. And murderous Shiism, led by the Islamic terrorist state in Iran, is racing to arm itself with the ultimate weapon, and is doing whatever it can to ensnare the world into Islam’s nation, the Ummeh.

President George W. Bush, on several occasions, has repeated the mantra and attributed the horrific violence committed under the banner of Islam to a small band of extremists. The President on his latest trip to Turkey said, “I think Turkey sets a fantastic example for nations around the world to see where it’s possible to have a democracy coexist with a great religion like Islam and that’s important.” Ironically, the Turkish Parliament voted on Saturday to amend the constitution to lift a decades-old ban on Islamic head scarves at Turkey’s universities, despite fierce opposition from the secular establishment.

The President’s assertion is either based on ignorance of the facts about Islam or his attempt at political correctness. Perhaps the President’s reticence to speak on the true nature of Islam was due to his desire to avoid inflaming the already charged feelings of many about Islam. In any event, truth is sacrificed and the public continues to cling to the false notion that Islam is a peaceful religion. People who dare to disclose the true nature of Islam run the risk of being castigated as a bigot and a hatemonger.

Calling Islam a great religion and misrepresenting it is not simply a harmless gesture of goodwill and peacemaking. This is flaming the fire that has every intention of consuming us. Therefore, it is imperative that in November 2008, we choose the chief custodian of our constitution, the President, with great care. We must entrust the helm of our nation to the hands of a person of impeccable integrity who is unconditionally loyal to the constitution, who does not sacrifice principles and truth at the altar of expediency, and who is not shirking from what he must do to ensure our nation’s survival in the face of internal and external assaults.

The pundits, the analysts and the politicians indeed are doing a great disservice to the public, each segment for its own expedient reasons, by parroting the mantra regarding the peaceful nature of Islam. As a matter of fact, the so-called small band of Islamic extremists is the true face of Islam.

Islam is indeed misrepresented. Islam is not misrepresented by its “detractors.” It is misrepresented by Islamic mercenaries, organizations and individuals generously funded by states as well as wealthy believers who are making billions of dollars pumping and selling oil at astronomical prices. Prestigious universities in the West, always looking for handouts, are tripping over one another to establish Islamic studies programs staffed by professors who sing the praise of Islam. Newspapers are routinely intimidated by Islamic associations if they dare to print the truth about Islam. Legions of lawyers, both Muslims as well as hired guns, are on the lookout to intimidate and silence any voice speaking the truth about Islam. The media that falls in line may receive generous advertising and other incentives from Islamic lobbyists.

All extreme solutions, if unwise, are fraught with extreme dangers. During the presidential campaign of the Vietnam War, Barry Goldwater proclaimed, “Extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice.” The collective wisdom of the American public prevailed and Goldwater didn’t get a chance to put his belief into practice. It is prudent to reserve extreme measures for extreme cases. Just as important, it is best to follow the less glamorous solutions of the problems as they gather momentum and diffuse them.

The U.S. government should, without delay, underwrite a massive program of making the nation energy independent so that the Islamic gas station nations will no longer be able to hold the country hostage for oil. Each citizen, in the meantime, must do everything possible to conserve energy and deny the flow of dollars to the coffers of the enemy.

The — not– so grateful world owes the U.S. an infinite debt of gratitude for defeating the evil of Nazism, and then the scourge of Soviet Communism. We all have to do what each one of us can to right the wrongs of this world. We don’t have to be Einstein — each one of us must do something according to his or her capacity. Once again, this champion nation of freedom is called upon to defeat the most tenacious and deadly enemy, Islamofascism.

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

Born in Chicago on January 17, 1964, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is an attorney who has been married to Barack Hussein Obama since 1992.

In 1985 Miss Robinson received her B.A. in Sociology from Princeton University, where she minored in African American Studies. According to FrontPageMagazine reporter Jacob Laksin, “In a [February 2008] interview with Newsweek, [Michelle] Obama reveals that she got into Princeton … not on the strength of her grades, which she admits were unexceptional, but thanks to her brother Craig, a star athlete and gifted student who preceded her to the school. As a ‘legacy’ candidate and a beneficiary of affirmative action, Michelle Obama was granted an opportunity that others more accomplished were denied.”

At Princeton, Miss Robinson wrote a senior thesis entitled “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” (see complete thesis under the Resources column on the left-hand side of this page). Some excerpts from the thesis include the following: 

  • “Predominately white universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the white students comprising the bulk of their enrollments.”
  • “[My Princeton experiences] “will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a White cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant.”
  • “I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances under which I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second.”
  • “Earlier in my college career, there was no doubt in my mind that as a member of the Black community I was somehow obligated to this community and would utilize all of my present and future resources to benefit this community first and foremost.”
  • “In defining the concept of identification or the ability to identify with the black community … I based my definition on the premise that there is a distinctive black culture very different from white culture.”

After graduating from Princeton, Miss Robinson went on to attend Harvard Law School, where she was accepted under the aegis of a minority outreach program. As one of her friends would later reflect, Robinson recognized that she had been privileged by affirmative action and was very comfortable with that.

After law school, Miss Robinson returned to Chicago to work for the law firm Sidley Austin. There she met her future husband, Barack Obama, who was working for the firm as a summer associate. In the summer of 1991 she joined the staff of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

In 1992, as noted earlier, Miss Robinson wed Barack Obama.

In 1993 she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of the organization Public Allies, an entity that sought to cultivate future community activist leaders by arranging apprenticeships for young adults with non-profit organizations.

In 2002, Mrs. Obama began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals (UCH), first as Executive Director for Community Affairs and later, beginning in May 2005, as Vice President for Community and External Affairs. In these roles, she was heavily involved in managing UCH’s “business diversity program.” In early 2005, shortly after her husband had been sworn in as a Democratic U.S. Senator representing Illinois, Mrs. Obama’s annual salary at UCH was suddenly raised from $121,910 to $316,962.

Mrs. Obama also served as a salaried board member of TreeHouse Foods, Inc., a major Wal-Mart supplier with whom she cut ties immediately after her husband made comments critical of Wal-Mart at an AFL-CIO forum in Trenton, New Jersey, on May 14, 2007.

Mrs. Obama was honored by Essence magazine in May 2006 as one of the “World’s Most Inspiring Women”; by Vanity Fair in July 2007 as one of the “World’s Best-Dressed Women”; and by 02138 magazine in September 2007 as #58 in “The Harvard 100″ list of that university’s most influential alumni.

In a February 2007 appearance with her husband on 60 Minutes, Mrs. Obama implied that America’s allegedly rampant white racism posed a great physical threat to her husband, who had just announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential race. Said Mrs. Obama: “As a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station.” (Mrs. Obama’s implication ignored the fact that the vast majority of violence against black Americans is committed by other blacks. According to the U.S. Justice Department, for instance, between 1976 and 2005, fully 94 percent of black murder victims were killed by black attackers.)

On February 1, 2008, Mrs. Obama said, “I don’t think there is a person of color in this country that doesn’t struggle with what it means to be a part of your race versus what the majority thinks is right.”

During a February 18, 2008 speech in Milwaukee on behalf of her husband’s presidential campaign, Mrs. Obama declared, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

On another campaign stop that same month, Mrs. Obama told a Zanesville, Ohio audience: “The salaries don’t keep up with the cost of paying off the debt. So you’re in your forties, still paying off your debt at a time when you have to save for your kids. Barack and I were in that position. The only reason we’re not in that position is that Barack wrote two best-selling books.… It was like Jack and his magic beans. But up until a few years ago, we were struggling to figure out how we would save for our kids.”  “We left corporate America,” Mrs. Obama added, “which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do. Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond.”

Obama: Arab-American Families Being Rounded Up?

Obama: Arab-American Families Being Rounded Up?

By Lance Fairchok

“If there is an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney, it threatens my civil liberties. It is that fundamental belief, I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, it is that fundamental belief that makes this country work.”
  –
Senator Barack Obama
In a televised twelve-second campaign spot aired in Texas, Senator Obama gives a stirring speech to a standing ovation. It is the predictable litany of American faults he will miraculously correct: literacy, expensive prescription drugs and insufficient civil liberties. However, he seems particularly concerned for Arab-Americans. “If there is an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney, it threatens my civil liberties.”

This was an astonishing statement, an infuriating statement and a statement that speaks volumes to Obama’s ideology.

Arab-American families being rounded up would not only threaten all our civil liberties, it would raise such a universal outcry, it could not long endure. Even the suggestion it could occur is a profound insult to our nation and our citizenry. It is an image of the gulag, the death camp, the dictatorship, and so inappropriate in any discussion about America, it is beneath our contempt.

Perhaps the Senator is carried away by his remarkable political ascendancy and so emboldened by the lack of critical comment in the press, he believes he can say anything. Perhaps he believes he has so mesmerized us with his oratory that we will not catch the inference of his words. Perhaps he really believes that we are that kind of country, that our people do not cherish civil liberty sufficiently to defend it for all citizens.

This despicable image of innocent families imprisoned and the ethnic cleansing it suggests is a theme the radical left nurtures. It is by design intended to portray an unjust and intolerant people, it was no error, no misstatement. It elicits moral outrage with false assumptions, endlessly repeating those assumptions until believed. It is behind the exaggeration of everything the U.S. does in the war on terror or against Islamic extremism. It is behind the hysteria over the Patriot Act.

As divorced from truth as it is, it is found everywhere in the propaganda of the left, from the Bush-Hitler signs, to the fabrications of American military wrongdoing in the press, to the invented Islamophobia in our populace. It is the motivation behind Michael Moore, Code Pink, MoveOn.Org and George Soros. It is unfortunately the message the media aids and abets.

This moral contrariness gives us American “progressives” embracing dictators and terrorists such as Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Iran’s Ahmedinejhad and Syria’s Bashar al Assad. It finds equivalence between defending America and Al Qaeda and Hezbollah terrorism. It believes malevolent evil can actually be stopped with dialogue and compromise. It gravitates to a miserable “better red than dead” nihilism that allows no pride or faith in America. It excuses our enemies and indicts everything American. It is the impenitent legacy of the Carter and Clinton administrations. It is illogical and irrational and a road to failure and catastrophe.
“I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, it is that fundamental belief that makes this country work.” Yet, he also says that our country does not work, that we need change. Even as he wraps this contradiction in biblical allusion and positive words like “Hope” and “Change We Can Believe In” his underlying belief system surfaces in clues overlooked by his handlers.

The bleak fantasy of Arab-American families interred for being Arabs and, of course, for being Muslim is very plausible to the radicals that help write his speeches. Senator Obama holds a wretched America in his heart, a country he has no pride in nor wishes to preserve. If his vision starts from failure, where will it end? There is no truth in his words, just as there is no substance. One may speak well, but still speak lies. An Obama presidency would be a disaster.

The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.
  – Cicero

Hillary is Right About Obama

Hillary is Right About Obama

By James Lewis

Hillary Clinton is wrong on most issues, but she is right about Barack Obama. Obama is an empty dashiki; he has no experience in any job remotely resembling the presidency of the United States. Two terms in the Illinois legislature just won’t do; and a few years in the US Senate, running for President, is no experience at all.

When he departs from that magnificent speech on Hope, he tends to fumble the ball. Ideologically Senator Obama is boringly predictable. He seems smart enough to develop his thinking, but he just hasn’t spent the necesssary years doing it. As a result, Senator Obama is superficial on foreign and domestic policy.

He’s kootchey-koo on foreign policy in the face of fanatical opponents like Ahmadi-Nejad, Kim Jong Il, and an Al Qaida that has now found safe haven to regroup in Waziristan;     Obama does the standard class envy demagogy on economics, stomping on NAFTA right alongside Hillary. Instead of HillaryCare he will bestow ObamaCare on a grateful America, and push taxation over that crucial 50% mark that locks in socialist politics for good. That is why he must run a content-free stealth campaign.

It’s true that Obama has done the country a huge favor by finally busting the Bubba Bubble.  All over the US outraged liberals are now sounding exactly like conservatives did ten years ago. In 1996 Bob Dole asked “where’s the outrage?” Well, the Left has just discovered the outrage, a decade too  late.  They’ve just grokked that the Dubious Duo of Bill and Hillary are ruthless, manipulative and totally selfish. Welcome to reality, folks! 

But now the Dems, who never, ever learn,  are intent on installing a new First Couple in the Presidency, with astonishing similarities to the Clintons: Obama is a great Pied Piper for millions of love-hungry worshippers, just like Bill Clinton was in 1992; and Mrs. Obama has all the Republicans on her enemies’ list. Bottom line: The Obamas are just the Clintons all over again.

By all accounts Senator Obama is a well-meaning person. But that fits the stereotype of the well-meaning liberal who just ends up sowing destruction and chaos. Jimmy Carter anybody?  The Left always begins from false premises — about human nature, and about the enemies of civilization — and robotically comes to the same false conclusions.
Mrs. Obama, as it turns out, doesn’t like capitalism. She contrasts the “money-making industries” with the “helping industries.”   Even after going to super-wealthy, super-high-tuition institutions like Princeton and Harvard Law, she hasn’t gotten the simple fact that the “money makers” are the very same folks who create an economy powerful enough to subsidize the “helpers” –  and that the “helpers” themselves are amazingly interested in making a ton of money: Viz., the Clintons, the Kerrys, the Gores, and yes, even the rich Obamas.
We don’t need a wishful thinker in the presidency. We need somebody who can be trusted to do the toughest and most important job in the world, and to do it supremely well. In any other job search we look at past performance to predict future actions. It’s the only reliable predictor. But if there is no past performance, we have nothing but Hope.
About half the voters are going to vote for Hope. It’s just their mentality. They live in Hope, and as Samuel Johnson remarked, in their case Hope always triumphs over Experience.
Vladimir Lenin said it, and it bears repeating. “‘The West are wishful thinkers. We will give them what they want to think.”  Of course he meant the Western Left. That’s how fat Western pilgrims to the starving Soviet Union were constantly bamboozled over seventy years. The Left still hasn’t figured out what went wrong. Lenin’s insight is still the standard playbook for politicians of the Left to bamboozle their followers.
Nothing has changed. Obama = Clinton = Kerry = Gore = Mondale = Dukakis = the New York Times Editorial Board. Most human beings cannot tolerate too much reality, and the coming election, as always, is about reality versus fantasy.
There are no conservatives and there are no liberals. There are only tough-minded and tender-minded folk, as William James divided up humanity. The tender-minded, wishful-dreaming, cotton-headed liberals must not be allowed to steer the ship of state in very, very dangerous times.
It’s as simple as that.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/

Worshippers of Death

Worshippers of Death
By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
March 3, 2008; Page A17

Zahra Maladan is an educated woman who edits a women’s magazine in Lebanon. She is also a mother, who undoubtedly loves her son. She has ambitions for him, but they are different from those of most mothers in the West. She wants her son to become a suicide bomber.

At the recent funeral for the assassinated Hezbollah terrorist Imad Moughnaya — the mass murderer responsible for killing 241 marines in 1983 and more than 100 women, children and men in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994 — Ms. Maladan was quoted in the New York Times giving the following warning to her son: “if you’re not going to follow the steps of the Islamic resistance martyrs, then I don’t want you.”

 
Zahra Maladan represents a dramatic shift in the way we must fight to protect our citizens against enemies who are sworn to kill them by killing themselves. The traditional paradigm was that mothers who love their children want them to live in peace, marry and produce grandchildren. Women in general, and mothers in particular, were seen as a counterweight to male belligerence. The picture of the mother weeping as her son is led off to battle — even a just battle — has been a constant and powerful image.

Now there is a new image of mothers urging their children to die, and then celebrating the martyrdom of their suicidal sons and daughters by distributing sweets and singing wedding songs. More and more young women — some married with infant children — are strapping bombs to their (sometimes pregnant) bellies, because they have been taught to love death rather than life. Look at what is being preached by some influential Islamic leaders:

“We are going to win, because they love life and we love death,” said Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. He has also said: “[E]ach of us lives his days and nights hoping more than anything to be killed for the sake of Allah.” Shortly after 9/11, Osama bin Laden told a reporter: “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.”

“The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death,” explained Afghani al Qaeda operative Maulana Inyadullah. Sheik Feiz Mohammed, leader of the Global Islamic Youth Center in Sydney, Australia, preached: “We want to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam. Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech: “It is the zenith of honor for a man, a young person, boy or girl, to be prepared to sacrifice his life in order to serve the interests of his nation and his religion.”

How should Western democracies fight against an enemy whose leaders preach a preference for death?

The two basic premises of conventional warfare have long been that soldiers and civilians prefer living to dying and can thus be deterred from killing by the fear of being killed; and that combatants (soldiers) can easily be distinguished from noncombatants (women, children, the elderly, the infirm and other ordinary citizens). These premises are being challenged by women like Zahra Maladan. Neither she nor her son — if he listens to his mother — can be deterred from killing by the fear of being killed. They must be prevented from succeeding in their ghoulish quest for martyrdom. Prevention, however, carries a high risk of error. The woman walking toward the group of soldiers or civilians might well be an innocent civilian. A moment’s hesitation may cost innocent lives. But a failure to hesitate may also have a price.

Late last month, a young female bomber was shot as she approached some shops in central Baghdad. The Iraqi soldier who drew his gun hesitated as the bomber, hands raised, insisted that she wasn’t armed. The soldier and a shop owner finally opened fire as she dashed for the stores; she was knocked to the ground but still managed to detonate the bomb, killing three and wounding eight. Had the soldier and other bystanders not called out a warning to others — and had they not shot her before she could enter the shops — the death toll certainly would have been higher. Had he not hesitated, it might have been lower.

As more women and children are recruited by their mothers and their religious leaders to become suicide bombers, more women and children will be shot at — some mistakenly. That too is part of the grand plan of our enemies. They want us to kill their civilians, who they also consider martyrs, because when we accidentally kill a civilian, they win in the court of public opinion. One Western diplomat called this the “harsh arithmetic of pain,” whereby civilian casualties on both sides “play in their favor.” Democracies lose, both politically and emotionally, when they kill civilians, even inadvertently. As Golda Meir once put it: “We can perhaps someday forgive you for killing our children, but we cannot forgive you for making us kill your children.”

Civilian casualties also increase when terrorists operate from within civilian enclaves and hide behind human shields. This relatively new phenomenon undercuts the second basic premise of conventional warfare: Combatants can easily be distinguished from noncombatants. Has Zahra Maladan become a combatant by urging her son to blow himself up? Have the religious leaders who preach a culture of death lost their status as noncombatants? What about “civilians” who willingly allow themselves to be used as human shields? Or their homes as launching pads for terrorist rockets?

The traditional sharp distinction between soldiers in uniform and civilians in nonmilitary garb has given way to a continuum. At the more civilian end are babies and true noncombatants; at the more military end are the religious leaders who incite mass murder; in the middle are ordinary citizens who facilitate, finance or encourage terrorism. There are no hard and fast lines of demarcation, and mistakes are inevitable — as the terrorists well understand.

We need new rules, strategies and tactics to deal effectively and fairly with these dangerous new realities. We cannot simply wait until the son of Zahra Maladan — and the sons and daughters of hundreds of others like her — decide to follow his mother’s demand. We must stop them before they export their sick and dangerous culture of death to our shores.

Mr. Dershowitz teaches law at Harvard University and is the author of “Finding Jefferson” (Wiley, 2007).

Worshippers of Death

Worshippers of Death
By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
March 3, 2008; Page A17

Zahra Maladan is an educated woman who edits a women’s magazine in Lebanon. She is also a mother, who undoubtedly loves her son. She has ambitions for him, but they are different from those of most mothers in the West. She wants her son to become a suicide bomber.

At the recent funeral for the assassinated Hezbollah terrorist Imad Moughnaya — the mass murderer responsible for killing 241 marines in 1983 and more than 100 women, children and men in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994 — Ms. Maladan was quoted in the New York Times giving the following warning to her son: “if you’re not going to follow the steps of the Islamic resistance martyrs, then I don’t want you.”

 
Zahra Maladan represents a dramatic shift in the way we must fight to protect our citizens against enemies who are sworn to kill them by killing themselves. The traditional paradigm was that mothers who love their children want them to live in peace, marry and produce grandchildren. Women in general, and mothers in particular, were seen as a counterweight to male belligerence. The picture of the mother weeping as her son is led off to battle — even a just battle — has been a constant and powerful image.

Now there is a new image of mothers urging their children to die, and then celebrating the martyrdom of their suicidal sons and daughters by distributing sweets and singing wedding songs. More and more young women — some married with infant children — are strapping bombs to their (sometimes pregnant) bellies, because they have been taught to love death rather than life. Look at what is being preached by some influential Islamic leaders:

“We are going to win, because they love life and we love death,” said Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. He has also said: “[E]ach of us lives his days and nights hoping more than anything to be killed for the sake of Allah.” Shortly after 9/11, Osama bin Laden told a reporter: “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.”

“The Americans love Pepsi-Cola, we love death,” explained Afghani al Qaeda operative Maulana Inyadullah. Sheik Feiz Mohammed, leader of the Global Islamic Youth Center in Sydney, Australia, preached: “We want to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam. Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech: “It is the zenith of honor for a man, a young person, boy or girl, to be prepared to sacrifice his life in order to serve the interests of his nation and his religion.”

How should Western democracies fight against an enemy whose leaders preach a preference for death?

The two basic premises of conventional warfare have long been that soldiers and civilians prefer living to dying and can thus be deterred from killing by the fear of being killed; and that combatants (soldiers) can easily be distinguished from noncombatants (women, children, the elderly, the infirm and other ordinary citizens). These premises are being challenged by women like Zahra Maladan. Neither she nor her son — if he listens to his mother — can be deterred from killing by the fear of being killed. They must be prevented from succeeding in their ghoulish quest for martyrdom. Prevention, however, carries a high risk of error. The woman walking toward the group of soldiers or civilians might well be an innocent civilian. A moment’s hesitation may cost innocent lives. But a failure to hesitate may also have a price.

Late last month, a young female bomber was shot as she approached some shops in central Baghdad. The Iraqi soldier who drew his gun hesitated as the bomber, hands raised, insisted that she wasn’t armed. The soldier and a shop owner finally opened fire as she dashed for the stores; she was knocked to the ground but still managed to detonate the bomb, killing three and wounding eight. Had the soldier and other bystanders not called out a warning to others — and had they not shot her before she could enter the shops — the death toll certainly would have been higher. Had he not hesitated, it might have been lower.

As more women and children are recruited by their mothers and their religious leaders to become suicide bombers, more women and children will be shot at — some mistakenly. That too is part of the grand plan of our enemies. They want us to kill their civilians, who they also consider martyrs, because when we accidentally kill a civilian, they win in the court of public opinion. One Western diplomat called this the “harsh arithmetic of pain,” whereby civilian casualties on both sides “play in their favor.” Democracies lose, both politically and emotionally, when they kill civilians, even inadvertently. As Golda Meir once put it: “We can perhaps someday forgive you for killing our children, but we cannot forgive you for making us kill your children.”

Civilian casualties also increase when terrorists operate from within civilian enclaves and hide behind human shields. This relatively new phenomenon undercuts the second basic premise of conventional warfare: Combatants can easily be distinguished from noncombatants. Has Zahra Maladan become a combatant by urging her son to blow himself up? Have the religious leaders who preach a culture of death lost their status as noncombatants? What about “civilians” who willingly allow themselves to be used as human shields? Or their homes as launching pads for terrorist rockets?

The traditional sharp distinction between soldiers in uniform and civilians in nonmilitary garb has given way to a continuum. At the more civilian end are babies and true noncombatants; at the more military end are the religious leaders who incite mass murder; in the middle are ordinary citizens who facilitate, finance or encourage terrorism. There are no hard and fast lines of demarcation, and mistakes are inevitable — as the terrorists well understand.

We need new rules, strategies and tactics to deal effectively and fairly with these dangerous new realities. We cannot simply wait until the son of Zahra Maladan — and the sons and daughters of hundreds of others like her — decide to follow his mother’s demand. We must stop them before they export their sick and dangerous culture of death to our shores.

Mr. Dershowitz teaches law at Harvard University and is the author of “Finding Jefferson” (Wiley, 2007).

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