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Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer, a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Middle East Quarterly, Moment, the New Leader, and (an Israeli/Palestinian e-zine). Before moving to Israel in 1994, he served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees. He is also on Twitter. Close.

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer is a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post. more »

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To Beat Terror, Defeat Iran

Jerusalem, Israel - Five ounces (150 milliliters) of nitroglycerine, a liquid explosive, can bring down an airplane. This does not mean it is impossible to secure an airplane but it does mean it is impossible to secure wide open, target-rich, democratic societies from suicide bombers solely with defensive measures.

In his post, Oliver Roy writes that Al Qaeda's goal is to "inspire terror and paralyze the economy. But the mid-term resilience of the market and the success of classic anti-terror actions (intelligence and judicial cooperation) show that maturity and cold-blood are the best defences for the West [and] that their current strategy simply will not work."

I agree with Oliver that the key goal of the terrorists is to inspire more terror, I disagree that gritting our teeth and police actions are sufficient to beat the jihad being waged against us. Though the foiling of the London plot is a success of such police actions, it is also an illustration of their insufficiency.

Beating the jihadis means reducing the only thing they care about: power. Their success or failure will ultimately be measured in the number of regimes that they control or which support them. The West's objective must be to bring that number to zero, so that terror truly becomes a policing problem, rather than something that has any hope of dominating the world.

The London plot, Israel's war against an Iranian division in Lebanon called Hezbollah, the fight for democracy in Iraq, and the international attempt to block Iran's nuclear program all point to the same need: to force the Iranian regime to capitulate, like Libya did, or to force that regime out of power.

This goal is eminently achievable if the international community uses the full weight of its diplomatic and economic power, perhaps even without the use of military force. But if the world decides that this goal is unachievable, it is consigning itself to a future of increasing terrorism.

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