Saul Singer at PostGlobal

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 bitterlemons.org (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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Destroy is Easy, Win takes Patience

David Ignatius has compared the Iraqi challenge to diffusing a land mine, and Rami Khouri to the difficulty of digging oneself out of a hole. A more apt parallel might be for America to think like a tortoise racing against a terrorist hare.

Though terrorists have the built-in advantage that it is easier to destroy than to build and preserve, they can face a disadvantage in that continuous destruction is not popular with those suffering its costs. In the Iraq case, the terrorists’ ability to intimidate the population is decreasing and the American-Iraqi partnership is making political and military gains. The terrorist's only hope of winning, in this context, is for the U.S. to lose patience and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

If this happens it would be a tragedy for the free world and those trying to join it – Iraqis, Lebanese, Afghans, Israelis, Europeans, and Americans – and a great victory for the jihadi alliance – Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Aside from endangering Israel and other nations, among the first casualties of such a jihadi victory would be any prospects for baby steps towards Arab-Israeli peace.

Although he is hardly alone in making it, I don't quite understand Rami Khouri's argument that fulfilling the main jihadi objective – a precipitous American withdrawal – would actually facilitate their defeat.

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