"Jihadism, violent, radical fundamentalism, has emerged as this century's nightmare"
[Editor's note given the unfolding tragedy taking place in the Middle East, we though it might be instructive to republish this now 5 year old piece, which demonstrates that Mitt Romney, then in a stage of exploring a run for the presidency in 2008, delievered a veritable broadside against the dangers posed by Islamism and its attendant Islamic jihad [likening it to the threat posed by the Soviet Union, during the Cold War We ask our readers to contrast this forceful unapologetic policy statement with the weasel words not coming out of the Obama WH and his befuddled Secretary of State, certainly the the worst in that position since at least Warren Christopher]
January 24, 2007 [Republished September 8, 2012] - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On January 23, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney delivered a major address on the subject of terrorism to the Seventh Annual Herzliya Conference as it convened in Israel.
His speech to the assembly comprised of both American and Israeli politicians as well as security professionals was noteworthy because it was the first time that he had formally and directly addressed the war on terror since the announcement of the formation of an exploratory presidential campaign committee.
Romney's presentation demonstrated an acute grasp of the threat that Islamism presents to the West and how that challenge has fundamentally changed our security paradigm:
"Unfortunately, many in our world have not caught up with the new strategic paradigm which we as a world face. In that old view, the Arab-Israeli conflict was thought of as an intractable regional conflict. One that drags on?that should be resolved?but is not part of a global threat to the world order.
9/11 changed that. Or it should have. Contrary to the Baker-Hamilton Commission, resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict will not magically mollify the jihadists.
What we should have realized since 9/11 is that what the world regarded as an Israeli-Arab conflict over borders represented something much larger. It was the oldest, most active front of the radical Islamist jihad against the entire world. It was not really about borders. It was about the refusal of many parts of the Muslim world to accept Israel's right to exist - within any borders."
Remarking that the magnitude of this sea-change has not yet been internalized by all, the Governor observed:
"I think it is critical that we understand that as far as our enemies are concerned, there is just one conflict. And in this single conflict, the goal of destroying Israel is simply a weigh station toward the real goal of subjugating the entire world. Jihadism - violent, radical fundamentalism - has emerged as this century's nightmare It follows the same dark path as last century's nightmares: fascism and Soviet-styled communism. "
He also underlined the paradox of power, that despite America's tremendous military might, national will - something many see as currently wavering - might well be the deciding factor in the outcome of the conflict:
"In those previous global wars, there were many ways to lose, and victory was far from guaranteed. In the current conflict, there is only one way to lose, and that is if we as a civilization decide not to lift a finger to defend ourselves, our values, and our way of life. "
Concluding his remarks Romney characterized the Ahmadinejad regime as singularly dangerous and also chided Democrat opposition to the newly announced policy of hot pursuit of Iranian meddlers in Iraq, calling it "folly."
Of the Iranian nuclear threat he said, "I believe that Iran's leaders and ambitions represent the greatest threat to the world since the fall of the Soviet Union, and before that, Nazi Germany."
In this address Mr. Romney has taken not-a-small step towards elevating himself intellectually above his rivals. His remarks reveal him to be thoroughly conversant with the threat that radical Islam represents and willing to speak plainly and forcefully about it.
As such he is not only the first of the 2008 presidential hopefuls to broach what is arguably the most serious challenge of our time he is the only presidential candidate from either party so far who seems to fully understand the implications inherent in a failure to defeat it.
Access a transcript of the speech here - Governor Mitt Romney Address On Terrorism
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