Ted Kennedy, the senior Senator from Massachusetts, has been blasting President Bush for striking a hornet’s nest of Islamic terrorism and exporting its influence abroad. Kennedy wants to believe that if we had just left the Islamic terrorists alone, everything would have been alright. There are lots of Americans who think the same way. The truth is, Islamic extremism is a festering sore that one day will infect most of the world if it is not lanced early. Once the sore breaks, there will be no way to stop the infection from spreading. It’s now or never. The United States has been fighting the war on Islamic terrorism since the latter part of the eighteenth century. The “Marines’ Hymn” opens with the line “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli” to commemorate the 1805 war with the Barbary Pirates off the coast of Tripoli in northern Africa. Muslim extremists had been commandeering American ships and capturing Americans and selling them into slavery or holding them for ransom. Thomas Jefferson sent a small force of Marines to put a stop the terror. Little has changed. The weakness displayed by Jimmy Carter when Iran held Americans hostage for more than a year invigorated the extremists.
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Of all people, Senator Kennedy should know something about terrorism and how you don’t show weakness in the face of a full frontal assault. Did America stop confronting the Communist threat after his brother John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, a known Communist? Did America change its Mid-East policies when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan? For those of you who are not familiar with the background on RFK’s assassination, a refresher course is in order.
A short time after midnight on June 5, 1968, Sirhan Sirhan shot presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy as Kennedy’s entourage was walking through the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy, who was leaving a campaign rally where he had just won the California presidential primary, was mortally wounded and died the next day. Sirhan, of Mid-Eastern descent, believed that he had been betrayed when Kennedy supported Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War, which had begun exactly one year before the assassination. We are still fighting the anti-Israel extremists today. America is being attacked because of our support for Israel.
Do we think it would stop if we no longer supported Israel? Don’t you believe it. It would only show weakness. That’s what Senator Kennedy is showing—weakness in the face of a relentless enemy that has a long memory.
 I am aware of the various conspiracy theories about the two assassinations.