Suppose after Pearl Harbor Franklin Roosevelt (search) had said, "That's it, we're pulling our forces out of Hawaii."
If that had happened, the world would be a much different place.
The bombing last weekend in Madrid caused enough spineless Spaniards to vote for the Socialist candidate in the vain hope that pulling troops out of Iraq might placate the terrorists.
Have they learned nothing from history? Apparently not, which means they are doomed to repeat it.
The new prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, is playing with fire. Terrorists understand resolve and they understand resistance. They exploit weakness and they take advantage of those who cut and run. Does Zapatero think Spain will be safer? It won't and the rest of the world won't be safer either.
Usama bin Laden has got to be smiling. Will the terrorists strike again on U.S. soil hoping to similarly influence our election this fall?
If they do — and God help us that they don't — they may insure George Bush's re-election. Recall how we rallied around the president after 9/11? John Kerry thinks we can actually influence how our enemies behave. Only if we locate and kill them before they kill us.
The administration should expose, close and bulldoze every terrorist meeting site. They should arrest and deport any foreign national who urges sedition against the United States. And let's shut those Wahhabi-funded schools in this country.
This is a world war that won't be over this year or this decade. Our enemies know this. Do we? Apparently Spain doesn't.
And that's Column One (search) for this week.
What do you think? Send your responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at email@example.com.