Tuesday, December 30, 2003

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

Follow the cash. It's been my mantra in business for 35 years. Cash is cash. If there's money in the till at the end of the day, you made a profit. Your accountant (after waving a wand and sprinkling FASB dust) may say you lost money, but you know what you did. It's true for a candy store and it was true for Enron.

And it's true for terrorists. Even a used AK-47 isn't free. And the C-4 explosive so popular with suicide bombers is very expensive. Whether hi-tech or lo-tech, stop the money and you'll stop the terroist -- except for the rare dilettante terrorist like bin Laden, who can be self-financed -- but if you find his money, you stop him.

And it goes also for the terrorist who works the "grass roots", spreading vitriol and hate through madrassas and other "religious" institutions.

So what? So this . . . The Palestinian Authority -- you know, Arafat and his cronies -- who parade for the world's cameras and try to talk a game of peace with Israel, are masters of duplicity. In a story I doubt you'll see on CNN or read in the NYTimes, you will hear about how they spend their money.

On the basis of this alone, I don't know why they shouldn't be on the list of terrorist organizations. If they were, we could disintermeditate the cash flow. Stop the cash, stop the terror.


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