After reading over the weekend everything that Avi Dichter had to say upon his return from America and entry into politics, against our will we have reached the conclusion that it was a mistake to send him to the United States, specifically.
What could he learn and teach there in Washington? That terror can be liquidated only through force of arms? That human and civil rights can be violated wholesale when the ends are justified? That interrogations should be carried out using torture? That it's permissible to eavesdrop on thousands of citizens without court approval? That it is O.K. to leak the name of a secret agent and ruin her cover just to get back at her husband, who opposes the war in Iraq? That journalists, too, can be jailed to get them to reveal their sources? What, exactly, can be learned from George Bush and Dick ("Dark Horse") Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld?
There is actually something important that Dichter should learn even before he is appointed Israel's next defense minister or internal security minister on behalf of Kadima. In today's America, Dichter was wasting his time.
He should have done his homework in order to learn that even by using more and more force, it is impossible to reach the bottom of the barrel of terror, as he believed could be done when he headed the Shin Bet security service. He not only believed it, he insisted that we believe it, too. He created the "bottom of the barrel" theory - another targeted assassination and another, just one more crushed "snake's head," and the barrel would be clean and empty. Today one is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for such a theory, if one can only roll the barrel to Oslo as Sisyphus rolled the rock up the mountain.
Dichter is not the first terminator to win international fame recently, to be elected to high office on the wings of his destructive deeds. Only two years ago millions of people were seduced into believing that movies are life, just as many here believe that life is a movie. In the meantime, millions of people wised up, and the halo over the head of the Terminator from California has been tarnished, and he is not far from the bottom of the barrel himself. Yes, you guessed it, the name of that terminator is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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