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One of the important conclusions from the big American victory in Iraq is that even at the beginning of the 21st century, it pays to fight evil. And the good guys, even in an era at the "end of history," have beaten the bad guys.

There is no doubt that the sense of mission that led to the war in Iraq is a fatal blow to the relativistic theories of post-modernism. Now it will again be possible to differentiate, even on the international political level, between good and evil. The good guys are not cowboys who are quick on the draw, as the Arabs and their supporters call U.S. President George W. Bush and his people, but rather responsible people with beliefs who decided to take responsibility.

It is they who brought history - the commitment to a mission - back to the world, and proved that positive ideas have not run out. This could actually be a good thing for Israel, despite the pall of the road map. After all, the hope is that after Iraq, the world will regain its balance - its true ethical judiciary ability - which can tell the difference between truth and lies, between terrorists and their victims, and between aggressors and defenders.

The declared goals of the war are to uproot the evil regime and to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. The Americans are seeking to achieve the first goal via the democratization of Iraq. It goes without saying that many advanced groups around the world - including, of course, the forces of light in Israel - are outraged. It is impossible to impose Western values on people who "are not yet ready" for them. These forces do not feel that the mere assumption that the Arabs "are not ready" contains a determination that they are inferior and cannot change their behavior.

It turns out that Bush, the gunslinger from Texas according to Western liberal circles, is less influenced by various prejudices whose leniency toward the Iraqi atrocities - and Arab atrocities in general - are based on considerable racist foundations.

In his familiar speech on June 24, 2002, Bush made two demands of the Palestinians that were similar in principle to his demands on Iraq: the cessation of terror and the democratization of the Palestinian Authority. In Europe, as well as in the United States and Israel, criticism was leveled at the setting of those two impossible conditions. Most of the responses noted that if Bush is serious about those conditions (and in Belfast he declared that he is very serious, even committed), then a Palestinian state will never be established.

The reason for this - though it will of course never be voiced in public - is that the Palestinians belong to the same people, the same religion, and the same culture as do the Iraqis, or the Algerians, or the other Arab states that are unsuccessful at establishing democratic governments.

Conclusion: The Palestinians too "are not ready" to adopt the visions that, from Bush's perspective, are preconditions for a state. This means that Bush has climbed onto Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's wagon, really.

Now, when the world is becoming accustomed to, and here and there even agreeing with, Bush's vision of the democratization of Iraq, it must be noted that it was an Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also demanded the democratization of the Arab states as a condition for peace, with the Palestinian Authority at the top of the list. And the first to lambaste him were, of course, the Israeli peaceniks. "It's a ploy so that we will never achieve peace," they said.

This is because they too, like their counterparts around the world, do not believe that the Arabs can change. They, therefore, deliberately ignored the Palestinian violations of almost each and every clause of the Oslo Accords, which they had signed, practically before the ink was dry - especially the clause stating PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's commitment to desist from terror as a means to achieve political goals, for which violation we have paid with the lives of so many victims.

This is indeed the abysmal difference between the "understanding" and "considerate," but also failed Israeli approach toward the Palestinians and Bush, who believes in not compromising even one iota, particularly in the case of regimes that "are not ready." When no concessions are made for them, they will eventually "be ready."

Only democracies do not practice terror. On that everyone agrees. But the peace circles in Israel refuse, for some reason, to apply this truth to the Palestinians. Now, at the height of the war in Iraq, Labor Party Chairman Amram Mitzna stood up and called for the renewal of talks with the Palestinians, even without democratization and a halt to the terror.

Particularly now, when Bush is realizing his vision for an end to tyranny and terror, Israel must examine this just doctrine and not deviate from it, even if the American president is among those who insist that we go back to making concessions to the Palestinians.

The next goal is the road map? Fine. But please begin, similar to Iraq, with a replacement of the terror leadership - not with a symbolic one like Abu Mazen, a veteran Holocaust denier and advocate of supervised terror - but with a real democratic leadership. After all, it was in the name of democratic values that the United States and Britain went to war.

That which must be implemented in Iraq can be implemented in Ramallah too. For this we do not need the U.S. Central Command. If given the green light, the Israeli Central Command can do in Judea and Samaria what General Tommy Franks did in Iraq.