Alan Dershowitz, the liberal Harvard Law School professor with whom I agree with only on Israel, had an interesting Op-Ed in Monday's Wall Street Journal that raises some questions about what the new "rules" should be in the war against Islamist terrorists.
The traditional sharp distinction between soldiers in uniform and civilians in nonmilitary garb has given way to a continuum. At the more civilian end are babies and true noncombatants; at the more military end are the religious leaders who incite mass murder; in the middle are ordinary citizens who facilitate, finance or encourage terrorism. There are no hard and fast lines of demarcation, and mistakes are inevitable -- as the terrorists well understand.
We need new rules, strategies and tactics to deal effectively and fairly with these dangerous new realities. We cannot simply wait until the son of Zahra Maladan -- and the sons and daughters of hundreds of others like her -- decide to follow his mother's demand. We must stop them before they export their sick and dangerous culture of death to our shores.
There's no answers, but it's a problem that people should be thinking about. The current standard on threatening (and not constitutionally protected) speech in the United States -- specifically the issue of imminence -- probably doesn't cover the cult of death that is propogated in too many mosques.