-- "An international peacekeeping force in Lebanon will change nothing, and we will have chosen shame.
"We [not only Israel but the threatened West] need to choose war once and for all to eradicate that system," a former terrorist told NewsMax in an exclusive interview about the current Middle East crisis.
His name is Walid Shoebat and he is a man with a tough message.
He is also a former fundamentalist Islamic terrorist who, incredibly, reformed. He is now an author, lecturer, and unabashed friend of Israel.
He travels the United States repeating, in a modern context, Winston Churchill's warning to those who would appease Hitler's evil: "We have a choice between shame and war!"
Shoebat was born in Bethlehem. As a young man, he entered the belly of the beast and became a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, participating in acts of terror and violence against Israel.
He was later imprisoned in the Russian Compound, Jerusalem's central prison, for incitement and violence against Israel.
After his release, Shoebat continued his life of violence in Bethlehem and the Temple Mount. After entering the United States, he worked as a counselor for the Arab Student Organization at Loop College in Chicago, where he persisted with his extremist activities.
But then in a life-changing event, his wife challenged him to study Israeli history and leave behind the Jew-hating indoctrination of his youth. He did and emerged from the "detoxification" experience with the fresh orientation that Israel is not a demon but simply perennially on the defensive against extremists.
The Arabic speaker, who now makes a study of the fanaticism that once enveloped his life, told NewsMax that the West had better abandon its political correctness and worries about world opinion and get down-and-dirty in the war on terrorism. And the West should start with taming the roots of that terrorism, the "mosque clergy" that preaches the hate.
"We have to treat the problem by going to the source of the problem, and that is what we are not doing," Shoebat said. "We are trying to destroy terrorist infrastructure - after it has been established. We have to look at the root causes of terrorism and the root causes spring from the mosque clergy." Shoebat explained that in his opinion there are thousands of hate-dispensing Islamic clergy, including hundreds in the United States:
"We can't touch it because we don't want to invade another religion," he lamented. "We have to treat this dogma - not as a religion - but as a political dogma."
All over the world, Shoebat wants laws enacted that just say - no more hate-mongering from so-called religious leaders: "Once a religion goes beyond its borders, it has to be treated differently. It has to be shut down. You have to arrest these clergy. You've got to throw them in jail."
Shoebat explained that in his view the offending clergy has, for example, been "schooling out" from Saudi Arabia and from the University of Egypt.
Within the context of the crisis with Israel and Lebanon, Shoebat said that Israel needed to invade the whole of Lebanon and cleanse it of the Hezbollah - once and for all.
"If you don't do that, it doesn't matter how much of a buffer zone that you establish, because you have to understand that we live in a world of technology and things get more sophisticated."
He goes on to note that Iran, a sponsor of Hezbollah, has rockets that can reach Israel as well: "Terrorists are very creative, you know. As a terrorist we were very creative. We find a different way or different method."
Shoebat said he was distressed that Israel was apparently not ready to occupy the whole of Lebanon because they are afraid of the condemnation of world community: "As long as we are worried about the feelings of the world community, we are never going to really eradicate the problem.
"We either hit them now, or we have to hit them much harder later, and it is going to be much more expensive and much more deadly."