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Executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute Yaron Brook criticizes U.S. foreign policy, arguing that the United States has not been aggressive enough in the ongoing war in Iraq in a talk given Wednesday night. [Geoff Robinson/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

On a campus which was awash with anti-war sentiment just eight months ago, it is not difficult to find people who willingly attack Bush and his policies toward Iraq and the continuing war on terrorism.

However, it is nearly impossible to find anyone who contests the war because the U.S. is not militarily forceful enough.

But in his talk Wednesday night, "Why We Are Losing the War on Terrorism," Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, took this largely unpopular view.

"The war in Iraq has done nothing to quell terrorism," Brook said. "We must grind [terrorists] to dust until victory is achieved."

Since 9/11, Brook has been advocating a more aggressive American response to terrorism as a product of his Objectivist philosophy, which supports the right to rational self-defense and self-interest.

However, in his talk to members of the Penn and Drexel Objectivist clubs, he explained that the U.S. has not eradicated terrorism because it has not been sufficiently brutal.

He asserted that the U.S. response must target not individual terrorists, but rather, must fight against militant Islam and the states that sponsor it.

"Our enemy is not terrorism," Brook said. "Our enemy is militant Islam. To stop them, we must kill or capture their leaders -- military and spiritual. The states that support militant Islam must be the first targets."

Brook further criticized America's war on terror by targeting the Bush administration's timidity. He cited the humanitarian support provided to Iraqis during bombing campaigns and the desire to rebuild Iraq as evidence of this weakness.

"America was guilt-ridden and apologetic," Brook said. "We were tentative."

To overcome this timid approach, Brook's recommendations drew parallels with World War II. "I applaud Truman for having the guts to drop the nuclear bomb," Brook said. In contrast to Bush, Brook praised Truman "for having the will which was necessary to win."

He also indicated that he would not preclude the use of nuclear weapons in the United States' current war.

"War is about destroying the enemy," Brook said. "I'm willing to do whatever it takes to win, and I would not rule out nuclear weapons."

In addition to the military actions required, Brook said that groups such as the Penn and Drexel Objectivist clubs are important places to gain support for Objectivism and the fight against terrorism.

"The university is a great place to help fight terrorism because the leaders of our country and its defenders are coming from institutes of higher learning," Drexel Objectivist Club President Leonardo Urbano said.

As American casualties in Iraq mount, some students at universities like Penn who were once so fervently anti-war are now receptive to Objectivism and its unique type of anti-war sentiment, according to students who attended Brook's speech.

"The talk was excellent," Drexel student Andrew Sternberg said. "He made me see things much more clearly and helped me realize that there's an alternative to the liberal anti-war ideas."

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