Realities Of Our War With Terrorists
Wednesday - October 10, 2007
Although we may not have planned it as such, Iraq - for now - has become the centerpiece of our war against Islamic jihad.
Al Qaida, our primary adversary, has admitted as much, and made it so by recruiting and training terrorists specifically to fight in Iraq. Although neither may ever be a perfect democracy, a free and sovereign Iraq and a free and sovereign Afghanistan, both friendly to America, would be al Qaida’s worst nightmare. The long-term military and economic presence of the U.S. and our coalition allies - with as light a footprint as possible - in these two countries is essential to moderating the anti-Western Islamic fanaticism in the Middle East, both by example and simple military presence.
Of course, al Qaida’s focus on its own back yard distracts it from focusing on our front yard. Contrarily, any premature withdrawal from either country (defeat) will surly lead to our worst nightmare.
Although it would be a major psychological victory to get him, the capture of Osama Bin Laden becomes less important with time. Isolated in the rugged northwestern mountains of Pakistan, his practical leadership has been marginalized to an occasional videotape. And, inevitably, some Pakistani Judas will be unable to resist the $25 million reward on Bin Laden’s head. Contrary to the shallow “strategy” touted by Democratic president wannabe Barak Obama, pulling our troops from Iraq to attack OBL’s lair in Pakistan would not only jeopardize our progress in Iraq, but certainly undermine the political stability of our essential ally, Pakistan’s President Musharraf, whose imminent re-election is far from certain. And a politically unstable, nuclear-armed Pakistan would be in no one’s best interest, least of all ours. When dealing with the Middle East, nothing is simple.
* And speaking of political stability, we must not be sucked in by the forked tongue of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when he tells the world a stable Iraq would be in Iran’s best interest. Nothing is more stable than a dictatorship, and what he sees for Iraq is a mirror image of the Islamic dictatorship he and the Mullahs have imposed upon the people of Iran. Iran’s direct sponsorship and material support of Hezbollah and Hamas that, along with al Qaida, are the leading terrorist organizations in the Middle East, are well-documented, as are Iran’s increased training and support of terrorist fighters filtering into Iraq. Ahmadinejad has openly asserted that the political vacuum left in Iraq after any premature withdrawal of American troops would be gladly filled by Iran. For those who continually encourage diplomacy with Iran as a part of our Iraq strategy, under the present circumstances one might as well advocate negotiating with a basket of cobras.
* Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently lamented the “waste” of American lives in “Bush’s war” in Iraq, and asked “When will it all end?” It seems to me the best judges of “wasted” lives are the men and women whose lives she claims are being wasted. Based upon their feedback, they see on a daily basis, up-close and personal, the true nature of our enemy, and they understand both the short-and long-term consequences of defeat in Iraq. To a man and woman, many volunteering for second and third tours, they are dedicated to victory. And when will it all end? Maybe never in our lifetimes. Victory may only be measurable by the lengths of time between major attacks on our homeland, and by that measure we are doing pretty well, but the price is the lives of our military men and women. A “waste”? The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 were a dramatic escalation of a proactive Islamic jihad that has been seething openly for the past 30 years. We must realize we are facing an implacable enemy that loves death more than life, and that we are in a fight for our lives and those of our children and grandchildren. But if we take responsibility for it now and do everything we need to win, we can minimize the impact on those precious future generations.
* All terrorists are “civilians.”
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