On a day like today, when al-Qaida has struck a hammer blow against the West and hurt us badly, of course it seems tempting for us to circle our wagons, call in our dogs and hunker down.
But it would be a mistake.
Whatever terrorists want us to do, we have to do precisely the opposite, and with renewed vigor in the wake of every agonizing but futile attack. Terrorists want us to stop supporting Israel; we respond by increasing our ties with Israel. Terrorists want us out of Iraq; we renew our commitment to the Iraqi people. Terrorists want to turn Afghanistan back into a failed state that they can dominate with their particular brand of twisted, medieval authoritarianism; we dedicate ourselves to making Afghanistan a free and prosperous member of the community of nations no matter what the cost.
If we continue to defy terrorists — if terrorism continues its unbroken string of utter failures — sooner or later young Muslim men are going to reach the realization that murder is not noble. If we bring liberty and prosperity to those dark, shadowy corners of the world where the light of freedom does not shine, sooner or later the people who live there are going to believe that there are better opportunities for them. If we prove to the world that we will not bend to the will of suicide bombers, of hijackers, of the murderers of the innocent, sooner or later those things will simply disappear.
It’s just a matter of time.
Unfortunately, time is what too many Americans are unwilling to give to the cause of extending liberty, to eradicating terrorism. Our fast-food, instant-on, access-always culture has put us in a collective mindset that any problem can be handled in an unrealistically short amount of time, when the hard truth is that most problems can not be wrapped up within months, or even years, much less overnight or within the confines of a thirty-minute sitcom.
Here is a news flash, people: we are still in Germany. (Though not in the numbers we used to be.) We are still in Japan. World War II has been over, as of August of this year, for sixty years, and we still have a presence within the borders of our former enemies. This will not change with Afghanistan. This will not change in Iraq. If it does, especially in the near term, you can bet hostile regimes will rise again in those nations, and the sacrifices made by 1,700+ American service personnel will have been for naught.
This talk, especially from our elected representatives, to cut and run from Iraq, hide behind our own borders, and hope the evil Islamic boogeymen don’t get us, is utter nonsense. Such actions will not stop terrorists. Only when they are captured or dead, only when it has been shown that acts of terrorist violence will not bring about the desired behavior, when it has been shown that terrorism is not effective, will the terrorists be stopped.
Stop your sniveling, Durbin. Put a sock in it, Sanders. Rein in the rhetoric, Rangel. You are not helping the situation. You are clouding the issue because of some blind hatred for the sitting President, for some misguided sense of patriotism that dissent in a time of war is acceptable. Dissent was fine two and a half years ago, when this country was discussing what course of action to take.
Now, the course of action has been determined and taken, and it’s time for you to sit down, shut up, and stand behind the administration that is taking the fight to the terrorists. Take an example from the Republican Party after December 7, 1941. They may not have liked FDR, or his domestic agenda, but by God they were behind him one hundred percent in prosecuting the war against Japan and Germany, the latter of which never attacked the United States. I only bring up this last point, since the left/Democrats seem intent on keeping in focus the fact that Iraq never attacked the U.S.
In nearly four years since September 11th, there have been only two terrorist attacks directed against America or its European allies: Spain, 3/11/04, and today, 7/7/05, in Britain. Two. That’s all. You want to say that Iraq, has nothing to do with the war on terror? How many attacks might have we faced if Saddam was still in power, aiding and abetting any terror group that wanted to strike against Hussein’s perceived enemies? Would Paris have been targeted? Rome? You ostriches, as Jeff is fond of calling you, had better get your heads out of the sand. Go read The Last Jihad, if you want to see what a future President may have had to deal with if the U.S. hadn’t taken action against Saddam. War, indeed a horrible, horrible thing, is, as times, necessary.
And now they’ve gone and pissed off the Brits. Along with the Israelis, the British invented modern counter-terrorism. The SAS cut its teeth in the Middle East, and honed them to a razor’s edge against the IRA. These Islamofascists have no idea what bottle they just uncorked in Londontown.