Monday, September 11, 2006

The War on Terror Five Years In

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in the aftermath of 9/11, we as a nation had been thrust into a war we did not want with an enemy that had been at war with us for nearly a decade if not more. We unwittingly went through the nineties thinking about IPO's and a possible DOW 15,000 and not thinking about terror. Even in the aftermath of the Khobar Towers, African embassy and Cole bombings, we trusted in the president to do what was best for the security of our country.

When Bush assumed the position, we were still on that late nineties high and Bush was in the beginning of his presidency working on issues such as tax cuts and education. He failed in his first major foreign policy crisis with the Chinese. In other words, we were sleeping while our enemy prepared themselves in our very own house.

Our intelligence services suffered heavily under Clinton as George Tenet seeemed to not be taken as seriously as he should've and Sandy Berger was more concerned with how an operation would look in the papers and effect his president politically. The military continued to be strong in spite of budgetary cuts and the dearth in development of new equipment. They stayed strong in spite of Clinton abhorrence of all things military.

Our enemies watched us and grew more furious for reasons that we can never fathom. Saudi Arabia did indeed ask us to set up shop in the Kingdom to protect them from Saddam. We stayed to enforce the no-fly zones in the south and north of Iraq. The Saudi's continued to incite their people to our presence in Arabic while praising us in English. Osama bin-Laden used his words to inflame the Arab world by denouncing the "crusaders" who were in the holy land.

He made very clear to us that he wanted a war. He started out using proxies such as small cells in Somalia. They saw their chance and took it in October 1993. We responded by withdrawing. Bin-Laden then grew bolder with each attack, still we did nothing. When Ramzi Youssef attacked the WTC the first time, Clinton proceeded as if it were simply a criminal case. The fact that we captured Salameh and eventually Youssef and sentenced them to essentially life terms seemed good at the time. In retrospect, those convictions set the Clinton administration on the road to handling all terrorism cases as criminal cases and severely effected our intel gathering and response measures.

It continued through the 90's as he hit the embassies (American sovereign territory) in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. The Clinton response was to not respond in a way that al-Qaeda would understand.

the millenium attempt was foiled simply because an aware INS agent got suspicious and intercepted a terrorist crossing into the US from Canada.

The USS Cole bombing in Yemen was the final piece in the puzzle. Bin-Laden saw that we did not have the will to respond and he set the plans for 9/11 into motion.

The Bush response to 9/11 was as it should have been. Boots on the ground with NATO forces assisting an agreement with the Northern Alliance to rout the Taliban regime.

Bin-Laden may or may not have been killed in the mountains near Tora-Bora, but our actions there sent a shock wave through the Arab and Muslim world. The media played there part by calling it a quagmire two weeks in and haven't let up yet.

We are still at war with the Taliban and will be for the foreseeable future. Remember, the nation of Afghanistan is a proud nation and one that fought and beat the Soviets--albeit with major assistance from us. We've taken it to them in the last few weeks killing 500 with little casulaties.

Update: Continued

Now on to Iraq, yes it is a highly unpopular war, but a crucial one. As I've shown above, the Arab and Muslim world is extremely tribal and see withdrawal as weakness. They also saw us leaving Saddam in power and playing his games for ten years as a sign of weakness. He paid off members of the UN and an MP in British Parliament. He thumbed his nose at the world in spite of the same UN's sanctions imposed against him.

Whenever he'd get too out of line or when impeachment was pending, Clinton would order that we lob 50 scuds in to quiet him down. All this did was upset the worlds Muslims as it was unnecessary and again showed a weakness.

Regardless of how long the war goes on, it will be worth it to win. If we retreat now, it would have a disastrous effect on the power balance of the mideast. We'd be showing the Muslim world that we are appeasers and don't have the backbone to finish the job that should've been finished by Bush's father.

We're in it for the long haul people. We can either become complete isolationists and seal the borders or we can set the world standard for freedom and democratic principles. Either way, al-Qaeda is still coming after us. The only way to win is to exterminate them with extreme prejudice. No more talking and searching for root causes. We've found those already, we are a free open Judeo-Christian society that respects individual rights. They are a theocracy-minded group who wish to convert non-believers into Muslims or kill them. Period.

My greatest fear is that a Democratic who is unserious (but I'm redundant) about these issues gets elected as President or enough get elected to take back the house and Senate. I would have no problems with a tough Democrat such as a Lieberman getting elected because he is among the few that look at this war for what it is and what it means. We all know what's happened to him. Our nation should pine for the days we had Democrats with backbone. Kennedy, Truman and Roosevelt saw the threats we faced and dealt with them as they should've been, with force and conviction. The way the Democratic party is heading, a candidate of the ilk they'd elect would make Clinton look downright hawkish.

In summation, five years ago today, we became aware that we are at war. Again, not a war of our choosing but one none the less. A war with an enemy like no other. They are not a nation-state, but individual cells that act on their own with alot of financing. they are spread from The Phillipines to the mideast. From northern Africa to Dearborn, MI. From Scandinavia to Spain. They have one goal and one goal only and they will not stop until they've accomplished that goal or have been stopped by force. Talking will not work and neither will appeasement.

They took the lives of nearly 3,000 of our friends, neighbors and family. That is an abhorrent number. Why do some not see what we face and know how to stop it? Because they want nothing but power and with that power they will withdrawal and put us into a much more perilous position.

In the last five years, I think the worst development I've seen is the development (or redevelopment) of a leftist ideology one would hope stayed in the dustbin of history where it belonged. Instead they've risen fueled by the internet and the kooks that post there. Commentary is one thing, support of the enemy is another. Today's left is akin to radical Islam. They frequently find themselves on the same side. A party that advocates womens and homosexual rights supports a system that denies both and in some cases stones both to death. They support people who as a matter of course mutilate the genitals of their young girls. They seem happy being their and that is truly scary.

We've come a long way in some areas and regressed in others. Let's see what the next five years holds.

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