Courage & Resolve Will Win This War
MajorDad1984 posed this question on Homespun Blogger Symposium XXVVIII:
"This week saw terrorism raise it's ugly head in London killing more than 50 people, wounding over 700. Based on this recent attack...do you feel that we're winning, losing, or holding our own in fighting the Global War on Terrorism?"
First, let me just say that the so-called "War on Terror" has its work cut out, and mostly due to the fact that it has been declared very late in the game. That's right, the "Sleeping Giant" and our few stalwart friends in this struggle should have waged war on radical islamist terrorism a long time ago, as it was declared against the civilized world decades before 9-11. Yes, decades.
Let me refer you to the Timeline of Terrorism, and just a few "lowlights" leading up to September 11, 2001:
- Dec 1973 - Five Arab Terrorists attacked departing Pan Am 707 in Rome, killing 29 persons (14 Americans) on board and two in the lounge. They killed a customs agent while hijacking a Lufthansa airliner, then killed a passenger on a refueling stop in Athens and threw him onto the tarmac. These men later forced a landing in Kuwait where they escaped.
- Feb 1979 - U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan was kidnapped by four Afghanis. He was later killed along with the terrorists in a firefight with police.
- Nov 1979 - After President Carter agreed to admit the Shah of Iran into the U.S., Iranian students seized the embassy in Tehran, holding 66 diplomats and staff hostage. 13 were soon released, but the remaining 53 were held until Jan 1981. Don't ask about Carter's ridiculous rescue attempt.
- Apr 1983 - The U.S. Embassy in Beirut was destroyed by a 400-pound explosive delivered by an "Islamic Jihad" suicide bomber in a truck. 63 dead, including the CIA's Middle East Director.
- Oct 1983 - The U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut were blown up by a 12,000-pound bomb. "Islamic Jihad" again claimed responsibility; this time for the deaths of 242 Americans.
- Apr 1986 - Two U.S. servicement were killed and 79 wounded when a West Berlin discoteque was bombed by Libyan-sponsored terrorists.
- Dec 1988 - Pan Am 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, by a bomb placed by Libyan terrorists in Frankfurt. All 259 passengers were killed.
- Feb 1993 - (First) World Trade Center bombing in New York by followers of an Egyptian cleric living in New York. Six people died and over 1,000 were injured.
- Apr 1993 - Attempted assassination of U.S. President George H.W. Bush by Iraqi agents while the president was on a state visit to Kuwait.
- Jun 1996 - The Khobar Towers, a U.S. military barracks in Saudi Arabia, was blown up by a massive bomb in a fuel truck. Claimed by several islamic groups, this killed 19 of our servicemen and wounded 515. ((I was over 25 miles away, across the causeway in Bahrain, and it rattled my windows)).
- Aug 1998 - U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were simultaneously bombed by Usama Bin Laden's followers, killing over 300.
- Oct 2000 - The U.S.S. Cole, docked in Aden Yemen for replenishment, was rammed by a small dingy carrying explosives. This killed 17 U.S. Sailors and injured 39. Again, Usama Bin Laden was found to be responsible.
- Sep 2001 - The Wake-up Call of America . (Are we still awake?)
(For the sake of brevity, I did not include the islamic terrorist attacks upon Israel - though important, they are simply too many to list here).
Obviously, this has been going on for a very long time. While our leaders have only dared to swat at these bugs, the infestation continued; both literally and figuratively. Should there have been an exterminator to combat this scourge? There is now, and the "insects" are swarming in a frightened and murderous frenzy. God help us if we elect another fly-swatter!
No war is fought in a day. We have chosen the battleground (Iraq) and have had no major attacks on U.S. soil. GREAT THINGS have been accomplished in Afghanistan and Iraq, lest we forget. 50 Million people liberated - and no one anticipated the incredible turnout for voting in both countries. The Iraqi military is getting stronger and more effective every single day.
"Are we winning the war on terror?" Absolutely, but in a measured and gradual struggle. Only with continued resolve and public determination will we prevail - not by backing down in the face of hardship and adversity. As I demonstrated, we have been at war with terror for a LONG TIME...we just didn't want to admit it.
It is the challenge of our generation, and we must defeat this threat - so our children and grand children won't have to.