Friday, September 23, 2005

Bush: Don't Repeat Predecessors Mistakes

Despite increasing pressure from all sides to change US policy in Iraq, President Bush is determined not to weaken national security by repeating the mistakes made by his predecessors. ( Bush asserts troops must stay in Iraq). The President is absolutely correct. Failure to take as harsh a stance as possible against terrorist actions against the US lead directly to the attacks on 9/11.

The President correctly summed it up by stating, ''The terrorists saw our response to the hostage crisis in Iran, the bombings of the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the first World Trade Center attack, the killing of American soldiers in Somalia, the destruction of two US embassies in Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole. The terrorists concluded that we lacked the courage and character to defend ourselves, and so they attacked us."

From 1990 until 9/11/2001, there were 41 terror attacks against US interests, all of which went largely unanswered. 29 of those attacks were between 1996 and 2000 (Significant Terrorist Attacks Against the United States and its Citizens 1946-2001). Our unwillingness to respond to those attacks lead terrorist organizations around the world to conclude that we were vulnerable and lacked either the willingness or the ability to strike back. Any actions we take in Iraq that even hint of a pull-out will only prove to these terrorist organizations that we lack the nerve, the desire, and the patience to fight back.

Wars are not small, short-term, antiseptic affairs. When going to war, one must be prepared to fight that war to its conclusion. That Iraq is taking longer than the attention-deficit induced media would have preferred is unfortunate, however that does not change the requirement that we remain there and fight there until we have prevailed. Any less is a tremendous victory for every group that would target the US.

President Bush is correct. Pulling out of Iraq would indeed repeat the costly mistakes made by his predecessors when we pulled out of Lebanon and Somalia. We must correct the image terrorists have of the US. We must show them that we simply do not turn and run whenever the war gets a little bloody. We must stay the course in Iraq. The terrorists are in there for the long haul. So must we be.


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