Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Questions, Messages, and Consequences

At a minimum, at least every six months or so, we should ask ourselves if Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists are right? Not in ideology, but in strategy. Do they pursue a proper strategy for victory over the United States?

Their strategy has always been to defeat America with “the death of a thousand cuts,” to defeat the will of the American people. They believe our nation is weak and that we can not sustain ourselves during a prolonged fight while suffering casualties. They often cite our actions, the defeat of the American will, in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia as examples.

So, are they right? Do we possess a weak national resolve? Are we unable to endure a tough, prolonged fight, even against an enemy whose stated goal is our destruction?

The war against terror is not over and the outcome undecided, but we give them no reason to doubt the potential success of their strategy.

The plethora of proposed Senate resolutions against the war on terror in Iraq, the weekend’s anti-war protest in Washington D.C., and the lopsided coverage of the war in the mainstream media with predictable, resultant poll numbers all lend credence to proving Al Qaeda right.

And while demonstrating to Al Qaeda that they are right, our actions send messages to the rest of the world.

We put the world on notice about our national resolve and we tell the world, once again, to question whether or not we can be counted on to stand with them when times get tough.

Don’t think we’ve sent that message before? Ask any of the South Vietnamese who watched in horror as our last helicopter pulled out in the ‘70’s. Ask a Lebanese Christian who has been fighting Hezbollah. Ask any Afghani who suffered under the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Ask any Somali we left holding an empty bag. Ask the Iraqi Kurds or Shiites after we abandoned them in the early 90’s.

We’re edging closer and closer to repeating this mistake in Iraq. We’re about to demonstrate to the world that the American public doesn’t have the resolve for a hard fight.

There was a time when America could always be counted on to fight through to victory. Time and again, up to and through World War II, we proved our mettle and our nation’s standing as a courageous leader through the most difficult of endeavors.

But since then we’ve given the world cause to question our resolve during arduous campaigns. We’ve not always shown the will to win because we’ve been more concerned with domestic political gains. We’ve not had the will because personal agendas have been placed ahead of the responsibility to ask tough questions about the consequences of pursuing defeat.

What impact do our actions have on those groups or nations seeking freedom and democracy? All we’ve shown them are the weaknesses of democracy, possible when diligent and courageous souls fail to step forward and execute the mandates of liberty.

Why will others want to ally with us in the future if we add to a track record of not being a reliable partner?

What are the consequences of letting Iran fill the void, the vacuum that’s sure to be left after surrendering in Iraq? Do we really want Iran to fill that void, only to have the Sunni Muslim world object, and then have them fight it out when Iran continues its belligerence? Do we choose sides then then? Are we prepared for the impact on our economy with that much of the oil producing world engaged in all out war?

How will we handle the calls for international intervention when rampant genocide develops after we leave Iraq before the job’s done? Will the world demand our leadership and action in Iraq the same as they now do in Darfur? Or will they not care about the Iraqi’s, the same way they didn’t care about them when Saddam Hussein was murdering them en masse?

What are the long term costs for being so willing to let others suffer the consequences of our actions?

Do we quit fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan? After all, our Marines battle Al Qaeda every day in Iraq. But if the members of Al Qaeda fighting in Iraq are not a threat worth pursuing, why worry about them in Afghanistan, or any other place in the world for that matter?

What is the price for putting domestic political agendas ahead of victory for our nation?

Buried somewhere in our nation’s soul is the resolve to fight and the will to win. Hidden behind a veil of selfish politics is a beacon of freedom ready to once again light the way for the world. But who among us can step forward to unearth the treasure of courageous victory and unveil the light of liberty?

In a nation built upon “We the people,” futility and tyranny await those who seek one person to lead them to greatness. The answer, our nation’s future, lies in the coming together of many who love the promise and exercise of freedom. The answer lies in “We the people” who are willing to sacrifice, to persevere, and stand resolute in pursuit of victory, as was done through the fires which forged our nation.

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