Despite the growing dismay over the daily attacks against American forces in Iraq, it should by now be quite clear that things could not really be otherwise.
As this page has been opining for years, more frequently since 9/11, there is a Moslem fundamentalist-fueled effort around the globe to confront – and ultimately overcome – Western
civilization through a continuing war of terror. Not able to directly challenge modern military power, resort has been to primitive, relatively inexpensive hit and run strategies, capitalizing on the element of surprise and the ability to arbitrarily choose targets at will. This is not to suggest that there is one central headquarters for terror, but rather that there is a global network that shares intelligence, funding, personnel and training camps with a presence in hotspots around the world.
Thus, American military might made quick work of the Iraqi army and now, the terror network has kicked in, coopting and largely overtaking Saddam Hussein diehards in the current assaults on U.S. personnel. Indeed, U.S. spokesmen are no longer claiming that they do not know whether there is an organized anti-U.S. effort or ragtag opposition in play and are reluctantly conceding the existence of some broader infrastructure. It is inconceivable – and foolhardy to suppose – that the attacks, which have already resulted in half as many American deaths as we suffered in Operation Iraqi Freedom are simply the work of “Iraqi militants.” Indeed, the documented influx of Arab and Islamist “volunteers” into Iraq is only now drawing serious attention.
Hopefully, the Bush Administration will finally learn from Israel’s sad experience with this sort of thing. For years Israel had to labor under the Clinton Administration’s refusal to acknowledge an international dimension to Palestinian terrorists – the Clintonites persisted in referring to them as “militants.” Denying that reality suggested “resistance” and lent a certain legitimacy in some circles to the Palestinian’s murderous thuggery. And it also impeded Israel’s efforts to address terror full-throttle. It was only after President Bush came to accept Israel’s war against Palestinian terror as part of the world-wide war against terror that things started to change, even if America’s new view is not shared by the UN and Europe. It was not for nothing that some Palestinians saw the President’s resolve as an indication that something – if only cosmetically – had to give.
There are many people out there – the French, Russians and Germans come immediately to mind – who are insanely jealous of America’s emergence as the world’s only true superpower and will seek every opportunity to promote efforts to undermine it. Although these nations doubtless hold no brief for Muslim fundamentalism, fundamentalist guerrilla warfare seems tailor-made for them as an antidote to Operation Iraqi Freedom, which they accurately foresaw would confirm American dominance and which they virulently opposed.
In our view, President Bush must take the proverbial bull by the horns and relentlessly pursue those involved in the current wave of attacks against Americans in Iraq both within and outside
Iraq. Not only will this most effectively deal with the threat, but by underscoring an international dimension, the President will be able to counter the European goal of depicting the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom as just “Iraqi resistance” to wrong-headed “American occupation.”
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