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Mark Alexander / October 24, 2003

Jihad Culture of Death

The Jihadi “culture of death” never rests. This week, Al-Jazeera television aired another voice tape purportedly from al-Qa'ida chief Osama bin Laden (which the CIA believes is likely genuine). Bin Laden urged his Jihadi adherents to persist in guerrilla attacks on U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq, while threatening assaults inside all coalition countries.

The new tape from bin Laden was additional fodder for detractors of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The “Thundering Herd of Jackasses” (Joe Lieberman being the exception) renewed their protests that the war on terrorism has failed – despite the fact that, remarkably, there have been no attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11.

While there is much Leftist hand-wringing about Osama’s ongoing ability to draw breath we note that there is a silver lining, perhaps even a strategic lining, in his cave-dwelling survival: He has been forced to eat dirt while we continue to hunt and kill his trusted senior Jihadi cadre. And as long as he is thought to be alive, there will likely be no one rising to replace him.

No sooner had the dust settled on Osama’s latest ranting than a memo surfaced from Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld to four key commanders challenging certain assumptions about the progress of our war with Jihadistan. The memo, calling into question the effectiveness of our efforts against al-Qa'ida, was clearly designed with the objective of preventing any military complacency. Mr. Rumsfeld noted that it was intended to “inject a sense of urgency.” It should be noted that this memo is indicative of precisely the kind of leadership and oversight we’ve come to expect from Don Rumsfeld, but it took only a New York second for Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Foreign Relations Committee Demodog Joseph Biden to resume their Leftlip-flappin’ claiming a “failed campaign” against terrorism. (Let’s send these pantywaists to the front!)

Indeed, impatient Americans, egged on by Leftist Demos and the Leftmedia, may be tiring of the ongoing battles with Jihadistan. One reminder of the real duration of this war: Thursday was the 20th anniversary of the suicide-bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, by Hezbollah Jihadis – a murderous deed that cost America 241 of its Marines and sailors.

In stark contrast to the dissent and obstruction on Capitol Hill, Republican Rep. Fred Upton and Democrat Rep. Jim Davis returned from their fact-finding tour of Iraq and offered a unified voice of support for the President’s reconstruction program and a strong rebuke of Leftmedia reports of the situation there: “To be sure there are pockets of violence, but we also saw so many pockets of hope and joy that all too often don’t make the evening news,” the two noted in a joint statement.

President George Bush has noted, repeatedly, that the war with Jihadistan would be long, and fought on many fronts, straining military resources. Accordingly, as a part of the U.S. military’s transformation to fight the war on terror more effectively, negotiations are currently underway to reduce the U.S. troop presence in South Korea. The current U.S. force of 37,000 troops stationed along the 38th parallel DMZ between the Red North and the free South is set to be reduced by as much as one-third.

In related news, President Bush, visiting Asia this week, has offered North Korea written security guarantees against any future U.S. aggression on the condition that Pyongyang verifiably discard its nuclear weapons programs. In spite of pressure from North Korea’s chief benefactor, China, together with Russia, South Korea and Japan, Kim Jung “Mentally” Il called the offer “laughable,” reiterating the demand for “a bilateral treaty between North Korea and the United States, and not for some sort of security guarantee.”

“Kim Jung Il is used to being able to deal bilaterally with the United States,” Mr. Bush responded. “But the change of policy now is that he must deal with other nations, most notably China.” The President went on to say that a bilateral non-aggression treaty between the U.S. and North Korea is “off the table.” Even the proposed security guarantee would not be a bilateral framework, said National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, but a multilateral agreement involving all six nations.

On the final day of the four-day meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group in Bangkok, Thailand, President Bush secured a much-needed assurance of U.S.-Asian collaboration in the war on terror: “We agreed that transnational terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction pose direct and profound challenges to APEC’s vision of free, open and prosperous economies,” leaders of the APEC group stated in a joint declaration. “Ministers are committed to ongoing work in blocking the cross-border movement of equipment, funds and people involved in transnational terrorist activities.” Much to the chagrin of Japan and others, however, the APEC statement did not issue a call for North Korea to disarm and bring a halt to its nuclear ambitions.

Quote of the week…

“Sometimes history presents clear and stark choices. We have come to such a moment. Those who bear the responsibility for making those choices for America must understand that while action will always carry cost, measured in effort and sacrifice, inaction carries heavy costs of its own. As in the years of the Cold War, much is asked of us and much rides on our actions. A watching world is depending on the United States of America. Only America has the might and the will to lead the world through a time of peril toward greater security and peace. … and as we’ve done before, we accept the great mission that history has given us.” –Vice President Dick Cheney

On cross-examination…

“I said then as I say now: Bill Clinton’s inability to understand what was fueling the rise of bin Laden as a phenomenon – not as an individual – was the greatest U.S. foreign-policy failure of the last half-century. It has affected hundreds of millions worldwide. Even if we get him now, who will be the next bin Laden? There are many willing candidates standing in line. Islamic radicalism exists today because Clinton didn’t dismantle al-Qa'ida when he had the chance.” – Mansoor Ijaz, former Clinton administration Middle East liaison

Open query…

“But why does this country, after it wins a war, habitually assume that the world has been permanently repaired? Why did we go on a holiday from global watchfulness in the roaring ‘90s, just as we had in the roaring '20s?” –Former CIA Director James Woolsey

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