January 11, 2002

Next up, Baghdad!

The war against Jihadistan continued unabated this week, with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warning Thursday that we are “still in the early stages of a dangerous and difficult conflict.” And he reminded: “Terrorists can attack at any time, at any place, using any technique. And it is not possible to defend every place at every moment of the day or night against every conceivable technique of terrorism. The only way you can deal with it is to go after them and stop them and that is what we are trying to do.”

Our team broke or destroyed a lot of al Qaeda’s inventory – most significantly a gargantuan store of weapons secreted away in the Zhawar Kili cave strongholds – and kept on killing our enemies and taking prisoners. Former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef was arrested and extradited to Afghanistan, where U.S. authorities took him into custody. Captured al Qaeda leader Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi, once listed among the 12 most wanted al Qaeda leaders, and who helped run terror chief Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan, reportedly has been “most cooperative” in interrogations.

Transfers of other captured Taliban and al Qaeda to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Base began Thursday, with the transport of these detainees from the Kandahar airport thought very dangerous over the entire 15-hour flight to Cuba. Prisoners were described as hooded, chained, and possibly sedated with Valium – flying high so to speak.

Illustrating the remaining dangers: Elsewhere in Kandahar, an al Qaeda fighter attempting escape from a hospital jumped from the second story, then, realizing he was surrounded, blew himself up with a grenade rather than surrender. And a KC-130 refueling tanker based from MCAS Miramar crashed in Pakistan Wednesday, killing seven Marines onboard. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the soldiers,” President George Bush said. “But I want to remind them that the cause that we are now engaged in is just and noble. The cause is freedom and this nation will not rest until we’ve achieved our objective.” Defense Secretary Rumsfeld agreed, “It is a tough, dangerous business over there. They’re doing difficult things and they’re doing them darned well, and it just breaks your heart.”

It is worth noting, however, that the most seasoned warriors are amazed at the very limited number of casualties we have suffered in the Afghan campaign. Bottom line: Our combat special ops units are very good at their craft! But as al Qaeda diehards are on the run, and former Taliban fade into the landscape as recycled “anti-Taliban,” the question arising is where next to expand the front lines with Jihadistan.

Sen. John McCain, leaving a tour of the region, blurted, “Next up, Baghdad!” We second that! However, Secretary of State Colin Powell apparently favors revisiting Somalia, even though surveillance suggests pressured al Qaeda are running from camps there. And the State Department this week reiterated its policy of not funding operations in Iraq of the Iraqi National Congress opposing dictator Saddam Hussein. National security analyst Michael Ledeen remarked, “If Congress were serious about taking the war to Iraq – and no more suitable target can be imagined – it would demand that Secretary Powell explain in detail why the State Department’s leaders should not be held in contempt of Congress.” Powell went into Desert Storm dragging his feet – and they still are!

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we can be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans and First Responders, and for their families.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.