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Monday, June 26, 2006
These boots are made for jihad...
The Sears Tower Seven, the terrorist wanna-bes who were arrested in Florida did not have explosives - or, if reports are to be believed, enough money to buy their own combat boots.
That's what makes the NYTimes exposure of U.S. efforts to combat terror financing so frustrating. The key to this has never been to reduce "hatred" against America. Even at our most popular, there will always be millions of people who hate us -- lots. We can't lose sleep over that.
The problem is when the folks who hate us meet up with the organizations that provide them with financing, intelligence, training and support. That's when they become a serious and imminent threat.
Let me spell this out for you: that's why we are in Iraq. Support, training, intelligence, safe-harbor -- all provided by Saddam. Direct financing links haven't yet been established (at least as I've seen) but the siphoning of money from the Oil for Food program and captured documents suggest that Saddam wasn't just offering rewards, but was likely providing some "start-up" capital as well.
Quick news tip: we weren't attacked by the Taliban either. We invaded (and liberated) Afghanistan because they provided support, financing, intelligence, and safe-harbor for terrorists. That's the standard. Not whether they were officially recognized by Vince McMahon as a tag-team eligible to participate in the royal rumble at this year's wrestlemania pay-per-view event.
Did Saddam provide support, encouragement, training, and safe-harbor for terrorists? You bet. Would we be safer if Saddam were still in power? Not on your life.
We will win the war on terror the same way we won the other wars -- by defeating the nations that wage war against us. The war on terror will only end when the countries that provide the support, financing, intelligence, and safe-harbor for terrorism are either (a) toppled or (b) forced by threat of choice (a) to eliminate the terrorists for their own good. On the short list: Syria, Iran, the Palestinian authority, Saudi Arabia, and let's throw in Yemen and rename it after the Cole.
This is the test for every nation that Bush laid out right from the beginning. As the President said, "you are either with us or with the terrorists." There is no middle ground. You can't fund them. You can't harbor them. You can't provide them with support and intelligence and claim innocence.
For now, our strategy is to take these states down one at a time. Yes, we will engender much resentment and even hatred from those we defeat. If we succeed, those who hate us will find themselves in the same situation as the Sears Tower Seven, forced to bum money from the FBI for combat boots for the jihad.
And if we fail? If we fail then the terror networks, the financing, the support will continue unabated as it has for three decades. As September 11th proved, only a handful of evil-doers can inflict great harm to innocent people. Thus, whether we create more enemies is largely irrelevant. The only thing that matters is winning the war and defeating our enemies.
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