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Can Terrorism Be Defeated?

Written by JB Williams

©2005-07-07

In a swift response to yet another Islamic terrorist attack, this time in downtown London at rush hour, Britain’s Prime Minister Blair stated, "It is important that those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world."

I like Tony Blair - he has been a steadfast ally of the United States on many fronts including the war on terror. Even in the face of political malcontents at home, he remains calm, well spoken, deeply convicted in the cause of freedom and liberty and steady at the helm. Despite great counter-pressure from his EU partners, he stands firmly beside our Commander-in-Chief. But is he right in his statement? Is the collective determination to defend our way of life stronger than the terrorists will to kill?

I believe the Prime Ministers personal determination is that strong, as is that of the current American administration. But what about the hearts and minds of the people they represent? What about the people of those European nations who have a long history of appeasement, who still argue in defense of appeasement today?

Is “defeat” even the appropriate term? When a people believe so strongly in their extreme views and desires that they are willing to kill themselves in order to take the lives of innocents, when they hate the free world so much that they will strap a bomb to the chest of their own children and send them into a defenseless market, theater or subway, then hide behind their women and children as if this is their only value in the world…can they be “defeated”?

I’m afraid our western culture of peaceful excess and immediate gratification fatally limits our imagination in this arena. Our field of vision is limited to the prism through which we see and assess all things. We are fighting an enemy we can’t see, one we can’t relate to and one we can’t begin to understand. Yet we believe we can “defeat” them, which is the first clue that we don’t really understand the question.

We are not talking about fighting a nation, its army in uniform, led by generals on a designated battlefield with rules of engagement dictated by the Geneva Convention. We are talking about individual jihadists, scattered in small cells around the globe, in every country on earth, largely undetectable until after an attack. They don’t hit our military installations, they target only the unsuspecting, the unarmed, those unaware of the peril that awaits them on the way to work, to shop, or to watch a ball game.

Unlike a nation whose army has been bludgeoned and flanked on the battlefield, there will be no white flag signaling “defeat”. There will be no high-level negotiations between diplomats of the warring nations in an effort to reach some reasonable resolution to our differences. This time, our enemy has no state department, no negotiating team, no diplomats and no interest in any peaceful settlement. They have no nation.

Meanwhile, we have people in our own countries that are horribly misguided, misled by anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-war and anti-Bush and Blair administration headlines. People who spend so much time and energy attacking their own nation, that they have barely noticed the fact that the entire free world has a very serious problem on its hands. This is not an enemy that can be “defeated”. It is an enemy that can only be eliminated with extreme prejudice…and these are not average citizens prepared to win anything.

What are the odds that our collective people have the stomach for such a challenge? What are the chances that we are prepared as a nation, to do what must be done to defend our way of life, as Prime Minister Blair suggests? Every indication is that the odds are not good…

In both America and Britain, the people re-elected the current leaders, in great part on the basis of how both are fighting the war on terror in the post 9/11 world. But in both cases, by a somewhat narrow margin, which means, both nations have a large population of people who don’t have the stomach, the understanding or the will to win. In America, it seems many believe we don’t even have a way of life worth defending.

People in leadership roles like Senators Dick Durbin, Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry continually attack the administration, our military leadership and our intelligence community. DNC chairman Howard Dean, Al Gore and other leaders in the Democratic Party join in a barrage of politically motivated attacks intended to keep those who defend our nation, on the defensive from attacks launched within our own ranks.

The once-mainstream news media is now the megaphone for organizations like MoveOn.org, the ACLU, Amnesty International, the United Nations and people like George Soros, all of whom see America, George Bush and Tony Blair as the real evil doers in this world, reporters often taking their headlines from the likes of Al Jazeera.

In all of these cases, the entire focus is on their own political plight and their plan for regaining political power at home at any cost. Every initiative, including in the war on terror, is based upon dismantling support for the Bush administration, often at the expense of the war on terror itself.

The evidence is in and it is overwhelming… Bush opponents couldn’t care less about the war on terror. They only care about what goes wrong and how they might exploit that to regain political power in upcoming elections. Anything they can say or do to undermine support for this administrations effort to provide security for the American people is fair game. The casualties are just a necessary part of their political calculation.

So what are the odds that terrorism can be eliminated by nations whose people are more offended by Bush and Blair than by Bin Laden? People who are more concerned with their own lack of political power than the future of their own nation? These people don’t share any set of values with men like Bush or Blair, so why would they defend them? They don’t - they attack them!

The day before the attacks in London, alleged protesters at the G-8 summit in Scotland behaved more like terrorists, igniting a riot instead of staging a peaceful demonstration. Inside the building were the leaders of the eight largest industrialized nations. First on their agenda was global warming, second world hunger and third the plight of the people in Africa, which has remained at issue for centuries. Well down the list was the issue of terrorism, until this morning’s terrorist attack in London.

The terrorists timed their attack in London to coincide with the G-8 summit. Why? While police were busy defending G-8 members from so-called peaceful protesters, terrorists moved about freely, undetected in London. What were the statements of those who immediately and proudly claimed credit for the attacks? What are their motives, their issues of interest? Death to all western ideals - plain and simple.

Before the smoke clears in downtown London, we will hear some of our own so-called leaders recite the words of the terrorists, blaming America, Britain and all other free nations for bringing these attacks upon ourselves. We will here calls from within our own ranks to retreat in the war on terror, to negotiate with terrorists who have repeatedly, publicly stated their agenda to eradicate Israel and the western influence from the world.

Yet we think we have the will to win this war? We think we can “defeat” world-wide Islamic terrorism together?

I’m here to tell you… We are not serious about “defeating” Islamic terrorism until we first recognize that it can only be eliminated with extreme prejudice. We are not serious about winning this war until we are willing to sift through every Mosque and mini-mart in this country until we capture or kill every member of every sleeper cell. We are not serious until we stop calling criminal profiling by the improper name of racial profiling. And we are not serious until we begin holding elected officials who act or speak against their own national security interests, accountable for their ill-fated actions.

Until I see these things happening, I will predict that this war will be very long, very costly, very deadly and in the end, unwinnable… Unlike Vietnam, we are negotiating the cost of our own freedom this time, as if it’s negotiable. Our enemies are not even at the table. We are negotiating with ourselves… They know it, in fact they count on our sense of decency and honor as our weakness and they will exploit it, just as today’s leftists do, until that sense of decency is gone.

Blair said what he should have said this morning. I just wish all free people stood with him in that statement. Until they do, this is not a war that can be won…

I send my prayers and pledge of support to Tony Blair and the people of England this morning. I wish I could offer optimism as well.

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