Skip to comments.The Strong Horse? Failing to stay the course in Iraq would be a provocation for bin Laden.
Posted on 04/24/2004 9:36:34 PM PDT by quidnunc
Let me underscore why it is that the U.S. is so deeply engaged in the Middle East and what is at stake in Iraq for I fear that there is some public uncertainty regarding these issues. For that purpose, I recommend a rereading of Osama bin Ladin's "Declaration of War Against the Americans," in which he states that "the Defense Secretary of the Crusading Americans had said that the explosions at Riyadh and Al-Khobar had taught him one lesson: that is not to withdraw when attacked by cowardly terrorists." (I should point out that in 1998 the defense secretary in question was not Donald Rumsfeld but rather William Cohen.)
Bin Laden continues: "We say to the Defense Secretary that his talk could induce a grieving mother to laughter! And it shows the fears that have enveloped you all . When tens of your soldiers were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the street of Mogadishu, you left the area in disappointment, humiliation and defeat, carrying your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge, but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You had been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear."
Bin Laden and his ilk may be fanatics, but they are deadly serious and thoroughly persistent. We must anticipate, therefore, a conflict that will continue for many years.
Osama himself has opined that "when the people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they naturally gravitate toward the strong horse." Consequently, this country must conclusively demonstrate that we are not the weak horse. Withdrawal before we have successfully stabilized Iraq is, therefore, not an option: It would be dramatically more visible throughout the Middle East and elsewhere than were those earlier retreats cited by bin Laden. I recognize that inevitably debate will continue regarding at least the timing of our move into Iraq. Yet we must not allow the political contentions of an election year to create any impression that we are anything but united in our determination to persevere and to prevail in Iraq. Success is the only acceptable course of action, and we will succeed in sustaining order in Iraq only by embracing certain fundamental realities.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
A copy of the 'declaration of war' is here. Read it, bookmark it, distribute it. If a Leftie hears Osama himself using our weakness to embolden his action, it skewers their arguments impressively...