Terrorism is alive and well. It ain’t going away.
Just one week ago, on September 17th, a truck bomb exploded at the American embassy in Yemen, killing 19, including six of the attackers. Of course, the Yemeni government is on top of the situation, making good its claim that it opposes terrorism, while happy to continue receiving $40 million a year in foreign aid from American taxpayers. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. No surprise. Yemen arrested 30 suspects. Also, no surprise. Arresting “suspects” in a nation without a Bill of Rights is easy, especially when they’re under international spotlight.
Four days later, a huge truck bomb exploded at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing 53, including two Americans. Many consider the bombing a direct threat toward the new leadership in dealing with the United States.
From May to September of this year alone, India has endured four separate terror attacks involving 39 serial blasts, killing a total of 109 innocent civilians and leaving hundreds more without arms, legs, hearing or eyesight. In every attack, an extremist Islamist group claimed responsibility. India is constantly under attack.
In 2008 alone, besides Iraq, at least fourteen countries have felt the wrath of arbitrary killers, murdering and maiming innocents en masse in the name of their God, including Spain, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Algeria, Turkey, Palestine, Israel, China, Somalia, and Lebanon.
As I see it, most countries have done little other than “conduct investigations” and make arrests, to combat this ubiquitous menace.
The United States is one of them. We have been tested…over and over again. We have failed those tests. And by failing, the enemy has become more emboldened. They see us as a paper tiger, with huge arsenals of weapons, but little resolve to root the killers off the world stage.
In 1979, 53 Americans were attacked, bound, blindfolded, humiliated, and held captive by a country that had permitted our embassy there. They were held under a world spotlight for over one year. The resolve of the United States was tested. And we did nothing.
That signaled the onset of the radical Islamic revolution which, some say, is the actual beginning of WW III.
1983, April, 63 innocents were murdered by suicide a bomber at the U.S. embassy in Beruit. Of those, 17 were American servicemen.
That same year, in Beruit, 241 servicemen were killed by another bomber at the Marine barracks. What was the result? World condemnation. Big deal. More foreign aid to Lebanon. Well, that’ll do it. President Reagan denounced that act as “cowardly.” Meanwhile, we put our tail between America’s legs and pulled out. What signal did that send?
The tests were just beginning.
Kuwait 1983: Five dead at the U.S. embassy.
Spain 1984: eighteen dead
Lebanon again, 1984: Sixteen more dead at the U.S. embassy.
Saudi Arabia – 1995 and 96: 24 dead
Kenya and Tanzania, 1998: 224 dead after bombings of the U.S. embassies.
World Trade Center 1993: Six dead and over 1000 injured.
The USS Cole in 2000, attacked by Yemenis. 17 Americans killed. What was our response? It was the response the terrorists had hoped for.
9/11 – Almost 3,000 killed. Finally, we did something.
These are but a sampling and don’t include piracy and airline terror, such as the doomed Pan Am flight of 1988 that killed 259, or the EgyptianAir flight of 1999 that killed 217 more. Not does in mention individual killings, of which there are hundreds, nor does it cover all terror acts in all countries. Algeria, alone, has suffered more than 200,000 deaths from terror acts in the 1990s. More than 95,000 Christian Lebanese were killed by the PLO from 1970 to 1982.
The beat goes on.
Then there is Africa, where so-called “rebels” continue to murder by the thousands, in Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Rawanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and more.
The beat goes on.
In a ten-year period from 1993 to 2003, according to the State Department, there were 1,210 attacks against Americans and/or American interests around the world. Law enforcement has thwarted 19 plots/attempts on U.S. soil since 9/11.
Our fault you say? Is it also our fault that we provide foreign aid to more than 180 countries, to help improve the quality of life elsewhere?
“Fighting terrorism is like being a goal keeper. You can make a hundred brilliant saves, but the only shot that people remember is the one that got past.” — Paul Wilkinson, London Daily Telegraph.
Yes, we responded after 9/11 under G.W. Bush, when we invaded the training ground for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. And then we spread our resources thin by waging another “conventional” conflict in Iraq, since questioned by people on both sides of the aisle. Seems the terrorists are not conventiaonal warriors…perhaps we should be a little less conventional?
The roots of terror is everywhere, not just in two countries.
When a football coach continues to send in the same old play that loses yardage, one of two things will happen: 1) The coach keeps the same losing strategy or 2) The strategy gets changed.
The strategy we’ve been using for forty years, has been a failure. Terrorism is alive a well. When will we change?
No matter who is president, it’s only a matter of time that another attack will occur on American soil. Most important will be the response by our government and the administration. If we show weakness and capitulation, it will only foster more of the same. If we show strength and resolve it will inhibit further attacks. Severe consequences must be imposed for the guilty and those who aid and abet.
Bluntly stated, it’s time to get pissed.
If anyone attacks my house, and there is no avenue for dialogue, I will do whatever it takes to annihilate those who are sworn to harm me and my family. The same applies for protecting all Americans. Whatever it takes, even if it means bending rules and changing laws to preserve the homeland. Because, if the terrorists ultimately win, we’ll be living under their rules anyway.