Sorry I've been away. I took a vacation, and I haven't really felt like posting since. I'm getting weary of it all and haven't thought I had much of an original contribution to make. So I'll talk about that and hopefully I'll bring myself around. Or not, let's see.
Osama bin Laden clearly misjudged the United States short-term response to the 9/11 attacks, thinking he could draw us into an extended guerrilla war in Afghanistan (a la Soviet Union). We kicked terrorist butt by matching their asymmetric attack with our own brand of asymmetry (Special Forces and JDAMs). But Osama may have been correct in thinking us to be a weak, impatient society ready to crumble.
In any war there will be times when victory seems an eternity away and the temptation to give up is great. We are in one of those times now in Iraq. While things are clearly getting better the security situation is still poor and the poor performance of the Iraqi police and security forces make it unlikely that it will change in the near future. Things seem pretty bad.
Once one steps back from the distressing media reports from major media outlets the negativity of the situation seems much more suspect. Many of the links on my blogroll to your right have letters from servicemen who have first-hand knowledge of the situation in Iraq and say that the media greatly exaggerates all negatives while ignoring positive developments. This is unfortunate in that it provides normal people with a distorted view of the true situation.
And yet, even with the media's excessively negative portrayal of Iraq there is no excuse for the lack of resolve displayed by many in the formerly pro-war category (the anti-war people have the excuse of being idiots [or at least woefully misinformed]). Support for the war has fallen significantly and now may be below the .500 level. Are we to give up this easily? Was Osama correct in calling us weak and impatient fools?
I hope not, but it is beginning to look that way. By any rational measure our post-9/11 course has been a resounding success. Al Qaeda has been weakened and splintered, its ability to pull-off massive coordinated attacks destroyed. Saddam Hussein ... rotting in jail. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan ... more free than ever. Attacks on U.S. soil ... ZERO. American military dead ... fewer than a thousand. And yet still we prevaricate and navel-gaze with the 9/11 hearings and the Abu Ghraib prisoner crap.
Hello people, we are winning! Merely because we aren't hearing an unending stream of only good news does not mean we face defeat. If the U.S. had given up after the first six months of WWII when the news was unendingly bad, where would we be? We must have the same level of resolve in facing our own battle. It's time for people to buckle up for the long haul. This will be a "long, hard slog" to quote Rumsfeld. It would be better if we could just snap our fingers and change terrorists to law-abiding citizens, but that's not the way the world works. It's time to pull yourself together and quit yer bitchin'.