Today marks the 5 year anniversary of the United States war in Iraq. Things are settling down and the Iraqis are edging ever closer to having a terror free life. The markets are reopening and many that had fled the country are returning to their homes. Going into Iraq is and remains a part of the Global War Against Terror. After the 9-11 attacks, the US invaded Afghanistan in response. operation enduring Freedom has led to progress in Afghanistan. There is still much work to be done in both countries and as each struggles to implement democracies, there are some short-comings in each. It is a start.
The men and women who serve in the United States Forces have done an outstanding job in the war against terror. From the Horn of Africa to Afghanistan: their actions are helping so many to be able to lives their lives without fear and have disposed of brutal dictators and repressive regimes. Against fierce criticism from the news media and protests by fanatical groups such as Code Pink: they have kept the eye on the mission and have done well. My disillusionment is not with the United States Armed Forces but with the Commander in Chief and the Secretary of State.
When President Bush made his speeches for justifying US military action in both Afghanistan and Iraq, he pledged that those who commit terror and those who support terror would have no place to hide. He pledged there would be no negotiations with terrorists. He pledged the funds of terrorists would dry up after financial accounts were frozen.
Much has been done in stopping the terror funding. However, not enough has been done. Funds still flow into the coffers of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Fatah, the Taliban, etc. Iran and Syria are still the kingmakers in terrorism. Saudi Arabia still funds world-wide distribution of Wahhabism. Al Qaeda and many other terror groups follow this stringent and brutal form of Islam.
I suppose I was a bit naive in believing that when he meant no terrorist would have a hiding place, he meant all terrorists, not just those who aim at US citizens. See, there is a country that has been on the front-line of terror attacks for decades: Israel. I still admire President Bush for not meeting with Arafat. Early in his presidency, Bush seemed very committed to wiping out terrorists groups no matter where they were. But in his second term, he seems more worried about leaving a legacy.
If US cities were bombarded on a daily basis, he would not hesitate to go after and eradicate the terrorists responsible. If US citizens faced daily commutes in which terrorists sought to murder by throwing Molotov cocktails, stones, suicide bombers, and by firing on drivers, he would would go after the those responsible and jail them. If US schools were targeted by terrorists and students murdered, he would not hesitate in using military force to eradicate the terrorists.
In other words, he would do everything in his power to preserve the lives of United States citizens. But since his re-election and since appointing Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State, he doesn't seem to think other countries should be able to do what-ever is their power to protect the lives of their citizens. I should amend that statement. It is only Israel that Bush and Company asks that negotiations with terrorists take place.
They are just the latest in politicians around the world which think Israel is the country which should not be able to respond to brutal terror attacks. The United Nations started a deadly trend when it gave observant status to the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1974. I guess if you want to murder US diplomats, hijack airplanes, murder Olympic athletes, and employ other acts of terrorism: it is okay by the United Nations. Just make sure your targets are aimed at Israel. By giving the PLO such status, the UN basically said screw Israel. The UN's decision gave carte blanche to terrorists who only seek to murder civilians: International Law be damned.
Since then, the PLO has supposedly transformed itself into "moderate" Fatah. Just because the suits the terrorist now wear are better than previously, it doesn't change the heart of the PLO, now Fatah. The PLO was formed with one aim in mind: the complete and utter destruction of Israel "from the river to the sea". Fatah gives lip service about seeking peace with Israel. But have you noticed that any time any new peace proposal is on the table, the Palestinians ramp up violent attacks against Israeli citizens? Since President Bush and Co. have started the latest proposals for peace, there have been more attacks against Israeli citizens. There have been more Qassams fired into Israeli towns. There has been the brutal of slaughter of Israeli students. Who wants peace? It doesn't appear to be the Palestinians.
With each act of murder, with Qassam fired into Sderot, while condemning the attacks, Bush and Co. call on Israel to show a restraint that would be unheard of in the United States or any other country. Instead of withholding funding to the Palestinian Authority after it was learned that two Fatah security officers were involved in the deaths of two Israeli hikers, more US money is being sent for the Palestinian "security forces".
Rice had the stupidity of likening the Palestinians to the struggles faced by blacks during the Civil Rights Movement. She ignores why Israel needs checkpoints. She ignores why Israel needs a security fence. She ignores why it is imperative for Israelis to curtail movement of Palestinians.
In 2003, Bush made a strong stance and spewed much rhetoric by saying terrorists will have no place to hide and that those who support them will be punished. In the past few years he has given lie to those words. By his new "peace accords", he is allowing terrorists to hide openly. It is a political game in which the human rights of Israelis are to be ignored. It is collective punishment against Israeli citizens. It emboldens the terrorists and the violence will continue.