Thursday, July 07, 2005

Another reminder the war on terror isn't over


In March of 2004, the day after the commuter station bombing in Spain, I referenced an OpinionJournal.com piece:

The Madrid bombings are a reminder that terrorism remains the largest single threat to Western freedom and security. It threatens every country that refuses to cower in fear and dares to take the battle to the terrorists. We've made large strides in this war since 9/11, thanks in part to friends like the Spanish. Their current grief should inspire America's renewed determination.

Those words are true today as well. Three days later, after the Spanish elections went the exact opposite as they were predicted days earlier, newly elected PM Luis Rodriguez Zapatero came into office and pledged to pull his nation's troops out of Iraq, I wrote the following:

Remember, Osama Bin Laden himself said he was emboldened by our pull out of Somalia after our troops were left unprepared for their mission. Spain has now become the new 'paper tiger', and their citizens will live with that consequence, but the US can not give in to the terrorists. People get ready: if they think they've 'won' in Spain, it's only a matter of time before they try to so forcefully persuade another nation; possibly even this one.

I look back on those words and am relieved to see my dire prediction was wrong; despite Spain's cut-and-run approach, no one else has joined Bali, Istanbul, Mombasa, Riyadh, Casablanca or Madrid ... until London today.

From a purely militaristic point of view, todays attacks - while bloodthirsty and sinister - paled by comparison to other Al Qaeda attacks. 40 dead is 40 too many, but it isn't the 200 who died in Madrid, or the 3000 in NY, PA, and Washington, DC.

London's grief, today, should be an inspiration to our resolve. Al Qaeda may have won this battle today, but if the freedom loving nations stand their ground they won't win the war.

We dare not let them.

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