You're next, Osama!
December 23, 2003
The ability to learn from one's mistakes and to improve oneself via this knowledge is a hallmark of good character. This truism applies not only to individuals, but to nations as well. A nation that learns from errors made in the past and strives to correct those failures is a nation of character. The short history of the United States of America exudes great character in countless ways.
The battlegrounds of war are among the foremost laboratories for proving both individual and national character. America's sharpest military minds learned from mistakes made in Vietnam. The lessons learned in Vietnam were applied with great success in the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Yet mistakes were still made in that conflict.
The biggest blunder of the Persian Gulf War was that America could not finish the job because she was shackled by the wishes and the "sensibilities" of the UN. The US had "international support" which was limited only to ousting Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Once that objective was accomplished, the American military could go no farther. Too many of America's "traditional allies" had economic ties to Saddam. Too many Arab "allies" had religious, political and/or, at least, ethnic ties to the dictator. Tens of thousands of Kurds and Shiite Muslims lost their lives because UN sensibilities kept the US military and even the CIA from finishing the job.
Thank GOD this current Bush Administration has learned not only from mistakes made in the 1991 Gulf War, but is even now discerning great wisdom and knowledge from America's current battles. This president has told the American people — and the whole world — on several occasions that the War on Terrorism would be "a different kind of war." It is not a war against nations with organized militaries; although states and regimes that harbor, support and/or train terrorists must consider themselves enemies of the US and should most likely expect to bear the full force of the US military sooner or later. As a new and different kind of war, the 21st century War on Terrorism is a learn-as-you-go kind of war. The capture of Saddam Hussein on December 13th is clear and convincing evidence that the US military and intelligence community is adapting quite well, thank you very much, to this new and different sort of war.
The courageous and resourceful heroes of the US military found the Butcher of Baghdad in a tiny hole in the ground of a country that is almost 13,000 square miles larger than the state of California. This is no small feat! Learning how to use intelligence, incentives and interrogation; to hone and revise tactics; and to employ the force of satisfaction that comes from accomplishing a mission are among the many factors that made the arrest of the former ruthless dictator possible.
Even now, recruits are being trained in the doctrine shaped by all of this fresh knowledge. Teams are being formed that incorporate this new training as well as new technologies and tactics and the adaptation of old technologies and tactics. Case in point: the Stryker Brigade. (See http://www.army.mil/features/strykeroe/).
America is learning from past failures — political failures, strategic blunders, tactical shortcomings, etc. — and is adapting with good old Yankee ingenuity and applied technological prowess the ability to win this War on Terrorism. We got Saddam. We emasculated a brutal regime and an influential supporter of terrorists. The lessons learned in Iraq coupled with ever-increasing bursts of technological know-how should make Osama bin Laden and his evil minions quake in their sandals.
Late reports as I write suggest that Osama hid under a bush recently as an American warplane flew over his general direction. This allegedly is according to a high-level al-Qaeda operative. Other reports are suggesting that US military/intelligence personnel have stated publicly that they have come "very close" to nabbing bin Laden on a number of occasions.
The United States of America is a nation of character. She learns quickly! She has made huge mistakes in her past. Crippling human intelligence (i.e., the Church committee and the Torricelli principle), cutting back on national defense, bowing to the whims and the "sensibilities" of the UN, and disregarding the vile (utterly EVIL) desires of radical Islamic terrorists are among the most recent and egregious of these miscues. September 11, 2001, graphically showed the whole world the error of our ways. We are — praise GOD! — learning from these errors.
The lessons learned in the current Iraq War and the capture of Saddam Hussein will not be forgotten. Ask Mohammar Qaddafi! These lessons will be taken to heart by the American military and the US intelligence apparatus. They will be applied with dedication and resolve toward the eminent apprehension of Osama bin Laden. Whether he is hiding in a mud-brick hut in Northwestern Pakistan, a cave in Eastern Afghanistan, or a mansion in Iran; Osama's days are numbered. America is a nation of character. Americans understand and revere the idea of justice.
Be afraid, Osama. Be VERY afraid! You are next!
Sam Weaver is a native Texan. Lively discussions back in 1984
© Copyright 2003 by Sam Weaver
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