Topic: Islamic Jihad
That was a statement I made during my Holiday in Italy, that raised some eyebrows earlier this summer.
How did I get in Italy? Long story, but the short and sweet is, I went on a vacation with my girl friend who lives in St Petersburg.
No, not the warm one in Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico, the cooler St Petersburg, in Russia, on the Gulf of Finland. ;-)
She made all the arrangements with a Russian Excursion Tour Company. Made her getting a Visa to Italy much easier and she got us a GREAT deal. My company's credit Union sells Vacation Tour packages and what we paid fo the two of us was about what they charge for 1 and the last week we stayed in a Waldorf in Rimmini Italy.
That put me for one week, with 30 of 40 Russians, on a whirlwind, if this is Tuesday, this must be Naples type tour. My Russian skills are limited and except for my girlfriend, their English skills were a match. One couple had brought their teenage son who was studying English, so it turned out that one afternoon, though him, I and his father got into a conversation, on Life the Universe and Everything, including Politics.
With the state of the World these days of course the MidEast came up, but when I answered, "I Don't WANT Bin Laden Caught." to his query "Why have you not caught Bin Laden yet?", I did get some raised eyebrows.
I explained, If we capture or kill Bin Laden, he becomes a martyr and lives forever. Al-Qaeda is like a Hydra, cut off its head and it can grow a thousand new ones. But Bin Laden is an Old Man, someday, soon perhaps, he will die and then he is just another Old Man who died.
So no, I Don't WANT Bin Laden Caught, but I would like to USE him to locate and track and take out those underneath him the next generation of Al-Qaeda and the ones after that.
I want Ayman Al Zawahiri,Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, the ones at that level and below.
Everyone wants a Magic Bullet cure for the MidEast.
Take Bin Laden and its over and everyone can go home and leave the region to sink into oblivion.
Not going to work that way. Then you have the side who proclaim loudly that Bullets and Bombs won't fix things, and they have long involved arguments about what we should do INSTEAD, never even seeing that they suffer from the same tunnel vision, of which they accuse us.
Of COURSE Bullets and Bombs alone won't fix things, Passing Wind (my definition of diplomacy backed up with nothing but words) ALONE will not either.]
We never SAID they would. That side of the political dialog suffers from hearing impairment or reading impairment.
Here is what we SAID in the beginning
They hate what they see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
Oh that statement was greeted with a lot of derision when President Bush made it. Except not by Al-Qaeda, they agreed with the President
al-Zarqawi declared his loyalty to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last year. In a statement posted Sunday on Islamic Web sites, he said his group has "declared a bitter war against democracy and all those who seek to enact it," and he declared all Iraqi candidates and voters enemies of Islam.
"Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion," he said, and that is "against the rule of God."
Contrast that to what America and President Bush believe
"There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom," Bush said. This is not simply a statement of idealism, however -- the War on Terror began as a war to ensure our own safety, after all. The President continued: "We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." However, there's always room for idealism in a just war. Bush also reminded us that, "we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave."
We cannot expect this War to be anything like our past struggles, it will be far different and fought on many fronts, militarily, financially and spiritually.
Now this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat. Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
So No, I Don't WANT Bin Laden Caught. I do not want the Hydra suddenly headless to spring forth a thousand new ones. If I could locate Bin Laden, I would leave him to die as any man dies in his time. Because I do not think of these matters in terms of Revenge, Retribution, or Justice, as Legal matters where we hunt down the guilty and bring them before the Law.
I think of this as War, a Protracted Struggle where the goal is to Win, and make our enemies Dust with History.
So I would leave him in place, but if I knew that place I would USE him. For he is a connection to
Ayman Al Zawahiri,Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, the ones at that level and below. He is the Head they are the Heart. Cut off the Hydra's Head and new ones spring forth.
Cut out its Heart and it Dies.
After I finished talking about why I did not want Bin Laden caught, and what I DID want to see happen, they did not look surprised any more, they looked thoughtful.
If you want to hunt Tiger.
First tether the Goat.