Sunday, March 06, 2005

Words of caution 

In his latest opinion piece Ralph Peters recommends against foreign policy euphoria, despite all the recent successes and many further positive signs more good things to come:
"From Iran through Saudi Arabia to Egypt, the first breezes of change are beginning to blow.

"But they're not gale-force winds just yet. We would be almost as foolish as the eternal naysayers were we to imagine that our mission is nearing completion.

"Excessive euphoria would only play into the hands of those who wanted freedom's campaign to fail all along. If our rhetoric becomes too exuberant, even positive events on the ground could be dismissed as falling short of our promises.

"This isn't a time to gloat. Instead, we need to work harder than ever, to keep pushing, to exploit the current momentum."
He's right, of course; the struggle of freedom against tyranny is a long and hard one, with plenty of setbacks and reversals along the way. Just as these should never discourage us from continuing our fight, so all the successes should not lull us into a false sense of security, so that any problems which will invariably arise in the future seem like a doubly harsh blow.

Speaking of those, Chester thinks that al Qaeda might be now ready for a major strike against America (scroll down the post). One thing is certain; al Qaeda cannot afford merely to run to stand still. If the fact that Osama has managed to evade capture over the last three years is al Qaeda's only claim to fame lately then the Base is in trouble. Bin Laden is not the Hidden Imam or King Arthur, asleep on the Isle of Avalon but destined to return one day to rule, the Once and Future King; he's a fighter, and al Qaeda is a terrorist-political organisation which has to keep scoring hits and achieving its objectives, otherwise it's losing.

Another thing is certain, too: if and when the next attack takes place, be prepared for another orgy of left-wing recriminations: "Bush failed... Iraq war was a distraction... The Administration should have been doing more to capture bin Laden..." etc. etc. Of course, no one will be able to point out to any specific resources that were "wasted" in Iraq and therefore not spent in the war on terror in Afghanistan or elsewhere. And the people who will blame Bush for not catching Osama will be the same people who have argued the difficulty to destroying a terrorist organisation that is a network and not a hierarchical structure.


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