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Rep. K. Michael Conaway, (R, Tx.):
Just four days prior to the referendum vote, U.S. intelligence officials released a letter from Ayman al-Zawahri, al Qaeda's No. 2 operative, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leader of the insurgency in Iraq. In the letter, al-Zawahri predicted that American forces "will exit soon" and he acknowledges that the war in Iraq will be won "in the battlefield of the media." Al-Zawahri's belief that the insurgency must improve its efforts in engaging in geo-political warfare proves that the battle for the hearts and minds of Iraqi's still goes on. It should come as no surprise that al Qaeda members in Iraq are now attempting to denounce the letter as a fake.A few words from Ralph Peters:
The letter proves that the media war is a key aspect to their overall effort to thwart democracy in the Middle East. The 6,300-word document outlined the terrorist political campaign to defeat coalition troops in Iraq, not by traditional military victory, but by carefully plotting an offensive on American public opinion.
Their short-term objective is clear: The insurgency must succeed in defeating an emerging democratic Iraq by eliminating its current military protectors. The insurgents' plan is simple: Drag the fight on by continuing to murder innocent Americans and Iraqis until American public opinion has waned.
We'll soon reach a total of 2,000 dead American troops in Iraq. You won't miss the day it happens. The media will pound it into you.For a more scholarly view read Victor Davis Hanson's LA Times column:
But no one will tell you what that number really means ? and what it doesn't.
Unable to convince the Bush administration or our troops to cut and run, the American left is waging its campaign of support for Islamist terror through our all-too-cooperative media. And you're the duck in the anti-war movement's shooting gallery.
Breathless anchors and voice-of-God columnists will suggest that 2,000 dead is an exorbitant price to pay in wartime, that reaching such a threshold means we've failed and that it's time to "support our troops and bring them home."
If the American left and its media sympathizers want someone to blame for our combat losses, they should begin with themselves. Their irresponsible demands for troop withdrawals provide powerful encouragement to Muslim fanatics to keep on killing as many American service members as possible. On the worst days the terrorists suffer in Iraq, our "anti-war" fellow citizens keep the cause of Islamist fascism alive. Their support is worth far more to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi than any amount of Saudi money.
It would be wonderful to live in a world in which war was never necessary. But we don't live in such a world. And there are no bloodless wars. We should honor every fallen American. But we also must recognize that, on this maddened earth, only the blood of patriots shed abroad allows us to live in safety here at home.
Study of the Peloponnesian War should also remind us that it is not assured that the wealthiest, most sophisticated and democratic state always triumphs over less impressive enemies. After all, Athens, for all its advantages, finally lost its war. And as Thucydides reminds us about the democratic empire's lapses, arrogance and major blunders, more often the chief culprit was its own infighting and internal discord than the prowess of its many enemies.And for a view from the top, General William Wallace's comments on departing Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas for the Army Training and Doctrine Command are not to be missed:
As some may be aware, I served as the U.S. Army V Corps commander in the initial combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom and participated in the ground attack to Baghdad in 2003.Related post here.
We faced challenges and endured sacrifices against a determined, resourceful, and capable enemy.
Now, terrorists and former regime loyalists are creating new challenges for both coalition forces and Iraqi authorities.
Yet, the world as a whole is a far safer and better place because of American and coalition commitment to removing the threat posed by Saddam?s regime and planting the seeds of democracy in the region.
Equally important, the Iraqi people have exercised their freedom, as evidenced by the January elections and the recent referendum on the Iraqi constitution. These elections, the first in more than 50 years in that country, never would have happened without boots on the ground ? the boots of U.S. Army soldiers and Marines.
Coalition forces emboldened the Iraqi people and created the conditions for polling places to be open and political freedom to be expressed.
It is the unmistakable charter of America?s military ? to provide opportunity to peoples around the world.
As I am sure most of you appreciate, the conflict we are engaged in is larger than Iraq, Afghanistan or the Middle East and it is more than a military problem. It requires strategic resolve on the part of the U.S. government and the understanding and commitment of the American people.