Middle Eastern Mishaps

Many conservative blogs have been linking this article about another Democrat moving away from the Democratic Party over the War Against Terrorism. Honestly that genre doesn’t excite me too much at this point, but it did have a really good timeline of an important topic—the US ignoring the fact that this war began more than 20 years ago. It lists:

1979 - The US Embassy in Iran was overrun by Islamic extremists who captured 66 Americans and held 53 of them for 444 days.

1983 - The US Embassy in Beirut was targeted by a truck bomb that killed 63.

1983 - The US Marine barracks in Beirut was destroyed by a truck bomb that killed 242 Americans.

1988 - US Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins, on a UN mission in Lebanon, was abducted, tortured, and hanged.

1988 - A bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 went off over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 on board and 11 people on the ground.

1993 - Terrorists drove an explosives-laden truck into the basement of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing six.

1993 - Followers of Osama bin Laden killed 18 American soldiers in an ambush on the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia.

1996 - The Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia was destroyed by a tanker-truck bomb killing 19 Americans.

1998 - US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were simultaneously attacked by truck bombs killing 301.

2000 - The USS Cole was attacked in the port city of Yemen; 17 died.

Halfhearted rescue attempts, trade embargoes, and a smattering of cruise missiles thrown at the problem by former leaders had no follow-through, no long-term commitment necessary to stave off the continued systematic attacks. Not until George Bush vowed to protect the US from those who sought to destroy it - even if he had to stand without the support of UN allies.

It is my contention that our half-hearted response to all of these attacks is precisely what gave Islamic fundamentalist extremists the impression that murdering Americans was a good method for getting America to do we they wanted. This coupled with the awful impression given by the fact that we went to war against Iraq in 1991 and then left Saddam in power. This impression may be furthered by the fact that we press Israel into negotiations after nearly every time Hamas murders Israeli civilians.

Democrats and leftists often talk about the need to win the hearts and minds of the Arab street. Ironically it is the multi-culturalists who are failing to take another culture seriously. For Islamist extremists our reaction to their attacks (pre-2001) emboldened their hearts for more vicious attacks and convinced their minds that our foreign policy could be shaped by murdering our civilians and attacking our soldiers. Until those on the left can find a way to change that impression on the hearts and minds of the Arab world, their foreign policy will be based on confusion.

Posted by Sebastian Holsclaw at January 2, 2004 2:47 AM