Thursday, December 15, 2005


December 16, marks the anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge fought sixty one years ago. This was the last great European battle of the Second World War. The battle which raged for six weeks, cost some 19,000 American soldiers their lives, and left another 60,000, wounded or captured. In spite of the surprise and ferocity of the offensive, in spite of the huge number of casualties American (and British) soldiers persevered. The cause was clear. Europe was the central battleground against the Fascist ideology of the Axis. Surrounded in the town of Bastogne by a German force some six times the size of his own101st Airborne division, General McAuliffe was called on by the German commander to surrender. His one word reply has become legendary:


Today the soldiers of the 101st Airborne patrol the eastern half of the Sunni Triangle. While not outnumbered, they are surrounded, by a variety of enemies. Insurgents and terrorists who can blend into the local populace, strike with sudden fury, and disappear again. The loudest calls for surrender come not from an enemy force confident of winning. The shrill sound of surrender comes from those here at home who have never understood that war requires sacrifice.

Both WWII and our current conflict began with a terrifying attack on US territory. Both conflicts came to pass because the United States stood in the way of men with hateful ideologies. American power then and now was the key obstacle to the realization of totalitarian visions. And now as then the conflict takes on a global scope. The campaign in Iraq is meant to deny key terrain to the forces of Islamo-facsim. Al-Quaeda as an ideology seeks to transform the Middle East, and the rest of the Islamic world into a Caliphate a single theocratic empire, similar to today’s Iran, but Sunni rather than Shiite. Like the Fascists of the 20th century, these religious totalitarians exploit the dissatisfaction of their constituents.

Iraq has held a central position in the Arab-Islamic world since the first millennium. Under Saddam Iraq exported terror, instability and fear. His existence required a continued American presence in the region, and prolonged the conditions of misery that feed new members to al-Quaeda. The destruction of Saddam’s regime was a single operation in the greater campaign to secure the Middle East. His removal was necessary to defeat al-Quaeda

Today it sometimes appears that our enemies are winning. But this is mainly a result of the way the war has been presented in the media, and been criticized in congress. In December 1944, no one would have dreamed of declaring the war un-winnable. Then the media focused on the accomplishments and the victories of the American fighting man, not the casualty count. The congress stood behind the president, and the nation stood as one, knowing what was at stake. Today whenever the president makes an active effort to explain what is at stake in Iraq, his numbers go up. But then opposition in the media and in congress step up their own campaign to convince Americans that we should quit. Quitting would mean surrendering Iraq to terrorists, Saddamists, and the influence of neighbors like Syria and Iran.

General John Abizaid the four star commander of US forces in the mid-east recently addressed an audience of military officers at The US Naval War College. He reminded the officers there that our principle enemy is al-Quaeda. This worldwide coalition of terror, devoted to the Islamo-facist goal of a renewed caliphate seeks our defeat not on the battlefield where they are overmatched, but here at home in the minds and will of the American people.

The General urged the military’s brightest military mid-career officers to be mindful of this information campaign. He called to mind all the positives that go under-reported if reported at all. Power stations rebuilt, schools remodeled, local governments up and running their own affairs, are all ignored by the media. Elections are reported, but only grudgingly, with plenty of emphasis on violence and other problems. Abizaid called on the officer corps to combat this disinformation campaign. A virtual alliance between the liberal media, liberal politicians and our enemies. Abizaid, the US General leading the war, essentially urged his juniors to join him in telling our enemies and their supporters here at home:


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