Iraq war keeps terror attacks off U.S. soil
OUR COUNTRY was victim of a major attack, thousands were killed, damage was horrendous. It was the most recent in a string of attacks in recent years.
We responded with military force and took over the nearest thing the terrorists had that could be called a country -- Afghanistan. We ousted the Taliban who trained the terrorists and handled their financing. But we didn't get all the bosses of the terrorists. There was no country they controlled and worked from, but there was one country right in the middle of it all that has caused endless damage and killings and was, at the very least, happy to be friendly and cooperative to our terrorist enemies. It was a place to have our military forces nearby to those who attacked us with the ability to continue to deal with them quickly and effectively.
All this about how dumb we have been; how "foolish" we are; Bush should be impeached; just another Vietnam; etc., is nonsense, and the only advice or plan that is offered is that we move out. Brilliant! Where to, North Carolina? Who will be tough with the terrorists after we go? They will surely be relieved that we're gone and can get back into the business of 9/11s wherever there are non-Islamites.
We'll get out in due course. Meantime, as critics are quick to point out as if it were a terrible mistake on our part, there are eager suicide bombers and other terrorists coming into Iraq where we can get at them.
Where else can we get at them? They all are being kept so busy trying to avoid being killed by us that they have not killed a woman or child or other innocent in the United States in more than four years! We regularly are killing them and setting up a reasonably free Iraq government to take over and be a friend in the Middle East.
Meantime, the terrorists have to keep hiding mostly in deserts and caves and killing handfuls of their own people and minimal numbers of allied forces instead of being outside the Middle East killing non-Islamic people.
They killed more than 3,000 Americans in half a morning in September 2001. We've stopped that sort of thing in our country for four years with a loss of little more than 2,000 of our soldiers, and our capable military is now operating amongst them.
That's why we have military forces -- the world seems always to have Hitlers and Stalins and Tojos anxious to get rid of us, our free society and our prosperous citizens. Our presence in the Middle East also has caused much more careful behavior on the part of Muslim neighbors of Iraq. Israel knows how to handle Arab countries. In this war on Islamic terrorism, American forces have not had countries to deal with -- only terrorists who sleep in different places every night. We've made mistakes, but we've accomplished at lot and learned a lot and stopped the killing in our own country.
I'm just another semi-military officer who thinks it's better to do away with people who kill you than to let them keep doing it. But I'm wide open to better ideas. Got any?
Cliff Coleman was active U.S. Army Air Forces from 1943-48, followed by 16 years as a civilian in the reserve status (1957-73, lieutenant colonel, U.S. Air Force, ret.).