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I voted for George W. Bush because I feared that a “new Clinton administration,” under the leadership of Al Gore, would not be able to seriously address the terrorist threat and likely attacks which we were certain to face. (I did not vote for Bush because of any “commitment” to bring the Clintons and other corrupt public officials to justice, since he has steadfastly refused to enforce the rule of law against them.)
Indeed, it was Al Gore who – along with Bill and Hillary Clinton and their accomplices – contributed to the compromise of our national security seen during the Chinagate scandal, where state secrets were effectively sold to the communists for campaign cash. And, their administration looked the other way when Wen Ho Lee, the suspected Chinese spy, removed our nuclear codes from Los Alamos National Laboratories – classified information which he still refuses to account for despite a sweetheart plea agreement with the Reno Justice Department.
Their similar nonchalance about Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations is also well documented. Indeed, Hillary Clinton had no qualms about accepting campaign contributions from several Islamic terrorist front groups during her 2000 New York Senate campaign, and Bill Clinton, with Hillary’s obvious blessing, even pardoned Puerto Rican terrorists to give her Senate campaign another boost among some New York City voters.
Bill and Hillary Clinton and Al Gore clearly have blood on their hands for the deaths of over 3,000 Americans at the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, with more catastrophes likely to come.
I therefore expected an immediate national security review from President Bush and his administration when they took office. However, as Judy Miller of the New York Times reported just last Sunday, what the American people got was inaction. Ms. Miller, an acclaimed expert on terrorism, and hardly a Clinton-Gore fan in her own right, writes in a front page article entitled “A Nation Challenged: Missed Signals on Terror”:
Mr. Bush’s principals did not formally meet to discuss terrorism in late spring when intercepts from Afghanistan warned that al-Qaida was planning to attack an American target in late June or perhaps over the July 4 holiday.
They did not even meet even after intelligence analysts overheard conversations from an al-Qaida cell in Milan suggesting that Mr. bin Laden’s agents might be planning to kill Mr. Bush at the European summit meeting in Genoa, Italy, in late July. (See www.judicialwatch.org.)
Obviously, the tragedies in New York and Washington on Sept. 11 abruptly ended the malaise of the Bush administration and caused it to focus on the ongoing terrorist threat both domestically and abroad. In public appearance after public appearance, the new president boasted of U.S. military superiority, and vowed to bring bin Laden to justice quickly – “dead or alive.” The Bush administration rightly made the demise of bin Laden and his al-Qaida network the principal aim of its declared war in Afghanistan and the American people expected a full commitment of U.S. military might.
Time was of the essence to rid the world of bin Laden, because it was correctly feared that if given a chance to regroup, he and his Islamic terrorist fanatics would soon unleash even worse horrors on American soil, such as nuclear or bio-chemical weapons that could wipe out hundreds of thousands or even millions of our citizens. Indeed, bin Laden, al-Qaida and their ilk have admitted that their goal is not only to destroy America, but also to kill as many Christians and Jews as possible. Behind him stands an Islamic world largely sympathetic to his quest, no matter what gloss politicians try to paint to woo domestic Muslim votes.
But rather than committing full U.S. military might immediately to the war effort, George W. Bush’s first order of business, with the help of Secretary of State Colin Powell, was instead to rebuild the Arab coalition which his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, put together during the Persian Gulf War. These Arab states, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan – long tolerant of terrorism against Israel and the United States – argued for a go-slow approach in the Afghanistan war, with other obviously complicit terrorist states, namely Iraq, off limits to American counterattack.
As the impact of Sept. 11 set in, Americans rallied around the flag and the trappings of government. The fearful public looked for a political savior to take care of them and, naturally, embraced our new president. As a result, George W. Bush’s popularity shot up to over 90 percent, and any criticism – however constructive of the way he planned to conduct, and later did conduct the war, as well as investigations and court trials of terrorists – was condemned. Many in the media, both right and left, felt the heat of public opinion and became little more than “yes men” when it came to endorsing Bush administration war and counterterrorism efforts.
There was thus a natural political tendency by George W. Bush to try to continue to ride the newly found wave of popularity in his presidency. Borrowing a page from the Clinton-Gore administration, the Bush administration sought to fight the Afghanistan war with little-to-no military casualties. Ironically, while over 3,000 Americans were killed on Sept. 11, the new president feared that more than a handful of U.S. dead during the ensuing war could erode his political base. So it was decided that the major American involvement in Afghanistan would be an air war, not the commitment of significant ground troops. Rather, the U.S. military would enlist Afghan mercenaries, such as the Northern Alliance who, it was hoped, for the right cash and political incentive, would fight on the ground for us. Never mind that our Islamic Afghan colleagues had a history of being “bought and sold” by the highest bidder. Surely, Bush thought, they would do the right thing and help the United States capture or kill bin Laden, al-Qaida and its Taliban allies.
Meanwhile, the high U.S. military command, run by General Tommy Franks, was largely holed up in Tampa, Fla. – running the war effort from a safe distance far away from the conflict.
Nevertheless, because of the superior training and capabilities of our pilots and their aircraft, the air campaign proved a success for the Northern Alliance and other Islamic Afghan revolutionaries. The Taliban, al-Qaida and their forces were forced to leave the major cities and seek refuge in the mountains. A political coalition of Afghan tribes was summoned to Germany to plot the future of their country, and the United States, Great Britain, our western allies and of, course, the United Nations were quick to proclaim a “great day” in the name of nation building. They had just bought themselves a new country to occupy and police – adding to the swelling numbers, including but not limited to, such hell holes as Bosnia and Croatia. Besides, the new government in Afghanistan would restore women’s rights to a previously oppressed female population. How politically correct could it get?
Losing sight of the original objective of the Afghan war, to find, capture or kill bin Laden and al-Qaida, the Bush administration gloated and boasted over its “success,” as bin Laden, al-Qaida and Taliban forces were allowed largely to slip through the front lines of Afghan “freedom fighters” who had them surrounded at Kabul, Kandihar, and other key cities, not to mention the mountain caves of Tora Bora. Indeed, and predictably, there were reports of bin Laden, al-Qaida and Taliban leaders buying free passage from their Afghan adversaries. As George W. Bush and his advisers crowed that the “noose” on bin Laden, al-Qaida and the Taliban was tightening, the only things that were tightening were the pockets of Northern Alliance and other Afghan leaders – whose pants were stuffed with cash to allow the terrorists to escape.
Indeed, just this past weekend, it was disclosed by a Pakistani intelligence officer (later confirmed by Sen. Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee), that bin Laden is now likely in Pakistan, having bought his way to safe haven. He now remains free to plan and coordinate “bigger and better” attacks against the United States – and Christians and Jews everywhere – as he boasted just last week in a newly released video broadcast throughout the world. And, his presence in Pakistan, a radical terrorist Islamic state in its own right – which for the moment we have bribed with loan forgiveness and other perks to be our “ally,” and which possesses significant nuclear weapons – could destabilize the country further and create an even worse problem for the West. Additionally, a nuclear war with India may now be imminent due to recent Pakistani terrorists attacks on the Indian parliament.
Had the United States been willing to accept and take causalities, and itself joined in surrounding the cornered bin Laden, al-Qaida and Taliban forces in Kabul, Kandihar, Tora Bora and elsewhere in Afghanistan, fleeing terrorists might have been captured and killed in far greater numbers, and bin Laden would likely not be alive today.
But the Bush administration’s overly cautious approach has now bought time for bin Laden and his “band of merry men” to plot and carry out far more nefarious schemes than even Sept. 11. And, while the president’s men strain to dismiss fears that the anthrax attacks, crash of American flight 587, and the latest shoe bomb plot were not the work of bin Laden and al-Qaida – to try to deflect from possible blame for not being vigilant enough after Sept. 11 – the new Adolph Hitler continues to plan the destruction of Western civilization.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld – who while a “good soldier,” I suspect would have conducted the Afghanistan war differently if he had had his druthers (rather than those of Colin Powell and his Arab friends) – has gotten it right. We have not won the war in Afghanistan. There is a long way to go, and the real battles have yet to be fought.
It is dangerous for George W. Bush to continue to pound his chest and gloat about our “success,” as Osama bin Laden remains on the loose, without a noose around his neck. Now is the time to redouble our efforts, admit that the real objectives in Afghanistan have not been met, and recognize that if we do not catch or kill bin Laden soon, he will, with his 50,000 plus contingent of Islamic radicals, deliver a catastrophic blow to our country yet again.
This war against terrorism is not a John Wayne movie, and George W. Bush and his administration had better wake up before it is too late. If the president does not deliver fast, before bin Laden and al-Qaida strike again, his 90 percent popularity will go to near zero, and he will have a very hard time governing and uniting the people of this great country during an even worse crisis of unimaginable catastrophic proportions. Now is not the time for half measures, but a full commitment to fighting the war against terrorism. And yes, Mr. President, this will mean that the U.S. military will have to sustain casualties in the name of freedom and our nation’s survival, no matter what the political risks for your administration.
George W. Bush’s father did not finish “the job” by marching troops in Baghdad and capturing and killing Saddam Hussein during the Persian Gulf War, and now the Iraqi dictator likely possesses nuclear and biochemical weapons to use against us as an ally of bin Laden and al-Qaida. The second Bush presidency, and America at large, cannot afford to also snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by allowing bin Laden and al-Qaida time to slip away and regroup.