The conflict once known as “the war in Iraq” or Operation Iraqi Freedom now has been given a new name – Operation New Dawn. That is encouraging but it still is just a new title for a war that has been far more costly than we ever could have imagined, but which now seems to be trending toward stability and ultimately democracy.
The number of American troops in Iraq now has fallen below 100,000 for the first time since the conflict began in 2003, and parliamentary elections are slated for March. The American death toll in recent months has fallen to zero. And even far-left Newsweek magazine has a cover saying that Bush finally has won in Iraq!
In considering these hard-won victories it is important to remember that in 2006 then-Senate minority leader Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada said, “The war is lost.” And the whole Democrat party, along with its compliant media, joined in a chorus of doubt. Now, however, it appears that Reid is going to be voted from office in November, which shows that there is such a thing as poetic justice.
What a difference four years make. The Democrats were more than ready to throw in the towel and concede defeat, which would have been a huge blow to America and to the War on Terror.
Instead, we have a tentative victory in Iraq and improving conditions in Afghanistan where US forces have taken the Taliban stronghold of Marjah. Our boys took it back though sheer, brute force and on February 17 it was announced that bridges, roads and government centers in Marjah now are under the control of American forces.
As the tide in Afghanistan and Iraq are shifting, so is the political tide in America shifting against the defeatist Democrats who just six months ago were reminding us that everyone from Alexander the Great to the Soviet Union had been driven from Afghanistan in defeat.
But our troop “surge” worked in Iraq and now seems to be working in Afghanistan as well, while the New York Times and the university elites were bloviating that we were headed for defeat in both.
Near Karachi, Pakistan, Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was captured on the night of February 10-11 by security forces in a nation that now is using its intelligence wisely. Some reports say that US agents helped in pinpointing Baradar.
Baradar’s capture is likely to provide a treasure trove of intelligence that will lead to more captures and more death and destruction for the bad guys. Another major Taliban leader in northern Pakistan was seized within ten days of Baradar’s capture. And don’t expect Pakistan to give Baradar American Constitutional rights or to read him his Miranda warning – even though ACLU will somehow demand both.
Is the noose tightening on terrorism worldwide?
It seems so despite the Democrats’ insistence that we could never prevail in such a war.
One of the most interesting developments of all is the widespread deployment of pilot-less lightweight Predator ‘drone’ aircraft that are flown by remote control. All over Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, drones are launching small missiles that are killing top terror leaders left and right. With these strikes coming from out of the blue from airplanes that cannot be detected from the ground, we now have developed a solution to the problem of so-called “asymmetric warfare”.
In asymmetric warfare, the US plays by the rules against terrorists who don’t. They use every underhanded tactic to attain their goals from targeting civilians, to suicide bombing, to using women and children as shields, to firing from mosques and cemeteries, to refusing to wear the uniform of any nation.
Yet now the drones are said to be striking as much fear in terrorists’ hearts as terrorists strike in the hearts of innocent people everywhere, which is a wonderful thing to behold. Imagine you are a terrorist sitting in a house in a remote corner of rural Afghanistan on a sunny day. Your lookouts see no evidence of advancing ground forces. There are no jets flying overheard and the sky appears clear. Yet suddenly you and your house are blown to bits by a compact Hellfire missile fired from an American Predator that nobody could even spot, much less shoot down.
Such an attack is just as devastating and unexpected as a car bomb in a Baghdad marketplace. And that is its beauty. In fact it is just like a terrorist attack… on the terrorists themselves. And now accounts of these surprise strikes are spreading rapidly and they are instilling fear in the terrorists themselves.
So the question is: How will terrorists train and recruit others if they themselves are running scared?
Answer: They cannot. And increasingly the Predator strikes are putting huge psychological stress on the bad guys. This is great news for the civilized world. We are giving the terrorists a taste of their own medicine. We have developed our own form of asymmetric warfare.
As another indication that the tide is turning, even Muslims are being reported as increasingly angry with Al Qaeda for killing mostly Muslims with its assaults.
And who said we could never beat the bad guys, that terrorists were invincible in fighting a guerilla-style war against us? Who said that there is an endless supply of terrorists?
The Democrats did, along with our leftist media and the university professors who never, ever have fought in war or even cared about our freedoms.
Indeed it appears that we are finally turning the corner in the War on Terror despite Obama’s dithering and the Democrats’ insistence on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Even as restrictive American rules of engagement have led to canceled kills when other innocents might have died as well, we still appear to be turning the tide.
Because our mission always has been honorable – to establish decent governments in a region known for tyranny and violence. And only through sheer force of will and determination – along with far, far too much American blood – the world appears to be changing for the better.
While the job is still far from done, it sure looks better than it did a few short years ago. And we all must be thankful to our armed forces for doing a job that the rest of us never ever would do, but which has been absolutely critical to preserve our own freedoms and to spread the concept of liberty around the globe. God bless them all.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.