Monday, December 27, 2004

A battle between democracy and terror

Our current enemies...are fighting an “unconventional” war. The combatants who attacked the Forward Operating Base Marez outside Mosul were not attempting to win a battle in the conventional sense; they did not hope to seize the camp any more than the suicide-terrorists who attacked on 9/11 planned to station tanks in New York and Washington.

Instead, the goal of terrorists is simply to slaughter and, of course, terrorize. By so doing, they mean to destroy our will to fight. Lose the will to fight and, by definition, you have been defeated – no matter how high-tech your weaponry, no matter how many troops you have riding in armored Humvees.

On a visit to Iraq this week, British Prime Minister Blair succinctly characterized the state of this conflict. “There surely is only one side to be on in what is now very clearly a battle between democracy and terror,” he said.

Only when the kind of butchery we witnessed this week strengthens, rather than weakens our resolve, will the barbarians see that the road they have chosen is a dead end – figuratively and literally as well.

Clifford D. May: A battle between democracy and terror