I am utterly convinced that, in order for the US to lead a successful fight against terror, there is one question they must ask themselves, and fully understand the answer to:
Do they understand why some people/nations/groups might hate them so much that they want to carry out attacks like that of September 11th?
In my experience (both personal and by watching their media coverage of it), many Americans don’t even think of that as a valid question, and certainly not one they should be considering.
I think reading about this fellow, as well as the father of much of this insanity, Sayyid Qutb (bin Laden’s original inspiration–read the article linked to by my post) answers a number of questions about why they hate us.
The real question is, what do we do about it? Sure, we can invade Iraq and other large swatches of the Middle East, and know that we have a 99.9% chance of either winning, or turning whichever country we invade into what one reporter once described as “a self-lighting parking lot” (which of course, is victory, only far messier.)
But assuming we don’t rely on the latter option, then what? Do we really have the nerve (and we’ll need a lot of it) to commit to the same scale of political re-education that we applied to the belligerent nations of Japan and Germany after World War II? Because otherwise, all we’ve done is achieve a temporary victory. A good one–one that benefits the people of whichever country or countries we liberate, but a temporary victory nonetheless.
Was it the Powell Doctrine which said don’t attack without having an exit plan? I hope Bush has one in mind, otherwise, our war on terror will be one of those “wars on” wars that never ends.
UPDATE: While I was writing this, Sgt. Stryker has also responded to Group Captain Mandrake’s response to his original post. (Sgt. Rock and General Ripper remain sadly unresponsive, however.)