Why the terrorists continue to win – In 2003, I began to write that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were winning what was known then as “the war on terror” because the Bush administration had overreacted to the 9/11 attacks and was spending billions of dollars waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wrote then that we played directly into the hands of bin Laden, who wanted America to exhaust itself physically, emotionally, and financially.
Unfortunately, I was right. A Harvard University study says taxpayers have paid $2 trillion in war costs thus far – with most of it borrowed from China. The final bill will be $4-6 trillion, including decades of medical and disability payments for military veterans over the next 30-40 years.
The U.S. military says 4,493 service members have been killed to date, with more than 32,000 injured. Reliable estimates are that 1.4 million Iraqis have been killed since the 2003 invasion.
Even as Bro. Prez is winding the two wars down, ISIS – Al Qaeda’s crazier younger jihadist brother – is successfully reprising the same strategy by ginning up fear of beheadings, torture, etc.
It’s had its effect. According to some polls, seventy percent of Americans think it’s time to put U.S. “boots on the ground” to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq – with no requirement that countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or Jordan put their military at risk first.
The jihadists aren’t dumb. They know that politicians will use them as effective “boogie men” to focus citizens on using military rather than diplomatic responses. Nobody wants to deal with one of the elephants in the room: modern Israel’s refusal to negotiate with Arabs (Palestinians) who were displaced in 1948 after victorious World War II allies pushed the United Nations to carve out land for European Jews, who then established a nation in a hostile Arab “neighborhood.”
Clearly, Bro. Prez understands all this. Though he’s made mistakes in the Middle East, especially regarding America assisting the murder of Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi, he hasn’t stumbled to date into a full-on military invasion – despite what the polls say. Bravo for that…
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