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|Measuring Our Enemies' Response||
The "War on Terror" has taken a course that, in my opinion, signals a level of success on the part of freedom-loving people around the world. Sometimes it is difficult to see success from our perspective as we hear constant reports of kidnappings, bombings, shoot-outs and other attacks. When focusing on the daily battles, it's hard to see the overall achievements of the war.
But if we look at the situation from the perspective of our enemies, I believe we can see significant success. In less than three years, the overall strength of al-Qaeda and related terrorists has been set back more than three decades. Now that our enemies are focusing their full fury on coalition attempts to provide the opportunity for freedom to be established, it seems to confirm that our actions are disrupting their agenda.
The recent attacks on non-military personnel -- oil workers, engineers, reporters, aid workers -- indicate a shift away from political targets in an attempt to undermine the stability of their own society. In doing so, the extremists reveal their true nature. Even their own countrymen are beginning to see the evil within their borders.
As Americans pull back in Iraq, the Saddam loyalists and other troublemakers have only their neighbors to attack. Hopefully, this will cause the silent majority of Iraqis -- those who wish to determine their own destiny rather than have it dictated to them by others -- to rise up and take control of their affairs.
The al-Qaeda affiliates, though verbally threatening to hit us again on our own soil, have merely been able to terrorize international workers inside Arab states. The kidnappings in Saudi Arabia have led to Arab-on-Arab conflicts as the Saudi police square off against the Islamic fundamentalists. Again, the course of the terrorists indicates a level of desperation.
Could it be that our enemies realize that as we rebuild the fallen dictatorships, freedom is taking root in their own backyards? Despite the inflammatory rhetoric of a few, the population at large is witnessing the fact that America really did come to liberate the oppressed peoples in Afghanistan and Iraq, not invade as an occupying force. The average citizen is witnessing the hard work of international corporations and individuals to put their infrastructure and economy back in working order, then turn it over to them. Our actions speak louder than our enemies' words.
This fact is not lost on the terrorists. I believe that they see the progress we are making and are reacting accordingly. But they are losing ground. Their reaction to the success of the campaign indicates to me that the coalition leaders are on target and their strategy is working. As long as we continue to improve the lives of the good people of all Arab states, those purveyors of destruction can only fail.