"Heads" bin Laden wins, (turning) tails, Bush loses
By Nancy Salvato
Osama bin Laden, who has been in hiding and not heard from in over a year, has offered up a truce. Al-Jazeera, the "terrorist network", dispatched a portion of his audio message, in which the alleged benefits of cease fire are explained by the Ace of Spades himself. He would have us believe that his offer would satisfy those who desire peace and stability in exchange for our country giving him the consent to help rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.
Perhaps his doctor prescribed sunlight to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder and he couldn't think of any other means to safely exit his cave. One can only hope that those considering his proposal see it as either a desperate attempt to save face because the war against Islamofascism is showing no sign of letting up or as a deliberate attempt to fuel more anti-Bush rhetoric by those in the extreme left; unable to grasp the nature of the threat to our way of life by terrorists pledged to kill anyone unwilling to accept the Sharia version of Muslim faith. Can people seriously imagine for even one minute his claim, "We are a nation that God has forbidden to lie and cheat," to be true? If Bush dismisses the ploy he loses in the mainstream media for not taking advantage of the opportunity to end the conflict, regardless of the probability that bin Laden is just buying time. If Bush actually entertained the idea of sitting down and meeting with this extremist, then it will be considered a victory for radical terrorism.
His timing couldn't be better, midterm elections coming up in our own country and the first Palestinian parliamentary election since 1996 scheduled in Israel; where Hamas is running candidates for parliament the very first time. Hamas, long considered a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and Israel and known for launching repeated suicide attacks against Israel, has a charter that calls for Israel's destruction. Meanwhile, Iran is saber rattling by removing UN seals from equipment at Natanz facility. U.S. and European countries are more than a little concerned that assertions claiming Iran is only interested in small-scale nuclear enrichment are fabrications to hide the real intent to produce atomic bombs. Battle lines are blurred but ideological alliances are not. The 21st century Crusades have begun.
The ceasefire is colored by plans of a new attack if the U.S. doesn't accede these insignificant concessions. Basically, what has been submitted is a plan likely to set back any or all freedoms gained in Iraq and Afghanistan. His request brings to mind a recent Israeli decision to yield land to people who want nothing more than to eliminate Israel's very existence. As soon as the Jewish settlers pulled out of Gaza (under dispute though legitimately seized during the Six Day War), Hamas claimed this took place in deference to the constant barrage of terrorist attacks. Did Israeli leaders really believe anything changed since Yasser Arafat called on his people to fight and eliminate Israel? What did Israel gain in exchange for ceding control over the disputed land in Gaza? One must ask how giving in to bin Laden's demands would prevent future terrorist attacks or ensure our safety? All that has been put on the table is acquiescence for both sides to reorganize, recruit and train soldiers.
In a documentary about people who play Scrabble for sport, there was one segment about two players who have $500.00 riding on winning the best of 50 or so games. One of the opponents is clearly losing and realizes he is going to get cleaned out so he offers his challenger $250.00 to just end the thing. Both agreeing, they move on. Bin Laden hasn't admitted defeat and he certainly hasn't offered any reparations for the damage caused by 9/11 or the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 or a host of other terrorist acts in which he has been implicated.
The stakes in the war we're waging haven't changed and the prize is still the same; democracy and freedom or existence under Sharia law. Given that the President takes very seriously the oath of office he took to uphold and protect the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, he understands exactly what there is to lose. The people of this country have grown accustomed to their freedoms. Are we still willing to fight for them?
Nancy Salvato is the President of The Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational project whose mission is to promote the education of the American public on the basic elements of relevant political, legal and social issues important to our country. She is also a Staff Writer, for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets, where she contributes on matters of education policy. Copyright © Nancy Salvato 2006
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