My days of involvement in dealing with terrorism are long gone. The technical equipment is almost beyond my understanding. Motivation of both terorists and those who resist it is a vastly different creature to the one I knew.
All that said, I feel that I have to comment on an item written by someone who is in today's struggle for freedom and sanity.
He talks about the concept of losing. "What frustrates me most of all is the number of Americans that are rooting for us to lose. From media, to politicians and political pundits, to folks who just have no clue but put on airs of knowing all, there is a definite segment of the American population who genuinely wants us to lose this war".
Sure, when guys are losing their lives seeking a victory, this defeatist talk is very hard. What I think the writer overlooks though is that there can be no lasting victory. A temporary winner? Yes. I always summed up the difference between the good goys and the bad guys as that we wrere prepared to die in defence of our beliefs. The terrorist sought death as a means to achieving his end. We can devise what we think are winning strategies. Compromise. Bargain. Seek partnerships. But, the terrorist sees only victory in his terms and to his satisfaction. Sooner or later the individual terrorists will come together from their place on the losers pedestal and workuntil they have the critical mass needed to make themselves a force to be reckoned with.
Jack Army ends his item with "I'd rather fight them here, in another country, away from my family and my fellow countrymen. More than that, I'd rather defeat them here, in a country trying hard to be free, trying hard to be secure, trying hard to be lead by good people rather than terrorists in politicians clothing" To me, the killer phrase here is "trying hard". Trying hard won't hack it. It seems to me that there has to be such a sea change in conditions in Iraq as to be impossible to comprehend. Conditions change from day to day. Alliances break up and re-form. What lasts a year may well break after a year and a day. The Iraqi people are quite capable of reflecting what we want them to say. They have been around a long while and are happy to play the long game.
Whilst I can have no real comprehension of 9/11, I can accept it as powerful motivator in the idea of fighting terrorism at its roots rather than in amongst ma and pa. There is - to me - the factor that on one's own ground one has the advantage. Counter-terrorism procedures must be easier when one is doing better than 'trying hard'. Corruption in an Arab country is almost endemic but better combatted when all are speaking the same language.
Just to repeat. Easy for me to seem to criticise from the comfort of my own home. I've spent time away from home in unpleasant conditions and danger to know that. To me, the writer and his comrades deserve the highest respect just for being in the God-forsaken country. To keep on trying in the face of what they see as carping and back-stabbing onlookers is an enhancement of their courage and bravery.