Sunday, April 11, 2010

War on Terror

I am not very well educated on the War on Terror so I decided to do some research so I don’t sound completely ignorant on the subject. What I found was a long string of events that eventually led to President Bush’s declaration of “War on Terror”. In May 1996 Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden started forming a large base of operations in Afghanistan, in which the Islamist extremist regime of the Taliban had seized power that same year. Following the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, President Bill Clinton launched Operation Infinite Reach, a bombing campaign in Sudan and Afghanistan against targets the U.S. believed were associated with al-Qaeda, although others have questioned the Sudan plant's use as a chemical warfare plant(the plant produced much of the region's malaria drugs and around 50% of Sudan's pharmaceutical needs). The strikes failed to kill al-Qaeda's or Taliban's leaders. Next came the 2000 millennium attack plots which included an attempted bombing of Los Angeles International Airport. Then, In October 2000 the USS Cole bombing occurred, followed in 2001 by the infamous September 11 attacks. Having obtained this information, I feel as if the initial declaration made by President Bush to go to war against terrorism can be justified because there were many precursors other than the September 11 attacks that proved terrorism is a cause worthy to be fought over.

Though many believe that President Bush’s decision was rash and simply full of emotion, he knew that this war would be a process and was fully aware of the possible transgressions. In a speech made at Camp David, President Bush mentioned that, "This crusade - this war on terrorism - is going to take a while…And the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient. But I can assure the American people I am determined." Bush was determined to end terrorism completely and though his term is over, the fight to defeat al-Qaeda remains as part of the Obama presidency. As bush stated the war “will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated”. I believe that Americans do need to embrace their patriotism more and though the war on terror has received much criticism, the American people should remember what they are fighting for: freedom. However cliché it might sound, if we give up the fight now we are simply handing over our vulnerability to al-Qaeda showing them that we cannot finish what we started. The U.S. has been successful in eliminating mass terrorism and the so-called war on terror seems to be over, but the issue that most Americans have hardest time with is the seemingly never ending Operation Iraqi Freedom. Many Americans feel as if our job in Iraq is over, and we should concentrate on our own countries well-being rather than Iraq’s. I agree that the war in Iraq has gone on longer than we anticipated, but because we are so deep in the country we cannot take all our troops out now and expect everything to work out just fine. There is still a lot of work needed to be done for Iraq to become a stable nation and Americans need to take the advice from President Bush and “be patient.”

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