Militant Muslims have long considered the UNited States a paper tiger. Much of the blame deserves to rest with President Clinton, who ignored attacks on US personnel and property for almost a decade. However, Clinton is not the only blame-worthy President. Presidents dating back to Jimmy Carter also deserve to share the blame for promoting the perception of the United States as a weak nation ripe for destruction. Even Ronald Reagan, who did so many positive things for this nation, deserves to share some of the blame.
Today marks the 24th anniversary of the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut by the Hezbollah organization. In this attack 241 Marines were killed and many other injured. This was the first assault by Muslim fanatics on the US military, as well as being the most serious assault on United States personnel since the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, and resulted in far more fatalities. Yet the U.S reaction left much to be desired.
President Reagan reacted by pulling the Marines out of Lebanon, resulting in Islamic fanatics being able to claim (with some reason) that they had defeated the United States. As a result, Muslims like Osama bin-Laden were able to claim that the United States lacked the will to oppose fundamentalist Islam, and thus they were able to use it as a recruiting tool.
Historically, only strength is respected by most Muslims. They have no respect or appreciation for other religions or other cultures. Islam teaches its adherents that Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists are animals- not worthy of anything other than ignominious slavery or death should they reject Islam's domination. If they are willing to live in a subserviant state, then they are allowed to live, though as Saudi Arabia shows, not with any real freedom. It is indisputable that a Muslim in a Christian/Jewish/Buddhist/Hindu country has more freedom than any of the above in a Muslim country.
So remember the brave Marines who were killed by cowardly Muslim terrorists. But remember their sacrifice with this caveat- if we fail again, their deaths are truly in vain, for only if we win in IRaq, and destroy al-Quaeda's credibility do their deaths mean something. Otherwise, should our lovely anti-war, anti-patriotic Democratic Party and their shills in the mainstream media manage to bring about defeat and withdrawal, we will succeed only in allowing our allies to be slaughtered and encourage the Islamic groups who long for a worldwide Caliphate. They may not be strong enough to win today, but if we retreat again and lose this campaign, they will be strong enough someday- especially if we allow Iran to gain nuclear weapons. I hope that our leaders recognize that winning this war is imperative, and that we can elect leaders who understand this- not political opportunists who would rather sell America to China than protect their fellow Americans.