In Mogadishu, Somalia, a coalition of radical Islamic groups, calling itself the Islamic Courts Union, has proclaimed that it now administers the Somali capital under "religious law." Though U.S. and allied forces are in neighboring Djibouti, the clerics and Islamic radicals appear confident that political discord in Washington will prevent any interference with their plans for establishing a Taliban-like regime.
And to prove once again that "good news" in Iraq is "no news" back home, the leaders of the "Get Out Now" movement either ignored or derided the announcement this week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, that "more than 500 artillery rounds containing Sarin and Mustard gases have been found in Iraq." Rather than congratulating U.S. troops for locating and destroying these weapons that would be lethal in the hands of terrorists, the "Blame America First" crowd denounced the find as "nothing but old ammunition dating to before the first Gulf War."
Until now troops fighting the war have shrugged off the critiques. Because they understand the consequences better than most, they have largely ignored calls from the Kerry-Murtha Axis to set a "hard and fast deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces." To an extraordinary extent they have continued to re-enlist and volunteer for repeat tours of duty in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones. And while all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines I have talked to in the last few weeks understand being held accountable for their actions -- they do not comprehend the politico-media fascination with negative news. Getting Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a one-day story. American "atrocities" are news forever.
Earlier this week, shortly before the Pentagon announced that seven Marines and a U.S. Navy Corpsman would be court-martialed for crimes in Iraq, Sen. Richard "Dick" Durbin, D-Ill., stood in the well of the Senate to complain that we were fighting a war "that has gone on for more than three years -- with no end in sight." The next day a recently returned soldier I had covered in Iraq for FOX News called me up and said, "If we pull out now, the terrorists win." He then asked, "Where will we fight them next -- here?" It's a question the defeatists dare not answer.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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