December 25, 2003

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if there was a way to measure the success of the war effort? It’s not like a basketball game where the team with the most points wins. It’s really more like a boxing match, where the fighter that lands the most punches is ruled the victor. Unfortunately the scorekeepers in this contest, the American public, are not counting punches. Instead they seem to be ready to throw in the towel every time our fighter gets hit. It definitely disheartens Americans to learn that another soldier has fallen in battle. But personally I can think of no greater injustice to those who have perished in the war than to give up on the fight before we see the cause through to fruition.

Well maybe the United States can deliver the knock out punch soon and not have to worry about the judges issuing a decision on the winner of the bout. The recent capture of Saddam is a start. This week there were a couple other victories for the effort that did not receive as much publicity. Libya announced it was ending its weapons of mass destruction program. The African country’s leaders boasted that the decision had nothing to do with the war in Iraq and the ouster of Saddam. Of course that’s like me saying that I take out the trash every Tuesday because I want to and not because my wife is waiting for me in the kitchen with a rolling pin in her hand and a list of 10 other honey do’s.

Moammar Gadhafi hopefully will just be the first of the world’s troubled leaders to see the light. Of course he had witnessed the results of challenging the United States earlier in his tenure so he had a bit of insight on what was likely to happen if he broke the rules again. When Saddam was captured in that hole in the ground, I suspect the Libyan leader decided he would much rather pursue peace and happiness and continue to reside in his palace.

While it wasn’t the knock out punch that would come with the capture or elimination of bin Laden, United Nations forces did strike a blow against al Qaeda. Coalition forces hit the terrorist organization in the pocketbook for the third time in recent weeks when a ship was captured in the Persian Gulf. The boat, believed to have direct links to al Qaeda, was filled with illegal narcotics. The good guys have captured tens of millions of dollars worth of heroin, methamphetamines and hashish that was believed to have been trafficked by the terrorist organizations to help fund their attacks against the United States and its interests.

While these victories might not earn the headlines that the daily car bombings and attacks on U.S. troops garner, I for one feel that these steps are leading toward the ultimate victory. One of the most notorious nations has seen the light and our troops have taken millions of dollars out of the terrorist’s pockets (not to mention deadly drugs off our streets). I say keep on throwing punches like that and the United States will win the bout.

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