Feet First

March On Soldier

"It was the year everything changed.
- Stephen Franklin, "Babylon 5"

Even in the midst of war, one can find something amusing. The Oct. 29 issue of the New York Times (Motto: "We Hate Luis Gonzalez") featured the headline, "Rebel Alliance Is Frustrated By U.S. Raids." I wonder just how detached from popular culture are the editors of the Times. How would Yoda say it? "Frustrated by Raids, Alliance Is."

Aside from errantly humorous headlines, it's difficult for Americans to find positive news to read, at least from their perspective. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, a larger-than-should-be-expected number of Americans have doubts about the war.

The United States has complete mastery of the skies over Afghanistan; strategic bombing continues with little if any effective resistance; American incursions into Taliban territory are unimpeded and our ragtag band of allies are poised to capture Mazar-i-Sharif in the north from opposing forces.

Coupled with little casualties and no combat deaths, the war is almost a flawless exercise in military conduct against an inferior but mobile and dedicated foe. Yet 58 percent of those polled said the war was going "only somewhat well." Thirteen percent held the opinion the war was "going badly."

The thirteen percent can most likely be dismissed as those who are opposed to "fighting hate with hate," or some other catch phrase devised during an evening of narcotic consumption. These folks prefer a peaceful solution through legal means, like that panoply of idiots, the United Nations. If "legal means" meant parachuting hordes of American trial lawyers into Kabul like the 101st Airborne Division, then onward brave soldiers.

It's that 58 percent which worries me. "Only somewhat well"? What more is necessary? Does that sack of human excrement Osama bin Laden have to be led in handcuffs to the White House? Does the Taliban's one-eyed leader, Mullah "Popeye" Omar need to be stoned with unsold copies of "The Wit and Wisdom of Carson Daly"?

"Only somewhat well," to these people, means they think the war should have been over by now. Marines should be dining in Kabul and being filmed watching mediocre NFL football by CNN. U2's Bono should have visited to plead for aid and show the Afghan children what an Irish man looks like.

Americans should realize the past ten years were a historical aberration. The rapid victory in the Persian Gulf War was against a bully who only picked on those smaller than him. The ease of that victory created an impression that American military techniques and technology are superior to the point of overwhelming.

The remote bombing practiced by the Clinton administration only served to reinforce this idea of war waged on the cheap. War is not precision bombing over the course of a week. It's not lobbing Tomahawk missiles at the Sudan as part of a half-assed "war on terrorism." Americans are used to cheap "victories" meant to score political points, not achieve military objectives.

This war will not be quick, nor will it remain confined within Afghanistan. The target is not just bin Laden, or al Qaeda, but international terrorist cells across the world. The President has made this abundantly clear since Sept. 11. American military officers are advising the Philippine government on how to stamp out the Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic separatist group in the southern Philippines.

Mohamed Atta, suicide pilot and current resident of hell, met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague earlier this year, according to the FBI. If it is revealed Iraq assisted or sponsored the attack, then the United States has no choice but retaliate against Saddam Hussein and his government.

The President has demonstrated a willingness to conduct the war properly. The administration is correctly leaning against suspending bombing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. After applying relentless pressure against an enemy, to allow them a month to recuperate is criminally stupid.

The humanitarian aid packets dropped for Afghan refuges were the same color as cluster bombs. The Pentagon announced they would change the packets' color from yellow to blue. When asked if use of cluster bombs would cease, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said no, they were quite effective in killing terrorists and Taliban.

The military knows its job is to kill and break things. The American people do not want a repeat of Sept. 11. In order to accomplish that, the fight needs to be taken to al Qaeda and other international terrorists. The sooner they realize that, the better this world will be.

The fight must go on. Why? My credit card is inaccurate. When applying, I asked for a Niagara Falls background. For some reason, they sent me the Manhattan skyline, including the Twin Towers. Thousands of Americans are now buried where those towers once stood.

This war is necessary to punish those guilty, avenge the dead and destroy the responsible network of terrorists to prevent them from striking again.

And I need a new credit card. Bastards.