Friday, October 10, 2003

Blame Game: I keep hearing reports that President Clinton turned town offers from the Sudanese government to capture Osama Bin Laden several years ago. Apparently in 1996, Bin Laden was in the Sudan and could have easily been caught.

If this is true, then it's a shame that we missed such an opportunity. But let's not lose our heads over this.

Even if Osama bin Laden was captured years ago, that wouldn't have prevented 9/11 from happening. Al Qaeda is an expansive, versatile organization that's well funded and highly motivated. Bin Laden is its leader, but we shouldn't focus squarely on him. When he is eventually removed, someone else will take charge. If we had captured him years ago, we simply would now have another public enemy number one.

I'm tired of hearing conservatives blame Clinton for terrorism. They say he overlooked the first World Trade Center bombing, the attacks on American embassies in 1998, and the bombing of the USS Cole. While those were terrible attacks, something was missing when those occurred -- national outrage.

At the time, the attacks seemed like isolated incidents that would never manifest into a serious threat. The world, we knew, was violent, but we didn't fear for our homeland security. We were wrong.

Even when Bush campaigned for president, he said he would focus more on domestic issues and spend less time on international affairs. But after 9/11 he realized that America has to aggressively defend itself.

It's going to be a long process. I wish people wouldn't become so quick to give up when the road gets tough or things don't go exactly as planned. We have a war that we need to win.

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