Friday, January 20, 2006

Bin Laden Up Against the Ropes?

Osama bin Laden's latest radio show has him giving the typical rants: "America sucks, we're going to bomb you very soon, Iraq is a quagmire (he borrowed that one from Ted Kennedy, I think), etc., etc., blah, blah, blah."

What struck me though was his offer of a truce. That's fresh. A truce - which basically means we won't mess with you if you don't mess with us - between the radicals of Jihadistan and the United States. Just think about that for a moment. Why would bin Laden even tip his hand like that?

Is it some elaborate mind game? That's possible considering that rhetoric and subterfuge are key tools in the terrorist skillset. Perhaps it's an attempt to throw us off our game while he repositions his group for another round of international attacks.

Could it be that he's offering us a way out before he delivers his knockout blow? This can't be the case because we are not even close to being knocked out. If killing terrorists around the world is our business, then business is booming. We've been wiping these guys out left and right. There has not been a domestic terrorist attack since September 11, 2001, and we have firmly cemented our military presence in the Middle East pretty much indefinitely. Bin Laden may have access to vast resources in terms of money and young men willing to blow themselves up, but in the end it comes down to the words of Gen. George S. Patton: "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." 'Nuff said.

The last possible reason for bin Laden's truce option is the one I subscribe to. And that is the fact that Osama bin Laden is boxed in, and he is looking for a way out. You might be thinking that I am overly optimistic. But hear me out. The worldwide jihad that bin Laden had hoped for is clearly not going to happen. He has no state sponsors of any merit (Iran is a problem of its own making, and would be so with or without Al Qaeda). The U.S. war against him literally spans the globe and we are moving on every front all the time. And we have no intention of stopping until we are completely victorious. Five years, ten years, a hundred years; doesn't matter. Bin Laden doesn't have a hundred years. Nor does he have the resources to go toe to toe with us. Even his concept of defeating us by attrition is not working.

Only someone who has a deep fear of losing would offer a truce. That's a lesson we picked up in the school yard. The guy on top never calls for a truce. Why? Because he's on top. If victory is in sight, or if you believe strongly that you will be victorious, why call for a cessation of hostilities? Why settle for half when you know you can have it all?

I'm not saying we're going to wake up tomorrow morning and all will be right with the world. And I'm not saying this is the beginning of the end. But, to quote Winston Churchill, I do believe it is the end of the beginning.

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