Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, October 27, 2003  

First, text juxtapositions:

Don Rumsfeld, writing in yesterday's Washington Post:

Terrorists have a sizable advantage. A terrorist can attack at any time, in any place, using virtually any technique. And it is not possible to defend every potential target at all times in every place against every form of attack. That being the case, the way to defeat terrorists is to take the war to them -- to go after them where they live and plan and hide, and to make clear to states that sponsor and harbor them that such actions will have consequences.

News from the front in Iraq:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Suicide bombers struck the Red Cross headquarters and three police stations across Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 35 people and injuring more than 200 in a coordinated terror spree that stunned the Iraqi capital on the first day of the Islamic holy month of fasting, Ramadan.


That is what President Bush is doing in the global war on terrorism. When our nation was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, the president immediately recognized that what had happened was an act of war and must be treated as such; that weakness can invite aggression; and that simply standing in a defensive posture and absorbing blows is not an effective way to counter it.

Iraq, yesterday

It also appeared to be a dramatic escalation in tactics, suggesting a level of organization that U.S. officials had doubted the resistance possessed. In past weeks, bombers have carried out heavy suicide bombings but in single strikes....

Sitting next to civilian U.S. Iraqi administrator L. Paul Bremer in the Oval Office, Bush said he remains "even more determined to work with the Iraqi people'' to restore peace and civility to the wartorn nation.


That is why the president is using all elements of national power: military, financial, diplomatic, law enforcement, intelligence and public diplomacy. Because to live as free people in the 21st century, we cannot live behind concrete barriers and wire mesh. We cannot live in fear and remain free people. The task is to stop terrorists before they can terrorize. And even better, we must lean forward and stop them from becoming terrorists in the first place. That is a lesson we learned two decades ago in Beirut.


The bombings came hours after clashes around Baghdad killed three U.S. soldiers overnight, and a day after insurgents hit a hotel full of U.S. occupation officials with a barrage of rockets, killing a U.S. colonel and wounding 18 other people. U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was in the hotel, but was unhurt.

"We feel helpless when see this,'' a distraught Iraqi doctor said at the devastated Red Cross offices. The Red Cross said 12 Iraqis were killed at its office, including two employees.


That is why our country and our 90-nation coalition is at war today. That is why we have forces risking their lives at this moment, fighting terrorist adversaries in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere across the world. It is also why it is critical that our country recognize that the war on terrorism will be long, difficult and dangerous -- and that as we deal with immediate terrorist threats, we also need to find ways to stop the next generation of terrorists from forming. For every terrorist whom coalition forces capture, kill, dissuade or deter, others are being trained. To win the war on terror, we must also win the war of ideas -- the battle for the minds of those who are being recruited by terrorist networks across the globe.


The rocket attack Sunday struck the Al-Rasheed Hotel, where Wolfowitz was staying at the end of a three-day Iraq visit. The deputy defense secretary said afterward that attack "will not deter us from completing our mission'' in Iraq.

But the bold blow at the heart of the U.S. presence here clearly rattled U.S. confidence that it is defeating Iraq's shadowy insurgents.

posted by Jeff | 8:42 AM |
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