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August 23, 2002

The Al Qaeda Ant Hill

The Al Qaeda Ant Hill

Over the past few months, going on a year, I have become a bit concerned that Americans (in very general terms) do not completely understand the nature of the terrorists we are waging war against, and therefore have set faulty goals for its declared completion. So much focus is being placed on knowing the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, and American citizens seem to believe that the elimination of this individual will somehow rid us of the threat of future terrorism on our soil. Unfortunately, in an effort to appease the voting public, our government appears to have adopted this as priority number one as well.

While the topic may have been pushed on the back-burner in recent weeks, allowing other current events to be covered on page 1 of local newspapers (stock market, corporation scandals, the new Anna Nicole Smith show), the hunt for Osama is alive and well. We as tax payers are demanding his arrest and/or assassination, preferably catching the latter on tape and selling it to CNN for the sum of $30,000. The government gives us updates on the search for this man, telling us they donít know of his whereabouts, not even knowing if he is dead or alive. The absurdity of this begins for me when we spend money to do DNA testing on corpses in Afghanistan to try to identify if he has been found among the remains. Is the point of this expense just so that our government will have information to give to the public in order to make us feel as though they have rid the world of a menace, thereby giving us an inner peace which allows us to spend money and live our lives in the same manner we did prior to September 11th?

While I would welcome the finding that Bin Laden was torched and died a painful death among a gaggle of Afghanistan women who kicked him as he lay frying in the middle of the road, I understand that does not mean that the threat of global terrorism has been eradicated. I want us to find him (or his charred remains), and I support our search for him, but his capture and/or death should be viewed as little more than a good photo-op for those involved in that event. The threat of terrorism is still very real.

Al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations, should be viewed as those troublesome ant hills that appear on the landscapes of our lawns. We can treat that hill. We may burn it, cover it with ant death serum, pee on it, or blow it up with small firearms (a personal favorite) and that may kill those ants living in that hill, but it by no means completes the process. Over the next few days, weeks, or months, we must still monitor our lawns and deal with other hills that may be built as a result of us erasing that hill from our property. Simply by killing some of the ants, or the Queen Ant (in this case Osama Bin Laden) the problem is not over. As long as one ant remains, or one terrorist, the threat is still possible. While the strength is diminished, there is some danger.

While Bush did not get my vote in the election, he has my support. Perhaps his methods are not agreeable to everyone, but Americans need to be patient and understand that if and when Osama Bin Laden is captured and/or more likely killed, this fight is not over. He is the face that we have put on this enemy, but he is by no means the hands that delivered the punch in September.

Removing fire ants from a yard is time consuming and can be extremely frustrating work. This by no means suggests that the work is not worthwhile. We must remove the entire colony, not just the queen.

Posted by Woundwort at August 23, 2002 12:44 PM | TrackBack
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