Dave, I'm going to apologize ahead of time to ya, so I'm sorry, but this blind statement really pisses me off, where you said that the US won't win against the terrorists...that is a really pessimistic attitude and shows that you are making blanket opinion statements without really knowing the facts. Not that I know all the facts, but I know people who do, and they give me the impression the small steps go a long way in this global effort to rid the world of terrorists.
Terrorism goes back decades, centuries and milennia, all it really means is unlawful acts of violence and war. There have been extremists and fundamentalists in almost every society. This is true, but the of the more than a billion Muslim worshipers in this world, only a couple percentage points are considered 'fundamentalist'. These small factions have lofty goals, believing they were sent by God (Allah) to cleanse the world of western civilization, the US being a dominant target.
I cannot tell you what it's like to experience terrorism in your city--there aren't really any words to describe the fear that the enemy uses against you. When the twin towers fell, the plane crashed in Pennsylvania, and the other plane hit the Pentagon, America was forever changed. More people died on September 11 (2998) than in the Pearl Harbor attacks (~2400) on December 7, 1941. If I remember correctly from history class, the US was trying to remain neutral in the Second World War--but when you mess with this country, America is not going to just sit back and take it, they are going to fight back. Well, I'm sorry, but Mr. Bin Laden and his bastard troop did a doozey when they launched the attacks on 9/11....at first, hearing of friends and family who were either killed, injured, or not able to get in contact with was unbearable....then after a couple days, the denial set in. A few days later, bargaining and then finally, acceptance, and a harsh realization that the US couldn't just sit back and let this happen.
That's when the gov't got to work and started the work in Afghanistan. I'm not going to comment on the 2003 invasion of Iraq b/c that is in it's closure stage now and everything is doing well. One of our own forum members did tremendous work over there, and aside from some factions of fundamentals, the future for Iraq looks much better than it did 6 years ago under the Hussein regime.
There is much work to be done in Afghanistan. It's going to take long hours of strategic counterintelligence strategy and outsmarting the Taliban and Al-Queda networks to get to the bottom of the situation. I truly believe that with the right work done, the US can defeat the Bin Laden network. Persistence pays off....if they didn't believe they could defeat them, they wouldn't be signing up the US military for 6 month and longer deployments. My buddy Dan Miller is slated to go over there this spring, and his orders don't even have a length on them yet.
I'm not at all straying from the seriousness of the situation, and I truly am grateful for the other nations that are helping the cause over there, including England's and our European allies. I just am extremely passionate about this because
1) I have a heart for Muslims in the middle eastern nations--and praying for the many who have to worship Jesus underground for fear they will be killed if discovered
2) In my first week of college in September 2001, my Pakistan: Islamic Frontier class was transformed into a huge discussion about the Bin Laden network and what needed to happen, and i made a few friends who were Muslims, and they explained to me that their religion was extremely peaceful, and that fundamentalists exist in every religious faction (just think of some Christian or Morman factions....)
3) this is the most important, but people very near and dear to me are overseas or have been. Yall know a couple from here on the forums, but also my cousin works as a US Marine in Embassies, my buddy Dan from above--a US Marine, and my dad, who served in the Beriut-Grenada insurgences of 1983-84, a Meditteranean peacekeeping mission in 1985-87, Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991, and a few other floats here and there. Over all, he was overseas or away from our house for over 12 years of his 20 in the service, my other cousin, another US Marine who was called 'back' to the service after getting out after 5 years of active duty service, and finally my little brother, who is due to be commissioned into the army as an officer next year in 2010. He yearns for the time he can spend overseas and serve his country because he wants to and because it's the right thing to do.
I have a maximum respect and high regard for anyone who serves overseas. This stuff just hits home whenever people talk about it, for me personally anyway. I'll never have to go over seas in a war zone because the remarkable women and men who serve over there fight for my freedom every day--and i mean military as well as civilians and contractors.
Anyway, I'm done now, I just wrote a thesis like you do Dave! Sorry about that, and you are still a cool dude, even if Barack Obama didn't say that