Now Is Not the Time to Abandon the War on Terror, by Ak’Bar A. Shabazz

The recent terrorist bombings that rocked London and shocked the world should prove once and for all that the world needs to be more vigilant in the War on Terror.

The first brutal and deadly attack on London’s transit system as innocent citizens traveled to work – and its fizzled follow-up – shows the attackers’ level of ruthlessness.  It should instill and reinforce the determination in our leaders and the population in general.  These criminals have shown a blatant disregard for human life with their willingness to target women, children, the elderly and other civilians in their quest to intimidate the world.

Many will choose to only look at the cost in lives and resources and suggest abandoning the War on Terror.  This was pretty much the advice they followed in Spain after the Madrid bombing.  This would be terribly misguided and very near-sighted.  It is more advantageous, for example, to suffer a few potential stings to get rid of a small nest of hornets rather than letting that nest grow so large that it poses a great risk to others and is enormously difficult to remove.  Our struggle against terrorism. 

But many liberal politicians and their supporters seem more determined to oppose President Bush’s judicial nominations than the terrorists trying to harm us.  London’s suffering should cause them to reconsider their political motivations and support President Bush as the leader of this global war.

As a Muslim since birth, I am also appalled by the level of ignorance shown by some of our legislators when it comes to understanding the religious – quite frankly, the unreligious – aspects of this fight. Suggestions that American forces abandon Iraq and similarly diminish their numbers in the War on Terror will only encourage and embolden those who want to harm us and stop the democratic resistance movements within their own countries.

Contrary to popular belief, the terrorists are driven more by a twisted and fanatical ideology rather than religious convictions.  They do not respect age, sex, race or religion, and they will kill their own countrymen as quickly as they would anyone living in the most disputed parts of  a place such as Israel. 

Is the possibility of our military prison guards desecrating a Koran shocking?  These terrorists have shown they will blow up mosques as eagerly as they would destroy synagogues and churches.  Where is the outrage?  These people will crush anything and anyone who disagrees with their philosophy and actions, the writer included. 

The London bombings should encourage the world to be more adamant about erasing terrorism.  Let’s face it.  We have only two options: we fight them tenaciously or live under the their constant, intimidating threat.  There is no middle ground.  Increased diligence will weaken our opponents.  Decreased diligence will encourage them and ultimately weaken us.

The loss of innocent life affects pretty much everyone with a conscience.  Pictures of the aftermath of the first London attack brought back memories of America’s own brush with terrorism.  It should put starch in the spines of all who have doubted the importance of reclaiming peace and security by winning the War on Terror.  It should also remind them that it will not be a simple task. 

Our enemies will not go down easily, and there will still be domestic and international naysayers who will encourage us to abandon our priorities in Iraq and Afghanistan, while similarly lowering our posture towards Iran and North Korea.  As leaders of the free world, we must not allow the pessimists to diminish our determination.  If we do not stand strong, we’ll have more than a few hornet stings to treat.

Ak’Bar A. Shabazz, a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network Project 21,  is a business consultant and the president of Shabazz Enterprises.  Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.

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