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Hey, everyone. I just got back from R & R in Qatar. It was nice to be away, but I'm glad to be back, because now I am one day closer to going home! :)

Anyway, I've been reading lots of posts about the "cowardly terrorists" and their "cowardly acts". Let's get a few things straight about terrorists and terrorism.

1) One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Our perception of the Al Queida et all is they are cowardly terrorists. They are terrorists, by our definition, but they are far from cowardly. They are fighting a war against an enormous coalition. They are severely outnumbered, outgunned, outfinanced and outmanuvered. Yet, they continue to fight -- even once captured and released (as in some of the Gitmo prisoners), they return to continue the war against "Imperialistic America". They are far from cowardly. They are strictly fighting a war where they can get the most damage and PR with the minimum amount of resources. Theirs is definitely not a conventional war. Theirs is a guerilla war, where one or two people with a few thousand dollars worth of equipment can stop a convoy or a patrol with dozens of soldiers mounted on millions of dollars of equipment. Theirs is an offensive war, and they are attacking weak points against an incredibly larger foe. Is it "right" to wage war the way the terrorists do, in accordance with the Geneva convention and the Law of Land Warfare? Absolutely not. It is smart? Incredibly so.

2) Terrorists are cowards.

Terrorists are fighting a war against a belief system and not against a country, per se. It just so happens that they have named the USA as the "Head" of that belief system and the source of that belief system. They are willing to die for their beliefs. They also view ALL of America and our allies as "the great Satan" so, they have no problems with killing a defenseless contractor, a woman, a soldier, or even a Red Cross worker. Their rules are "Kill anyone and destroy anything connected to the great Satan". They have few rules and have no regulations about warfare. That doesn't make them cowards. That makes them unorthodox in their warfighting proceedures.

3) Terrorists are stupid.

We have seen IEDs and VBIEDs <improvised explosive devices and vehicle born IEDs> made of cardboard boxes, MRE bags, soft drink cans, animal carcasses, old munitions (some of it 30 to 50 years old), fertilizer, home made chemicals, rocks as schrapnel -- you name it and these terrorists have used it. They are far from stupid. They are using what they can scrounge up to fight against a colation that uses $40 million jets, $10 million helicopters and $3 million dollar tanks and they are fighting effectively. Very seldom does a day go by that the media doesn't report of an American casualty or injury. The terrorists are using the equivelent of rocks and clubs against mulitmillion dollar machines of war and the media to wage their war. They are far from stupid.

4) Terrorists will give up.

They feel they are fighting a holy war. They will never give up. They will all fight until the last person. That is where we need to be focusing our fight: Not against the terrorists as people, but against the attitude they foster in others. Once we, as a coalition started winning over the "hearts and minds" of the general population, we started making great progress in Iraq and Afghanistan. The terrorists have people everywhere and they are beginning to stand aside, to allow progress. They are also allying themselves with the new government, and getting themselves into positions of authority and power -- unbeknownest to the coalition. These "dual agents" will no doubt sow the seeds for future actions, but it cannot be proven at this point.

All in all, I still think we are doing a good thing here. But I am also pragmatic enough to know that this will never be over, and the US can never "walk away" from this tar baby. The future generations of terrorists will only become more ingenious and more devious. They will understand that those who rule the people's hearts will rule the country, and they will stop at nothing to gain that rule.

That is why, in my opinion, the US has stepped into a hole that we will never be able to get out of.


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