"Some Americans want us to withdraw our troops so that we can escape the violence. I recognize their good intentions, but their position is wrong. Withdrawing our troops would make the world more dangerous, and make America less safe. To leave Iraq now would be to repeat the costly mistakes of the past that led to the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. The terrorists saw our response to the hostage crisis in Iran, the bombings in the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the first World Trade Center attack, the killing of American soldiers in Somalia, the destruction of two U.S. embassies in Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole. The terrorists concluded that we lacked the courage and character to defend ourselves, and so they attacked us. Now the terrorists are testing our will and resolve in Iraq. If we fail that test, the consequences for the safety and security of the American people would be enormous. Our withdrawal from Iraq would allow the terrorists to claim an historic victory over the United States. It would leave our enemies emboldened and allow men like Zarqawi and bin Laden to dominate the Middle East and launch more attacks on America and other free nations. The battle lines are drawn, and there is no middle ground: either we defeat the terrorists and help the Iraqis build a working democracy, or the terrorists will impose their dark ideology on the Iraqi people and make that country a source of terror and instability to come for decades." – President Bush (22 Sept 2005)
Via Security Watchtower.
The following is from a DOD press briefing on Tall Afar. The entire report is worth reading but this detailed description of the "terrorists" seems especially worthy of attention (via The Belmont Club):
I’d like just to briefly characterize the enemy, describe who we’re fighting here. This is an enemy, who when they came in, they removed all the imams from the mosques, and they replaced them with Islamic extremist laymen. They removed all the teachers from the schools and replaced them with people who had a fifth-grade education and who preached hatred and intolerance. They murdered people. In each of their cells that they have within the city has a direct action cell of about 100 or so fighters. They have a kidnapping and murder cell; they have a propaganda cell, a mortar cell, a sniper cell — a very high degree of organization here. And what the enemy did is to keep the population from performing other activities. To keep the population afraid, they kidnapped and murdered large numbers of the people here, and it was across the spectrum. A Sunni Turkmen imam was kidnapped and murdered. A very fine man, a city councilman, Councilman Suliman (sp), was pulled out of his car in front of his children and his wife and gunned down with about 30 gunshot wounds to his head. The enemy conducted indiscriminate mortar attacks against populated areas and wounded scores of children and killed many others. The enemy here did just the most horrible things you can imagine, in one case murdering a child, placing a booby trap within the child’s body and waiting for the parent to come recover the body of their child and exploding it to kill the parents. Beheadings and so forth.
fifth column fourth estate continues to undermine the good guys: Poll: Fewer than half think U.S. will win in Iraq:
On Thursday, Bush tried again to portray Iraq as a front on the global war on terrorism that began with the attacks of September 11, 2001, saying a U.S. withdrawal would only embolden terrorists.
CNN tried again to portray the situation as hopeless and to pretend the Jihadis in Iraq have nothing whatsoever in common with the 9/11 hijackers.