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Open Mike

It's a battle we can't win

Terrorism is something that each and every one of us faces each day, whether we realize it or not. Our world has changed because of terrorism, and not for the better.

The amazing decisions President George Bush or even British Prime Minister Tony Blair have to make every day regarding terrorism is something that I do not envy. I especially don't envy what our brave soldiers who fight for freedom abroad have to go through.

But yesterday's terrorist attacks in London made me realize something. We are fighting a battle we can't win.

The president says with the utmost confidence the battle against terrorism is a fight we can win. I disagree. We can't and it is time people realize this fact.

Terrorism is something that will never go away. It will never end. It will never be buried. It will always have a face and a place in the world.

In my younger days, I was against the original war, or battle (whatever you want to call it), that the first President Bush launched on Iraq in the early 1990s. What business did we originally have becoming involved in Iraq? I am still against the war today. The sales pitch for that battle in the 1990s was we were trying to rid the world of an evil person in Saddam Hussein. All the elder President Bush did was open a Pandora's box of evil that we are paying for today with his 1990s campaign in Iraq.

We finally captured Saddam a couple of years ago after Bush's son finished the work of his father in Iraq. But things haven't gotten better. In fact, things have only gotten worse. People are being killed left and right abroad. Some 1,700-plus United States soldiers have died in Iraq trying to implement democracy in a country that doesn't know the first thing about freedom.

We live in the greatest country in the world, but more often than not we forget that others don't have a grasp of what the freedom we have tastes like and what to do with it once they have it. But we still try to shove that illustrious taste of freedom down their throats. We do live in the greatest country in the world, but our leaders often forget to address the problems we have here at home before trying to change the world elsewhere.

None of us will ever forget the horror of Sept. 11. Could you imagine being the president and having to deal with such an unprecedented situation? But what has been accomplished since Sept. 11? There has been no justice brought forth to honor those who lost their lives that day. Why did those people in New York and Washington D.C. lose their lives? What sparked this great crusade of terrorism we have seen in the 21st Century?

I was reading a 1985 edition of the Sunnyside Sun, where Congressman Sid Morrison wrote a guest editorial on the United States needing to do something to combat terrorism. Terrorism is something our leaders have been looking at for some time. Why wasn't anything done to help combat terrorism at that time? Why weren't the wheels put into motion to address the problem? Why, even as great as a country as we are, do we have to wait until something catastrophic happens to make changes?

We live in a different world after Sept. 11 and I am sure things will change as a result of the London terrorist attacks on Thursday. The government likes to tell us that our lives haven't changed, but they have. We live under the umbrella of big brother even more, having to watch every step we take, like children on a playground being afraid of a bunch of bullies. In my opinion, terrorism rules the world today. We just haven't realized it.

As sad as it is to say, the fight against terrorism is one we can't win. If we ever catch Osma Bin Laden, there will be someone to take his place and someone to take that guy's place and so forth. Terrorism has many faces and the sad part is we don't know what any of them look like until it is too late. People like Osma have tremendous resources and the amazing part of it all is even with all of the intelligence and technology we have at our finger tips, we can't find one little pathetic man with health problems.

The one encouraging part in all of this is that even though we will never win the war on terrorism we have the courage to fight the battle. We are the greatest country on the earth, and even with all of our faults, our one defining characteristic is courage, the ability to stand up and fight. I suppose that sometimes all it takes is the ability and will to fight the good fight in hopes that we can beat that which can't be beat.

. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at mkantman@eaglenewspapers.com

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