In a move that defines ‘special operations,’ Abu Anas al-Libi, a suspect in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was whisked off the streets of Tripoli and taken to a U.S. warship for questioning.
Abu Anas al-Libi’s capture means that of the 22 terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, who were identified by U.S. intelligence agencies as being involved in the embassy bombings 19 are dead or in jail.
What should now be crystal clear and a source of great fear for any terrorist is that Americans are developing a memory. The 15-year hunt for the planners and supporters of the embassy bombings has been relentless. We have not forgotten.
Our enemies have memories that can almost be measured in geological time. They hold grudges and plot revenge for centuries-old offenses.
This is very difficult for Americans to understand. We have always been a nation that puts the past behind us. Tomorrow is our day, not yesterday.
We have occasionally come up with slogans to remind ourselves of those who have harmed us: Remember the Maine, Remember the Alamo, I Shall Return are all part of the lexicon. But even when we have been attacked, brutalized and murdered, over time we have as a people forgiven and forgotten. We have always put the past in the past.
The British burned the White House 200 short years ago yet are our very good friends.
We have come to terms with the Spanish and Italians. Veterans of the war in the Pacific drive Japanese cars. American money put the Germans back on their feet. We have an active trade with Vietnam.
But not this time.
We do not need a slogan to remember 9/11. Our slogan for this war is about response: Let’s Roll.
Our enmity is ongoing. We are at war with the terrorists. We may argue over who exactly they are, how we should punish them and the length of foreign incursions but on the topic of getting even, we are agreed.
We as a people have always been slow to anger.
But once we are aroused to action those who cross us are made to understand the error of their ways. We have always preferred to strike our enemies down and then buy whatever they are selling.
There will be none of that now. Our enemies hope to die for their cause and we hope to help them.
They sell nothing but hate, love nothing but death and see nothing but a dark future. They will not, like the Soviet Union, dissolve for the want of blue jeans.
Page 2 of 2 - This time we must steel ourselves to an ongoing conflict.
We must disrupt the enemy’s ability to strike us however and whenever we can.
The snatching of Abu Anas al-Libi is a huge part of that disruption. The typical American cannot name the day of the embassy bombings, doesn’t know how many people were killed or know the names of the perpetrators past bin Laden.
The typical American will be glad to hear al-Libi is caught, proud of the organizations we have developed to do such things and will support reaching out and grabbing or killing such villains.
Around the world terrorists are looking over their shoulders. That is very good.