History will judge the Bush administration, but I suspect, when it comes to the “war” on terrorism, the evaluation will be positive. Many Presidents talked about the “war” on terrorism, George W. Bush was the first one to fight it.
That is why it is now more important than ever to renew this commitment with the change of administration. The “war” on terrorism was not “Bush’s War” (as portrayed by many in the media), but civilization’s war.
The reaction to the execution this week of three bombers responsible for one of the most horrific terrorist acts is yet another example that difficult days are ahead. Imam Sumudra, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and his brother, Mukhlas, were executed by firing squad in Indonesia for their participation in the 2002 bombings of two nightclubs in Bali, Indonesia.
The blasts killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, 28 Brits and 8 Americans. The three bombers were believed to be members of al Qaeda linked Jemaah Islamiyah, a radical fundamentalist terrorist organization seeking to establish a “Muslim Superstate” in Southeast Asia.
The bombers, who expressed no remorse for their actions, were “hailed” as “holy warriors” in parts of Indonesia. Their supporters vowed retaliation with hundreds volunteering to take the place of the bombers.
The reaction in Indonesia (Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world) to the executions symbolizes the difficult days that are ahead. These difficult days are not only for the United States, but for the civilized world, and particularly countries with large Muslim populations.
With a new administration taking control of the U.S. government in January, is there a better time for our country to host a forum of world leaders to re-assess and renew the commitment of civilized nations to deal with this issue? It is time to send a clear message to all terrorist organizations that the U.S. government, and all governments of the civilized world, stand together in their resolve to continue the “war” on terrorism.