On November 2nd, eighteen Americans died as a result of terrorist attacks in Iraq. Sixteen of them died when a helicopter carrying U.S. troops was shot down near Fallujah, west of Baghdad. The Americans are in Iraq to help establish stability and security for the Iraqi people. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that it was “a tragic day”:
“In a long, hard war, we’re going to have tragic days. But they are necessary. They are part of a war that’s difficult and complicated. And in the last analysis, the people who are firing off these surface-to-air missiles are the same people who are killing Iraqis. They are the people who we saw in film recently torturing and cutting off fingers and hands and heads and tongues of people. And they’re going to be beaten eventually.”
Only days before, terrorists struck the headquarters of the International Red Cross and the living quarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, as well as police stations in Baghdad and Fallujah. The majority of victims in those attacks were Iraqis working to rebuild and restore order to their country.
Some of the terrorists are loyalists of the regime of Saddam Hussein and want the Iraqi dictator back in power. Others are foreigners who are in Iraq, as President George W. Bush says, “to spread fear and chaos, and prevent the emergence of a successful democracy in the heart of the Middle East”:
“They may have different long-term goals, but they share a near-term strategy: to intimidate Iraqis from building a free government and to cause America and our allies to flee our responsibilities. They know that a free Iraq will be free of them, and free of the fear in which the ideologies of terror thrive.”
The Saddam loyalists and other terrorists will fail. The U.S.-led coalition will complete its mission in Iraq. The terrorists and the Baathists hope to weaken the will of the coalition. But as President Bush says, “Our will cannot be shaken.”