June 20, 2006
The bodies of two missing soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division were found late yesterday, and we now know that Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker died in an especially grisly manner. One can only imagine the distress their families must feel. The new leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq has bragged about the barbaric manner in which they were killed. See washingtonpost.com. He and other terrorists are apparently still under the impression that they can force the United States to give up by such displays of savagery. No doubt it will make some Americans more inclined toward defeatism, but I'm willing to bet that for most of us, it will only make even clearer the evil nature of our adversaries, and the need to redouble our efforts to defeat them. Donald Sensing repeated his prediction from 2003 that beheadings of American soldiers in Iraq would lead to disproportional retribution by our guys. It's an illustration of Clausewitz's axiom that the scale and intensity of violence in war tends to escalate without limit. I wonder, however, whether that might not be precisely what Al Qaeda was trying to accomplish: to bait us into stooping to their level to make it appear to other countries that there is really no difference between us and the Islamic terrorists.