THE LITTLE FOXES

by David Sisler

"Seize for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes" (Song of Solomon 2:15).

The danger to the vineyard is greatest when the fruit is first setting on, while the grapes are "tender," and the vines are full of bloom. The keeper of the vines must be vigilant at all times, but especially then, and especially against seemingly small - seemingly insignificant, unimportant - dangers. Seize the little foxes now before they do great damage.

King Solomon's warning is clear. As America fights for "Enduring Freedom" it is a warning we need to heed. Already little foxes are nibbling.

Consider two examples.

First, barely six weeks into the war against terrorism, a war started by hell-driven zealots, the American news media seems to have forgotten the horror of that day.

Every day reporters are asking, "Where are the results?"

Don't misunderstand - I want to see results. I want to see the terrorist organizations crushed and their leaders eliminated, but our president said this would take time, maybe two years. It has not been two months!

Every day reporters are asking for more details about the bombing campaign and the ground war. Such reports - when information is leaked by officials who are too cowardly to give their name to the reports they hand out - do nothing to strengthen our military campaign. Such reports do nothing to help our fighting men and women. Such reports do everything to pass along information to the enemy that they would either not have or would have to find by other means.

Case-in-point is an Associated Press release dated today, November 1, 2001. It says, "A Washington envoy for the Northern Alliance of rebels fighting the Taliban said Wednesday his group is trying to help the United States find Osama bin Laden - providing a tip last month that Mr. bin Laden was in a central Afghan province. The spokesman, Haron Amin, would provide no details except to say, 'the information at the time was that he was there,' in Oruzgan province."

Okay. There are some "gimmies" in this report. It was last month (of course that was yesterday, but maybe they meant early last month). There are many who are looking for bin Laden. Mr. Amin's group is but one of several (with the bounty we have put on the terrorist leader's head, alleged sightings are, no doubt, plentiful). Additionally, U.S. officials could not confirm Mr. Amin's claim.

But suppose for a minute that Public Enemy Number One was in Oruzgan in October. That is a fact he certainly would not want publicized, even after he had slithered into another hole. The fact that someone knew he was there would make him look within his own organization for traitors and over all, be even more vigilant. There is no way that the release of such an AP report can in anyway help the allied cause. Quite the reverse may be true.

Every day newspapers and television are showing pictures of civilian dead and civilian-area bomb destruction.

I am sorry that there are civilian causalities in Afghanistan, but I remember that four airplanes filled with civilians crashed into three buildings and into the Pennsylvania countryside killing thousands more civilians. Mr. bin Laden's thugs target civilians. We are trying to avoid them, trying like no nation in time of war has ever tried. And knowing that, Taliban leaders - following the example of Saddam Hussein, the Coward of Baghdad, are increasingly hiding in civilian areas.

Reports of civilian deaths are almost entirely gathered from what the enemy says, and those reports are given more credence than they may deserve. Almost no independent verifications are sited - the Taliban won't let anyone in, they just accuse us and expect us to take their word on face value. And it seems to be working (in some quarters). The word of murderers and liars is reported as truth. We know for certain that 6,000 Americans are dead in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC., and now, on the battlefield.

A second example of the danger of sneaking, nibbling, destructive little foxes is the enemy's whining that we should stop the bombing campaign against the Taliban because of the Islamic celebration of Ramadan.

Writing in The Washington Times, Ben Barber says, "America's Muslim allies are demanding a halt to the bombing of Afghanistan on November 17 for the holy month of Ramadan, but Muslim nations have rarely halted their own military operations during that period."

Mr. Barber's research reveals how phony the concern about the holy month really is.

Consider:

The Egyptian-Syrian surprise attack on Israel in 1973, the Yom Kippur War, took place during Ramadan.

Pakistan's deputy chief of mission in Washington, Zamir Akram, said "during the month of Ramadan we call for a pause to show respect for Islamic tradition." That is an interesting remark because it was during Ramadan that Islam's founder, the Prophet Muhammad himself, fought the Battle of Badr and a campaign to retake Mecca. Both during Ramadan!

"The Taliban has always violated the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan with massacres and ethnic cleansings," said Haron Amin. "In 1998 during Ramadan, they drove 150,000 people from their homes in ethnic cleansing of the Shomali Plain north of Kabul.

During the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, which killed up to 1 million people, both sides continued to fight during Ramadan, said John Voll, professor of Islamic History at Georgetown University.

"Continuing to bomb Afghanistan during Ramadan would be an 'affront' to Muslims everywhere," said Egyptian presidential adviser Osama Baz. The history of Muslim-instigated, Muslim-led conflicts during Ramadan would suggest otherwise.

This new, pro-Taliban rhetoric must be understood for what it is - an attempt to weak America's resolve to crush terrorists and terrorism. It is one more "little fox" in an increasing campaign against us. It must not succeed. The ruble at Ground Zero is still smoking. More than 4,000 are still unaccounted for. The time to stop is when the war has been won. And only then.

-30-


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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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