Res Publica

SEALs Seal the Deal

by David Trumbull -- May 6, 2011

“I believe that forgiving them is God's function. Our job is to arrange the meeting”
—General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., 2007

And in the early hours of May 2nd a Navy SEAL (SEa, Air and Land) Team settled the meeting arrangements, at least for Osama bin Laden. The Almighty was not available for comment, but a Vatican spokesman said that bin Laden will have to answer to God – now that’s an understatement!

It took nearly ten years to get him, but we got him! I’ve never doubted that we’ll win the war on terrorism. As I wrote in this space in 2004 in my column Ten Thousand Reasons Why We’ll Beat bin Laden, the West will always triumph because only the West has a self-sustaining culture. Hatred of the West may motivate men to fly airplanes into buildings, but it will never sustain itself. They hate us because we have freedom. They hate Israel because Israel is an outpost of Western freedom.

The history of the West reads like a novel. It has a plot; it has development. The history of most non-western civilizations is like reading the telephone directory. In a battle between a dynamic western civilization and a stagnant civilization, we win.

In 401 B.C. an expeditionary force of ten thousand Greeks marched into the heart of Persia, then the greatest empire the world had known. There, in what is now Iraq, the ten thousand defeated a vastly larger Persia force. Xenophon, an Athenian, was one of the ten thousand. In his first-hand account, the Anabasis, you see the vast servile Persian host. You’ll also meet the Greeks, a band of brothers, obedient and disciplined, but also each a free man thinking for himself.

After the battle, when the Greeks and Persians meet, under the assurances of truce, to discuss terms for an armistice, the Persians break their word and murder the Greek commanders. The ten thousand are now stranded, a thousand miles from home, surrounded by the enemy, with no one to lead them. Or so the Persians think. But the ten thousand are not Persians, they are Greeks –Westerners. They simply hold a New England-style town meeting and elect new leaders. The Persians are dumb-founded. They cannot grasp the idea of free men electing leaders.

And as for the Greeks? Well, they never really wanted to conquer Persia anyway. They marched to Babylon just to put on the Persian throne someone who would be less a pain-in-the-neck to the Greeks. Having taught the Persians a lesson about Western power to effect a regime change, they simply, and quietly, marched back home.

Saddam Hussein, hung by the neck until dead, December 30, 2006

Osama bin Laden, shot through the head, May 2, 2011

More meetings yet to be arranged.