Tags: America | Ran | Away | Jordan

America Ran Away in Jordan

Wednesday, 24 August 2005 12:00 AM

Nice execution of orders, fellows. But I think they were lousy orders.

If this were just one snappy American get-away I found unwise it wouldn't be worth the electronic ink to mention it. I fear, however, our quick and efficient flight reveals our utter failure to understand the enemy mindset.

The attack was a humiliating failure. Here the terrorists with the advantages of choosing their targets, choosing their timing, preparing their assault, and, above all, surprise, failed to hit either of the two ships with a single rocket. Hello! How do you miss a ship with a rocket at close range with no presssure on you? Instead they hit a Jordanian military warehouse and killed a Jordanian (Moslem) soldier. The American ships and all Americans emerged unscathed.

It was the kind of attack that would have had Moslems around the world sitting in their coffee shops musing aloud the Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, and Indonesian equavalents of old Casey Stengel's lament at the turbulent birth of the New York Mets; remember! "Can't anybody here play this game?"

Didn't bin Laden himself say, "The people will follow the strong horse?" Strong horses don't miss big ships with modern rockets at close range.

No. Americans were the winners. Until we ran.

If there had been one realistic figment of possibility that those ships would have remained in danger after the failed attack I would have hailed the decision to get out of town. But there wasn't. That was it.

Are you going to rear up and tell me that maybe the smart rocket shooters let the dumb rocket shooters shoot first and if they didn't hit the ships, then the smart rocket shooters were planning to take over and try again? No. That was it. I'd have taken my chances after the attack on deck with a T-shirt and a soft hat.

The Jordanian police and military were instantly everywhere. And if they needed help, they could have turned (as they often do in secret) to their Israeli neighbors a few yards away in Elath who would have covered the waterfront like a flock of Alabama ducks on one June bug.

To make the terrorist failure perfect, one of the rockets landed in Israel, damaged a taxicab, but, Thank God, didn't even injure the driver. So, we have utter terrorist failure and then some. We have a strengthening of the ties between historical enemies Jordan and Israel against the new common enemy; jihadist rocket shooters.

And still we ran. And in so doing we took an enemy defeat, washed it, ironed it, folded it neatly, and handed it back to the enemy wrapped and ribboned as a victory. Worse. We made it OUR defeat. How, you might well ask? That leads us into that mysterious world of "mindset."

May I remind you of that famous dual ski meet between Norway and Sweden. Norway is mountainous. There are a lot of good skiers in Norway. Sweden is comparatively flat. There aren't as many good skiers in Sweden. In that one particular dual meet, however, the skier who finished number one was Swedish. Number two was Swedish. Number three was Swedish. The first Norwegian placed number four.

The sports page of an Oslo, Norway newspaper headlined the story, "It Took Three Swedes To Beat One Norwegian!"


Long before bin Laden and 9/11 this was apparent. Right after World War 11 swimming the English Channel was the big deal. Everybody was trying to equal or surpass Gertrude Ederle's pre-war feat of swimming the English Channel. A team of four Egyptians made the attempt. They all failed. Before going home, however, they decided to get a good night's sleep and then try the Channel swim as a relay in which each swimmer swam one-fourth of the way. They eventually made it. And it was hailed in their home town press as a great victory!

While the terrorist rockets were falling into Aqaba harbor, Israeli troops were orchestrating a liquidation of Jewish settlements in Gaza. Forget for the moment the merits of that action. Some of my best friends are expelled Jews. Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wrongly or rightly decided to withdraw Israeli settlers and then troops from Gaza.

And the Palestinians are staging military parades featuring masked gunmen firing automatic weapons into the air and proclaiming an unprecedented military victory "chasing" the Israelis out of Gaza. You don't believe that. I don't believe that. The Kansas City milkman doesn't believe that. The Finnish fashion model doesn't believe that. Irrelevant! The Arab audience eats it up and begs for more.

In the early 1960s the musical "Thirteen Daughters" starring Don Ameche opened on Broadway. It only lasted three weeks. If youre not familiar with the Broadway theater, that"s a miserable failure. A "spinning" press release from the company announced that "Our Broadway engagement has come to its end and were now off on our triumphal national tour. NOT ONE WORD OF FAILURE!

Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen sprang the length of her chain and sank her fangs into the musical that refused to call a flop a flop. Where are the international Kilgallens today who will say, "Hey, Palestinians of Gaza. We don't see any push-marks on the backs of the Israelis leaving Gaza?"

The American ships should have stayed. The American crews should have come ashore and mingled with the people for the cameras. The image should have been Jordan and America resolute together and triumphant against Islamo-fascist terrorism. But we ran.

So, instead of the jihadist world twisting in richly-earned humiliation, we have them cheering themselves hoarse at the sight of "Islamic heroes chasing American warships out of holy Islamic waters."

In football they call that a forward fumble recovered by your own side.

I close, not with an American, a Jewish, a Christian, or a western commentary. I close with a comment made years before 9/11 by an Arab columnist in Lebanon about the so-called Arab mindset.

That Arab columnist wrote of a man trying to relax on his front porch but being constantly rattled by the screaming of all the young children right in front of his house. Finally he rose from his rocking chair and said, "Children; why are you wasting your time playing here while the rich sheikh across town is giving away chocolate?"

There followed a momentary hush after which all the children ran off screaming in the direction of the home of the wealthy sheikh.

The clever Arab was just about to fall asleep in his rocking chair amid the fresh quiet when suddenly he sat bolt upright and said to himself, "If the wealthy sheikh is giving away free chocolate, what am I doing sitting here?"

Whereupon he got up and ran in the direction of the wealthy sheikhs home.

Remember all this the next time you're sitting cross-legged on the floor of a church basement on a Wednesday night right after the singing of "Kumbaya" when the twenty-six year old clergyman tells you, "We're all alike!"


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Nice execution of orders, fellows. But I think they were lousy orders. If this were just one snappy American get-away I found unwise it wouldn't be worth the electronic ink to mention it.I fear, however, our quick and efficient flight reveals our utter failure to...
Wednesday, 24 August 2005 12:00 AM
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