This is interesting advice, since our chief criticism of the Administration over the last few years at Jihad Watch has been centered on the apparent fact that the key players don’t seem to understand the enemy, and that this is leading to policy mistakes of an increasingly disastrous type.
Naval Academy grads: congratulations. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to help you understand the enemy. Mr. Cheney, I’m available if you would like to discuss this as well.
From the American Forces Press Service, with thanks to DFS:
ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 26, 2006 — Vice President Dick Cheney today urged the U.S. Naval Academy’s graduating class to understand the nature of the enemy in the global war on terror as they enter the military services as commissioned officers.
Cheney addressed 980 graduating midshipmen and about 27,000 family, friends and staff members at the academy’s 156th commencement ceremony.
“You are the first class to enter the academy following the attacks of 9/11,” he told the graduating midshipmen. “And I’m guessing that more than a few of you were inspired to military service by that attack on our country. In these four years, the war on terror has influenced the course of study at our service academies, and it will define much of your career leading American sailors and Marines.”
The nation’s newest officers need to understand the enemy that threatens the United States and the rest of the civilized world, Cheney told the audience.
“It is as brutal and heartless as any we have ever faced,” he said. “This enemy wears no uniform, has no regard for the rules of warfare, and is unconstrained by any standard of decency or morality. They plot and plan in secret, target the defenseless, and rejoice at the death of innocent, unsuspecting human beings.”
He cited the period of Taliban rule in Afghanistan as an example of the enemy’s beliefs. “They seek to impose a dictatorship of fear, under which every man, woman and child lives in total obedience to a narrow and hateful ideology,” he said. “This ideology rejects tolerance, denies freedom of conscience, and demands that women be pushed to the margins of society. Such beliefs can be imposed only through force and intimidation, so those who refuse to bow to the tyrants will be brutalized or killed — and no person or group is exempt.”
The vice president told the audience at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium that terrorists want to end all American and Western influence in the Middle East.
“Their goal in that region is to seize control of a country, so they have a base from which to launch attacks and wage war against governments that do not meet their demands,” he said. “The terrorists believe that by controlling one country, they will be able to target and overthrow other governments in the region, ultimately to establish a totalitarian empire that encompasses a region from Spain, across North Africa, through the Middle East and South Asia, all the way to Indonesia.”
Why does he echo Bush in not mentioning America? It isn’t as if they really don’t want their totalitarian empire to be global. They have made their intentions abundantly clear.