"Because things get difficult, you don't cut and run!"
Most people automatically assume only a Republican would be capable of making such a statement but, surprisingly, a Democrat repeated that same statement to congress, with great earnestness and conviction. Interesting how times have changed, since those days. And, actually, at the time, it was mostly the Republican leadership demanding: what are we sacrificing our young soldiers in Somalia for? (Now it's the Democrats asking the same question about our troops in Iraq.) Unfortunately, under pressure, Clinton capitulated (for political reasons, undoubtedly), promising the American people that the troops would be withdrawn by March 31, 1994. It wasn't until one year later (March 1995) that all U.S. personnel finally bailed out, but our withdrawal from Somalia was what ultimately prompted Osama Bin Laden to proclaim, 4 years later, "... that the Americans are a paper tiger", and to boast that the U.S. could easily be defeated because we were unwilling to suffer casualties. Saddam Hussein had also predicted (prior to the 1st Gulf war), that Americans would be unable to tolerate"10,000 dead in one battle". And Saddam's prescient comment has indeed proven true. Once again.
The American people have absolutely no patience, for anything, and our leaders take their political cue from the demands of the people. In spite of our power and might, over time, our overly-civilized battle demeanor and reluctance to 'stay the course' has only served to embolden our enemies. It's our one fatal flaw: the inability to stomach prolonged warfare and the casualties that are an inevitable result of battle. Bin Laden, in a 1997 interview with CNN, claimed that the mujahideen's defeat of the Soviets, in occupied Afghanistan, proved to him that a few could triumph over the many. It was this victory over the soviet invaders that led to the following epiphany: "the myth of the superpower was destroyed not only in my mind but also in the minds of all Muslims". In 1996, assessing our battle-steadfastness, or lack, thereof, he said "The Russian soldier is more courageous and patient than the U.S. soldier....Our battle with the United States is easy compared with the battles in which we engaged in Afghanistan." And yes, the battle might be easier, but through no fault of our courageous soldiers. They have been forced to fight a p.c. war, through the scope of public opinion, with a barbaric enemy that has no comprehension of human decency. Yes "war is hell" but sometimes necessary, and in a civilized world, people usually abide by certain rules of engagement and the various Geneva Conventions. Not so with this enemy. While we fight with our hands tied behind our backs by certain Laws of War, the insurgents continue to flagrantly violate them all.
And so, 10 plus years later, Bin Laden and the Islamist extremists have us pegged. They realize that all they have to do is keep up the offensive, by hammering away at our defenses and our will to fight. They know full well that by gradually increasing the body count, the American people (and hence our politicians), will tire of it all and start demanding withdrawal. In which case they have won. And then what?
So, no matter who originally said: "Because things get difficult, you don't cut and run!", or who will say it again, some day; regardless of their political affiliation, it is an extremely valid statement! One that needs to be considered carefully, because withdrawal is just not a viable option.
(Thanks to BCF and B.B. for setting me straight.)