So is it a big deal that we haven't yet caught Usama bin Laden?

No, and here's why: We will catch him. He can run to Yemen, but he can't hide. Do you think the people of Yemen want what happened in Tora Bora happening to them? No thanks is the correct answer.

The same goes for every other place he could go, with the exception of Somalia ... where what happened in Tora Bora has already happened a thousand times over. Still, Somalis will sell out a foreigner in a second for a stack of American hundreds — even if he is a Muslim.

The lesson to be learned in the three months since the Sept. 11 attacks should not be lost on the mullahs in Tehran, or the young Assad in Damascus, or Mr. Hussein in Baghdad: We can stick one down your stove pipe if we want to, and if you keep it up, we will.

Sure, the Taliban was a mud-hut government, and essentially a pushover, but hey ... our guys got in on the ground. They spotted targets, put the laser dot on 'em and brought in the smart bombs. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Over and over again.

So if you're sitting in Damascus or Tehran or Baghdad, what separates you from the yahoos in Kandahar and Kabul?

Your behavior. If you train terrorists, you get the boom booms. If you fund terrorists, you get it. If you build nasty bug or nuke weapons, you get it big.

That's the lesson of this war. America has perfected the art of sticking one in your ear, and if you don't listen to reason, you won't be able to listen.

I know it sounds arrogant … but after they hijacked our planes and killed thousands of our people, how could we be anything but tough?

That's My Word.

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