For heaven’s sake, we have plenty of things to attack Bush about. Why attack him for being right?
Despite campaigning as the candidate who can win the war on terror, President Bush said in a broadcast interview today he didn’t believe such a war could ever be won, but must be fought to make terrorism “less acceptable.”
“I don’t think you can win it,” Bush said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show. “But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.”
The comments by the president, recorded during a campaign stop with the television network on Saturday in Ohio, were immediately assailed by Democrat John Kerry’s campaign as defeatist.
“After months of listening to the Republicans base their campaign on their singular ability to win the war on terror, the president now says we can’t win the war on terrorism,” Kerry running mate Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) said in a statement.
“This is no time to declare defeat. It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick, but we have a comprehensive long-term plan to make America safer. And that’s a difference,” Edwards said.
Well, duh it’s unwinnable. We don’t even know what “winning” it means. If it’s won by eliminating terrorism, then no one can seriously make an argument saying it can be won; terrorism, like murder, robbery, and most others crimes, is not a belief. It’s a means to an end, specifically, a means of obtaining political power, or simply of making a political statement. No one can argue that we can completely eliminate murder or robbery; it’s just as absurd to argue that we can eliminate terrorism. Now, most of this war is targeted on a very specific kind of terrorism, one that the right as dubbed “Islamo-fascism”. Then is this war won by eliminating “Islamo-fascism”? Of course not; “Islamo-fascism” is a belief, and eliminating it goes against our nation’s core principle of free speech. And everyone knows that we cannot control what people think.
However, we can reduce the number of terrorist attacks, at least on our country, by increasing train, airport, and port security, integrating our intelligence services, and increasing our paramilitary capacity at the CIA. We can also reduce “Islamo-fascism”‘s power in the Muslim world, by working to dismantle the Mullah-system in Iran, pushing the Saudi government to abandon Wahhabi theology as a national belief, and creating cultural exchange programs similar to those used in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. However, it is ridiculous to assume that we can destroy terrorism or Islamic extremism in their entireties. As much as I hate to say it, Bush was right.