September 01, 2004

Winning the War on Terror

So there has been a big hullabaloo about Dubya's comments that we might not "win" the war on terror:

"I dont think you can win it (i.e., the war on terror). But I think you can create conditions so that the those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."

Reacting to this, grown-ups on the other side of the aisle might have issued a joint statement saying:

"We are glad that the President is signaling that the campaign against terrorism is more than just a military effort. That we will need to win hearts and minds in the Islamic world, resolve outstanding territorial conflicts that fuel hatred against us and our allies, provide greater economic opportunities for citizens throughout the Middle East region. So we are heartened to see the President moving in a more sober direction and seeming to move away from his unfortunate focus on a rigid, militaristic doctrine of preemption. We need to use all the tools in America's arsenal--including soft power, public diplomacy, and more economic assistance."

Or something like that.

The Kerry-Edwards reaction?

Cherub-like Edwards disingenuously enthuses:

What if President Reagan had said that it may be difficult to win the war against communism?" Senator John Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, said on ABC. "The war on terrorism is absolutely winnable."

Better to spread the empty talk around, eh?

And then there's this cheap shot:

"This president has gone from mission accomplished to mission miscalculated to mission impossible on the war on terror," said Kerry campaign spokesman Phil Singer.

Glad to see the Democrats are taking the high road--casually tossing around movie name soundbites re: the biggest issue of the day.

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

An on the ball commenter writes in:

Gregory:

I encourage you and readers to visit Michelle Malkin's web site. She describes how President Bush's remarks were taken out of context.

Dialogue:

Lauer: You said to me a second ago, one of the things you'll lay out in your vision for the next four years is how to go about winning the war on terror. That phrase strikes me a little bit. Do you really think we can win this war on terror in the next four years?

President Bush: I have never said we can win it in four years.

Lauer: So Im just saying can we win it? Do you see that?

President Bush: I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world - let's put it that way. I have a two pronged strategy. On the one hand is to find them before they hurt us, and that's necessary. Im telling you it's necessary. The country must never yield, must never show weakness [and] must continue to lead. To find al-Qaida affiliates who are hiding around the world and harm us and bring em to justice - we're doing a good job of it. I mean we are dismantling the al-Qaida as we knew it. The long-term strategy is to spread freedom and liberty, and that's really kind of an interesting debate. You know there's some who say well, You know certain people can't self govern and accept, you know, a former democracy. I just strongly disagree with that. I believe that democracy can take hold in parts of the world that are now non-democratic and I think it's necessary in order to defeat the ideologies of hate. History has shown that it can work, that spreading liberty does work. After all, Japan is our close ally and my dad fought against the Japanese. Prime Minister Koizumi, is one of the closest collaborators I have in working to make the world a more peaceful place.

It is much different when taken in proper context.

Indeed it is.


Posted by Gregory Djerejian at September 1, 2004 01:00 AM
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