September 10, 2006
America cannot be defeated when America is resolved and united. The problem with America today is that it is neither.
Immediately after 9/11; President Bush was asked what all Americans could do to participate in the war against terror. He said go shopping.
We did not mobilize; and I am not certain that would have been the correct response.
But I do know that newspapers balked at the "go shopping" response and so did many others.
On Sunday September 30, 2001, Mary Riddell wrote in The Observer (London), "Shop for victory. Buy for Bush and Blair. What to get? Big, expensive stuff, clearly...."
Doesn't seem to have been the right response.
Five years on, as the Brits say, what do we have?
* Osama bin Laden still apparently on the lam.
* War in Iraq and Afghanistan continuing.
* The issue of whether WMD were or were not in Iraq has caused, and still causes, doubt and division.
* Colin Powell is out, Condi Rice is in.
* The issue of the appropriate troop level for Iraq has never gone away. General Eric K. Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army said that several hundred thousand troops would be needed. The Secretary of Defense thought less. Shinseki retired without the benefit of a handshake from the Secretary at his retirement ceremony. And, in a recent move to "beef up" U.S. forces in Baghdad, troops scheduled to come home had their tours of duty in Iraq extended.
* Despite the fact that we have had many successes disrupting the terrorists, we still live with some trepidation and fear.
* One of our key allies in the war against terror is Pakistan; headed by a General named Musharraf who took over in a coup. Just yesterday, Musharraf seemed to be defending his policy of leaving terrorists in his country alone so long as they don't stir up trouble.
* Hezbollah is a household word.