Common sense from an unsigned editorial in the Albany Democrat-Herald. Are they reading my books in Albany? (I know, I know: any fairminded person can get the truth from the news headlines.)
Everybody who has thought about it knows what President Bush meant when he said the war against terrorism probably cannot be won. It was a perfectly sensible point. So what’s all the fuss about?
The president made the remark in a broadcast interview. His opponents jumped all over him for supposedly having a defeatist attitude. The charge is ridiculous, considering all that’s been done to fight terrorism.
The sad truth is that the kind of terrorism we now face cannot be stamped out. It is rooted in religious fanaticism that opposes the United States and western civilization not just for what it does but for what it is.…
What do the outfits inspired by Osama bin Laden and others want? They want to wipe out Israel, and they want to end western influence over their cultures. They also apparently want to institute medieval-type governments in the Muslim world, regimes where religious leaders rule and secular considerations such as human rights are secondary or don’t exist.
These aims can’t be realized, but that doesn’t mean Islamist fanatics can’t keep striving for them and occasionally committing acts that, to them, are battles in a holy war.
This is a war against beliefs and feelings as much as it is against a few thousand operatives, fighters and hangers-on. Beliefs and feelings can be changed, but not easily or quickly, and not by any action that would end in the other side’s sudden “defeat.”
So the president was correct. We have to stay on our guard and strive to prevent new attacks, as hard as that is. And we have to keep going after those who would finance, inspire or carry out attacks. But in the end, unless the other side gets tired and gives up, the jihad against us will go on for a long, long time.