Winning the War on Terror
Josh Marshall contrasts two quotes by President Bush:
“We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world.” — George W. Bush, July 30th 2004.
“I donÃ¢€™t think you can win [the war on terror]. But I think you can create conditions so that the Ã¢€” those who use terror as a tool are Ã¢€” less acceptable in parts of the world.Ã¢€ — George W. Bush, Aug. 29th, 2004
Let’s add another quote to the mix:
“We meet today in a time of war for our country, a war we did not start yet one that we will win.” George W. Bush, Aug. 31st, 2004
Apparently, I’m in the minority but I didn’t find his answer to Lauer’s question particularly noteworthy. We will never win the war on terror in the sense that we won, say, World War II. Even aside from the fact that there isn’t a discrete enemy with the authority to surrender, it’s almost certainly the case that terrorism will continue to exist as a tactic of the weak. We’ll never win the war on crime, either. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight or that we can’t have a plan for “winning.” By draining the proverbial “swamp,” we can make it far less likely that a 9/11-scale attack can happen again. Absent some amazing revolution in technology, we’ll never be safe against an Oklahoma City type event. It’s a fact of life.
Of course, if the Democrats would like to wage this campaign on the basis of which candidate has had the most consistent policy statements, to coin a phrase: Bring it on.