September 1, 2004
President George W. Bush recently told an interviewer he does not think America can win the war on terror, but that we can – and will -- make terrorism less acceptable around the world.
Democrats have jumped on that statement, treating it as a gaffe. But the president most likely is right.
This isn’t Germany or Japan in World War II where, after defeating dictatorial regimes the people came to their senses and democracy and freedom have prevailed.
This is a virulent, religiously-based ideology in which any refusal to convert to the ‘faith’ is punishable by death -- and anyone who is not one of them in twisted cause and corrupt ideology is marked for death by their god.
How does one “win” such a war? And how do we even know the moment it’s over? After all, there will be no Berlin wall coming down as a symbol of a cracked ideology.
As long as millions of people remain uneducated and trapped in an oppressive political, economic and religious system where their only hope is not on this earth but in a false view of heaven they can only get to if they murder other people, there will be no victory.
That is why the president is right about pre-emption and this war may never truly be won.
In New York, I’m Cal Thomas.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.