At the risk of repetition, it is not enough for the president to plead for patience and understanding. He must do more - much more - and he must do it immediately. He needs to open a second front - a surge - in the propaganda battle. He should directly challenge those who want to give-up to provide him with a specific plan to win the wider war against terrorists should the defeatists prevail and Iraq devolve into chaos and become a base for launching new terrorist acts throughout the world. They don't have such a plan and a challenge from the president would expose their empty and self-serving rhetoric.
Simultaneously, the president should bring to Washington Iraqis who are grateful for their liberation and wish to thank America for its sacrifice. Let them tell their stories of murder, rape and torture under Saddam Hussein and then let the mostly Democratic congressional leadership and those Republicans with terminal cold feet face them and tell them they'd be better off dead, or in prison.
The president expects our troops to be more aggressive, so he needs to demonstrate more aggressiveness at home.
The president was correct when he reminded the dwindling numbers listening: "I wish I could report that this Š threat, this struggle is going to end shortly. It's not. That doesn't mean we have to have kinetic action all the time. But it does mean America must not lose faith in our values and lose sight of our purpose. And that's going to be the challenge facing this country."
It's up to him to ensure that we don't lose faith.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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