While much of the focus continues on Iraq, an equally important war must be prosecuted and won at home. Like a vast shell game, we must find the islamofascist pea inside growing numbers of pods. Is the mosque down the street from you peaceful, or a sanctuary for terrorist plots? Is the Islamic school teaching peaceful religion, or jihad? Is the government monitoring them, in spite of opposition to such things from "civil libertarians"? How many civil libertarians exist in the type of society OBL wishes to impose on us? If bin Laden succeeds, the ACLU will be among the first organizations crushed, after appropriate thanks for helping to make the takeover possible.
Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the Department of Homeland Security has failed to make even moderate progress toward eight of 14 government benchmarks in the four years since it was created. According to GAO, the least progress was made in improving emergency preparedness and eliminating bureaucratic and technical barriers to the sharing of information between government agencies. Whatever bipartisanship remains in Washington should ask why, six years after 9/11, the walls between intelligence agencies have not been torn down.
Last week, in advance of the Petraeus-Crocker reports, small groups of journalists were invited to the White House for a "deep background" briefing from a top administration official. While acknowledging many mistakes, the official said that timelines for withdrawal are a prescription for disaster and "the effects we wanted" in Iraq "have started to happen."
The only hope in this war is to win it, no matter how much frustration, or division in Iraq (and America) and no matter how long it takes. Osama bin Laden knows the alternative. And he is willing to impose it on the entire world if we fail.
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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