We?re kidding ourselves if we think that containing a few terrorists will allow America to live in peace and safety. We?re kidding ourselves if we think we can bring troops home from Iraq and that?s the end of the war. This war is going to be with us for generations. Millions of followers of Osama bin Laden and those like him believe that it is their manifest destiny as Muslims to bring about the utter destruction of Jews, Christians, and Western civilization.
Now the president can?t say this because it would alienate moderate Muslim governments and might unleash frenzy among Islamists.
But those of us on the sidelines can say things the president can?t say. If we can create a democracy in the Middle East , Muslim people will see it and realize it is good for them. And moderate Muslims may then capture control of Islamic governments.
As I see it, it?s our only hope. I think that President Bush sees this too and recognizes that a flagship democracy in Iraq can bring democracy and freedom to the Muslim masses. Yes, it?s a tough job, but it is our only hope.
We need a sober realistic view of what is happening, and we need to recognize that Iraq is not another quagmire like Vietnam, but a beachhead of democracy and freedom in the Middle East that may win over the Muslim masses and isolate the terrorists and radical Islamists.
Bush could promise a quick end to Iraq, as the partisan choruses are demanding in this election year?and he?d ensure his reelection. But to abandon Iraq would be to surrender to radical Islam. That?s why Christians have a duty to bring some historical perspective to this debate.
For further reading:
?President Addresses the Nation in Prime Time Press Conference,? The East Room, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 13 April 2004 .
?Bush Vows U.S. Will Finish Job in Iraq,? New York Times, 14 April 2004 .
Richard W. Stevenson and Douglas Jehl, ? Bush Asserts ?We Must Not Waver? on Terror or Iraq,? New York Times, 14 April 2004 .
?Dr. Condoleezza Rice?s Opening Remarks to Commission on Terrorist Attacks,? Hart Senate Office Building , Washington, D.C., White House Office of the Secretary, 8 April 2004 .
Charles Colson, ?Finishing the Job,? BreakPoint WorldView, November 2003.
Timothy George, Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad? (Zondervan, 2002).