I?ve known President Bush since he was governor of
That?s why I felt something was missing in his speech and press conference Tuesday night. I think he would have liked to have told us the whole story, but it?s impossible for him to do so.
The president said we weren?t on a war footing before
We Westerners forget history. We forget that from the time Muhammad began writing the Qur'?/I> in 610 A.D., Islam and the Christian West were engaged in armed conflicts that lasted for a thousand years. Islam even occupied
We see what is happening today as an isolated case of terrorists taking a misguided reading of the Qur'?/I>. I wish it were that simple. The truth is there?s an element in Islam?some estimate as high as 20 percent?who see this battle as a resumption of the thousand years of war. In fact, Osama bin Laden was a student of Mohammed Qutab whose brother, Saeb Qutab, a radical Egyptian Islamist, argued for a resumption of this conflict with the West. Saeb Qutab was thoroughly anti-Semitic, had a burning hatred of the West, and saw its destruction as the world?s only hope. And that?s what filled the mind of Osama bin Laden.
We?re kidding ourselves if we think that containing a few terrorists will allow
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
As I see it, it?s our only hope. I think that President Bush sees this too and recognizes that a flagship democracy in
We need a sober realistic view of what is happening, and we need to recognize that
Bush could promise a quick end to
For further reading:
?President Addresses the Nation in Prime Time Press Conference,? The East Room, White House Office of the Press Secretary,
?Bush Vows U.S. Will Finish Job in Iraq,? New York Times,
Richard W. Stevenson and Douglas Jehl, ? Bush Asserts ?We Must Not Waver? on Terror or Iraq,? New York Times,
?Dr. Condoleezza Rice?s Opening Remarks to Commission on Terrorist Attacks,?
Charles Colson, ?Finishing the Job,?
Timothy George, Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad? (Zondervan, 2002).