So if President Bush truly believes in this cause -- which he does -- he has a duty to do everything he can to fortify support for the war. Forget winning the hearts and minds of the terrorists; he must win the hearts and minds of the American people -- to stay behind this war.
In his appearances the president has been providing a substantive refutation of the critics' charges, including their lies about his "lies" on WMD and the NSA surveillance program.
That's important, but it is even more critical that the people have an opportunity to observe his demeanor. They can assess by the tone of his voice and the expression on his face whether he is a man of integrity.
They can decide for themselves whether he actually believed Saddam had WMD, abetted terrorists, represented a threat to America and her allies, and was an incorrigible violator of law, U.N. resolutions and post-war treaties who had to be stopped.
They can judge whether he is the oil-craving, imperialistic ogre his enemies have described. They can weigh his sincerity in saying he wants to meet the parents of fallen American soldiers to commiserate and weep with them.
They can evaluate whether he's in charge or some puppet of "neoconservative" masterminds and whether he is personally conversant with the facts.
They can gauge whether he's some whimsical cowboy or a leader who genuinely agonizes over the exceedingly difficult problems we face in helping to bring liberty and representative government to certain Muslim lands, such as establishing a religiously pluralistic government that guarantees religious freedom, against the backdrop of a theocratic religious culture.
For way too long the president has been squandering his greatest personal asset: his ability to connect with the people. For the sake of our national security, he is honor bound to start using that resource with increasing frequency.