WASHINGTON -- Perhaps the most dubious cliche in American history is the one intoned over and again after terrorists killed 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. That was the cliche that claimed that now "America has changed forever." Well, forever lasted about two years, maybe three. Then American solidarity in the war against terror began to fissure, and, by the way, the president's favorable ratings began to sink.
Now in the press the war effort is assuming the vague dimensions of monstrosities of yesteryear: Watergate, Iran-Contra, both being cautionary tales from which liberals hope Americans will learn to be better people. The time has come, they tell us, to hand this war over to the experts, for instance, Sen. John Kerry, who might well have become president last time around if it were not for a treacherous cabal of Vietnam veterans who, the Senator believes, lied about his heroic service in Vietnam. If Kerry is not to your liking, there is also Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose service during the Vietnam War was very much like Sen. Kerry's once he returned from Vietnam. No, America has not changed forever. Certainly American liberals have not changed.
Read the liberal press. Increasingly it reads like the press of what during the Cold War was called a "nonaligned nation." Increasingly it appears that the American press "is not taking sides" in this war, this Republican war. Over the weekend it was reported that the Bush administration has been laying plans to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. On Monday the Washington Post reported that "The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq." The Post knows this because its reporters laid hands on "internal military documents." So now those documents and the controversy within the military surrounding them are known to the public, the world public. Both news stories are out there for our enemies to make use of.