Rich Tucker

Today, at least one in five voters has gone over to the Moore side. They think President Bush committed what would be a treasonous act -- allowing Americans to die in an attack he knew was coming. And keep in mind that these numbers are a floor, not a ceiling. It’s not as if, in six months or six years, these people will come to their senses. A decade from now, expect most of those 26 percent of Democrats who “aren’t sure” to have moved to the “Bush knew” camp.

Needless to say, this is hardly a strong foundation upon which to build a lasting country.

The real danger is that our enemies are still out there, plotting to kill Americans. In his book Never Quit the Fight, Ralph Peters writes, “Even after 9/11, we do not fully appreciate the cruelty and determination of our enemies. We will learn our lesson, painfully, because the terrorists will not quit. The only solution is to kill them and keep on killing them: a war of attrition.”

But it’s an open question whether we’re willing to do that. As Peters also notes, our media has become a weapon our enemies use against us. A typical example was The Washington Post’s May 30 lead story, which told readers that 10 American soldiers had been killed in Iraq on Memorial Day.

“Our military avoids a ‘body count’ in Iraq,” Peters writes, so Americans never learn how many terrorists we’ve killed. Meanwhile, “we have allowed the media to create a perception that the losses are consistently on our side. By avoiding an enemy body count, we create an impression of our own defeat.”

Every death is a tragedy, but it’s a shame our media doesn’t put combat losses in context. These warriors died while engaging with -- and killing -- our enemies. Their mission will make our country safer in the long run.At the same time, the federal government estimates that some 500 Americans die each Memorial Day weekend in traffic accidents. For some reason we take those deaths in stride. If newspapers carried daily reports of carnage on our roadways the way they carry daily reports of American deaths in Iraq, nobody would ever drive.

The United States can, and some of us think will, win in Iraq and in the greater war against terror. But it would help if we’d remember our history. With Independence Day right around the corner, flying the flag to honor our veterans would be a good way to start.


Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for Townhall.com.