It seems to me that there are big obstacles to our winning the “War on Terror”; and they seem almost insurmountable.

1) Political correctness: note the name "War on Terror;" we cannot even name the enemy correctly—we need to be talking about the War Against Imperial Islam, or perhaps the War on Radical Islam; sloppy terminology reflects sloppy thinking. And we must be clear-headed because the danger we face is as great as any external threat in our history. Because of political correctness we cannot engage in reasonable and needed security profiling. (If the IRA ever starts a war against the US, I will understand if I get searched and questioned more than Native Americans or Asians. I will not blame my government; I will blame the enemy who started the war.) We need to monitor mosques and shut down those that spread the disease of militant Islam here in the US.

2) Moral equivalency: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." “Who are we to say that the Western way is superior to medieval Islamic fundamentalism?” “Our killing them is just as bad as them killing us.” As has been observed, those who say things like this don’t really believe what they say. They are not moving to countries without a free press, freedom of assembly, free speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unreasonable searches, the right to be judged by a jury of one’s peers, habeas corpus, the right to vote, etc.

3) Denigration of the US contribution to world history: when the story of America is told only in terms of oppression, when students are taught only American mistakes and inequalities, then how can we convince ourselves that the fight is worth the sacrifice. America has sinned and is sinning, but that is not the whole story. A more realistic story-line is the progress of American freedom as slavery has been abolished, the right to vote expanded, etc.

4) Lack of virtue: Robert Heinlein once wrote that when a society no longer values courage and loyalty, flee, you can only save yourself, the society is hopeless. We no longer inculcate the republican virtues such as courage, affirmation of the common good, honesty, etc. and so produce a flabby citizenry, too in love with comfort, and alien to the idea of responsibility. I am pleasantly surprised the military are able recruit to their quotas most of the time—it must be awfully hard to convince an 18 year-old who has always had his own room with TV and computer and his own car and all the money he can spend to commit to the self-sacrificing ethic of military life. We do not want to be bothered by a death struggle.

5) An entertainment/economic/news structure that promotes all of the above. MTV does not promote republican virtue. Neither does a consumer culture of instant credit. And the Main Stream Media are dispensers of 1-3.

6) Failure of the Democratic Party: In large part, I would argue, because of the Democratic Party's relationship with all of the above, they cannot muster a vigorous defense of America or American values and cannot bring themselves to put partisanship aside to create a new Foreign Policy Consensus. And they might win the White House in 08, legitimately or through voter fraud.

Bummer. However, I know the importance of doubting my doubts. The Gipper turned out to be right on the Soviets.

Well, for my own peace of mind, I need to come up with reasons for hope. (I mean penultimate hope; my ultimate hope is in God.)

1) The continuing self-destruction of the Democrats may render them irrelevant. (Someone had a great fake headline a while ago–HOWARD DEAN TO CHAIR DNC, ROVE DENIES INVOLVEMENT.) I regard this as a mixed blessing, since we need more than one strong political party.

2) The self-destruction of the MSM seems to be continuing, witness the Eason Jordan affair, and possibly the secret prisons story.

3) As the jihadis make themselves increasingly clear to the world (as Z. did before the Iraqi elections with his denunciation of democracy; as the video beheadings have done) just maybe we'll begin to clear the fog of moral equivalency.

4) The conservative movement in the US continues strong, I think, and may yet bear more cultural fruit.

5) Not at all to imply that Christianity is a tool for any purpose other than God’s purpose, but, world-wide Christianity is doing very well, and has recently seen many Muslim converts in Africa. Many of these converts relate that they have been moved by dreams to seek out Christianity.