Israelis have something to teach Americans. It goes something like this: It’s fine [for President Obama] to say that “America is not at war with Islam,” to point out that most Muslims are not terrorists and that many American Muslims are moderates. That’s true, as far as it goes.
But it only goes so far. Because America is at war and its enemies are Muslims. Politically correct hairsplitting runs the risk of Americans blinding themselves to that simple but critical fact. It makes no difference what percentage of the world’s Muslims wants to destroy America. There are enough of them that US air travel is now abominably unpleasant and, more importantly, enough of them that more strikes on America appear inevitable.
The US got lucky on Christmas Day when the bomber headed to Detroit failed to detonate his explosives, and was lucky again in Times Square in May, but less fortunate at Fort Hood. Yet those may be but the beginning. We could, heaven forbid, come to see 9/11 as child’s play.
The United States’ future is under attack, but Americans resist admitting it. President Barack Obama has sent 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, but he has also said that he intends to pull them out by July. Can we imagine FDR declaring war on Germany, but then adding that the war had to be over in a year, or in two? It would have been laughable. And America would have lost. The US has to decide – is it committed to destroying those who wish it ill, or is it willing to be destroyed by them? Those, sadly, are its only two alternatives.
Whether or not the Ground Zero mosque ultimately gets built may not matter nearly as much as whether or not Americans are willing to gird themselves for the battles that sadly lie ahead.
America can remain the “land of the free,” but only if it is also the “home of the brave.”