Next Monday, I will give a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) marking six years since 9/11 and outlining the larger war we should have been waging in order to defeat our terrorist enemies on a worldwide basis.
My speech at AEI is designed to make the case for a larger and more productive dialogue about what we need to accomplish in the Real War we’re engaged in — not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but also in dealing with our enemies on a larger strategic scale, including Iran, Syria, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and the worldwide forces of terrorism that want to destroy our civilization and eliminate our freedoms.
The reason I am speaking out is simple: We need a war-winning option, and today we do not have such an option.
Let me explain.
Next week will be the sixth anniversary of the enemy attack on the United States on 9/11. Six years ago, more than 3,000 innocent civilians were murdered by an evil barbaric force, an irreconcilable wing of Islam that seeks to repress women, eliminate religious freedom and punish personal liberty.
For six years, we have failed to confront the scale of our enemy, the direct threat of nuclear and biological weapons if possessed by that enemy, and the scale and nature of the strategy needed to win the larger war with that enemy.
Next week, Gen. David Petraeus, who did a brilliant job in his two previous tours of Iraq and is the best counterinsurgency Army general America has, will issue his report on how the “surge” is working in Iraq.
There will be a “stay the course” camp advocating doing more of what we are already doing, hanging on and hoping for the best. This will be led by President Bush and echoed by his most loyal supporters in the Republican Party.
There will be a “let’s lose quickly to end the American casualties” camp that will reject the Petraeus Report. This camp will note that we have failed to achieve a promised land of peace and stability in Iraq, and therefore, we should legislate defeat in the United States Congress rather than allow Gen. Petraeus to continue his efforts to engage Iraq to help defeat the enemy.
The great tragedy of the six years since 9/11 is that we have not had a national debate about the scale of our opponents, the depth of their hatred for our way of life and the very real threat that they will acquire nuclear and biological weapons. With the former, they may kill hundreds of thousands of Americans in our cities. With the latter, millions of Americans could die in a deliberate attack.
There is no debate about the potential for a second holocaust in which millions die if Israel is overwhelmed with nuclear weapons or if the missiles Hezbollah fires from Southern Lebanon are launched with chemical warheads or if a coalition of terrorist forces backed by Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia simply wear down the Israeli will to resist.
Yet, in World War II, Americans understood that they were involved in a larger life-and-death struggle for the very survival of their civilization. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill knew they had to rally the American and British people to a hard, violent war with tyranny, and they brilliantly described the necessity of defending what they called “our Christian civilization” against Paganism and totalitarianism.
Because the American and British people understood what was at stake and because they believed there was a larger strategy for victory, they were prepared to endure defeats, frustrations and casualties to get to victory.
If the American Congress legislates defeat, it will have taken on its shoulders the burden of politically defeating the United States at a time when it is impossible for our enemies to militarily defeat us.
As long as Saudi sources finance the spread of Wahhabism across the planet and the Wahhabists continue to advocate Jihad and martyrdom, the flow of new terrorist recruits willing to die will continue.
As long as the current dictatorship runs Iran and works every day to create nuclear weapons and to sustain terrorists groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the professional state-sponsored terrorists of the Iranian Guard units, our civilization will not be safe.
Gen. Petraeus will report that things have improved, that we are a long way from winning but we are gaining ground, and that we need more time and more patience. The report will indicate that the military situation in Iraq is improving faster than the political situation but that both are promising.
Our enemies understand how Washington works, and they understand how the media work. They increasingly plan the timing of their attacks in an effort to undermine the resolve of our politicians and our public by perfecting their influence of the war coverage in our news media.
If the enemy does succeed in a series of deadly attacks during the debate over the report, those attacks will be seized upon by the American news media and the pro-defeat left as proof that legislating defeat is the right solution.
No matter what happens that week, given a choice between the self-appointed political generals of Capitol Hill and the professional soldiers and Marines who have dedicated their lives to studying the art of war, it is a lot safer bet to believe in Gen. Petraeus’ analysis than Gen. Pelosi’s.
No one should underestimate what is at stake. Please tune in to my speech September 10, and let your representatives know that we’ve had enough debating defeat. It’s time for a serious discussion of what it takes for victory.
P.S. — Last week, in a lawsuit brought by the AFL-CIO and the ACLU, a federal district court judge in San Francisco blocked the implementation of a new rule adopted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would have a dramatic impact in stemming the flow of illegal immigration into the United States by cracking down on illegal employment.
The new DHS rule would involve sending letters to thousands of employers across the country that have employees with invalid Social Security numbers. These “no-match” letters would give notice to employers that the Social Security numbers of at least 10 of their employees do not match existing Social Security numbers and that they have 90 days to correct the problem. If not corrected, an employer would then face civil and criminal penalties. In issuing an order for a temporary injunction, Judge Maxine Chesney stated that the court needed “breathing room” to determine if the new DHS rule went beyond what was authorized by the 1986 immigration law.
This judge’s decision should serve as a moment of clarity for this Congress. Either the United States government is finally going to take action to reduce the magnet of illegal employment or it is not. The Congress should take decisive action and immediately pass legislation that makes it absolutely clear that existing immigration law permits the type of action that DHS is carrying out to enforce the law.
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