This morning on FoxNews Sunday:
Remember the great heroics at D-Day when those Rangers scaled that cliff at Pointe-du-Hoc to take out an enemy position and they believed a machine gun nest up there? When they got up there, there wasn’t any machine gun nest. They killed some people and they were getting shot at. But the target wasn’t there. They remain to this day unbelievable heroes for what they did there. Because we were at war. And there’s all kinds of imprecision in war. And sometimes you do a heroic thing to take a hill that turns out not to matter as much as you thought it would, but it is nonetheless considered heroic because that is the nature of war.
If you believe we are at war, you probably believe that you’ve got to deal with Iraq at some point whether you do it sooner or later. And whether it’s messy and you don’t find everything you thought you would find it doesn’t matter. If you don’t believe we’re at war, it matters like crazy. And so it all comes down in my mind to that debate.
This is the central question.
Are we at war?
I think we are. I honestly believe that we are in the middle of a struggle that will define the next 50 or 75 years and beyond, much like WW2 defined the period from 1945-1995 and beyond. I call the War on Terror the Fourth World War (the Cold War, or at least the last 10 years of the Cold War, was the Third).
George Bush thinks we’re at war, and most of his most important policies reflect this belief. John Kerry doesn’t think we’re at war, and most of his policies reflect this belief.
When I debate the merits of our invasion of Iraq with some Liberal friends, we usually reach an impasse when discussing justification for the campaign. They claim that Iraq presented no threat to the United States, and therefore we were wrong to invade. I claim that North Africa presented no threat to the United States in 1942, and that we were right to invade.
We usually go around in circles at that point. It’s because I think we’re at war, and my friend on the other side of the aisle doesn’t.
Those Rangers who scaled those cliffs on that fateful day in June, 1944 are rightfully heroes. Sure, if we had known those gun emplacements (not a machine gun nest, as Hume states) were not operational, we wouldn’t have risked that one particular mission. But the invasion would have still been necessary, and we would still have been obligated to take the fight to the enemy.