A whack-a-mole strategy is hardly enough — especially if Republicans continue sitting this one out.
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Imagine, if you can, a debate in which three questioners faced off with the candidates. The Dream Team of questioners would consist of a few men whose knowledge and strategic thinking about the issue of winning war and ending the threat of Islamic terrorism is known for its clarity: Former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Richard Myers and — since this is, unfortunately, a fictional debate — me. Here are the most important questions the candidates should have to answer:
From Mr. Rumsfeld: “How would you structure and employ America’s military and intelligence capabilities to end the threat of Islamic terrorism? Give us at least three specific points in your answer.”
From Gen. Myers: “In my book Eyes on the Horizon, I wrote that ‘The nations that sponsor terrorism must stop. Compelling states to stop supporting terrorists will often require military activity, which will be inherently controversial.’ Do you agree that we have to end state sponsorship of terrorism and, if so, how would you do it?”
From me: “The war in which we are engaged is in two parts: a kinetic war, which we are fighting in places from Afghanistan to Yemen and more; and an ideological war which we haven’t yet begun to fight. How would you win the ideological war against the Islamists?”
President Obama’s defense strategy is to fight a “hands-off” war, with drones killing terrorists and rhetoric apologizing for America to the rest of the Islamic world. It is a delaying action, aimed at keeping the war off the front pages until after the election. And while all of our political energy is being used to debate why so many Texans are without health insurance, Obama’s failure to engage and defeat our principal enemies in a decisive war increases the dangers we face now and will face forever until we change the strategy or lose the war.
Leadership isn’t only about how to reduce the bloated federal budget. It’s about explaining to the American people — to paraphrase Jefferson — in words so plain and firm as to command their assent. In an election, Jefferson’s “assent” means demonstrating adherence to a leader by voting for him, not just against the other guy.
With Florida’s acceleration of the primary election schedule, there is little time for candidates to focus on anything. But if they fail to focus on this debate, they will default to Obama and leave us leaderless on the most fundamental issue affecting America’s future.
How, gentlemen, can we “win the future” if we first do not secure it?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?