If we are to win the so-called war on terror, it will not be because we killed all of our enemies. For one thing, there are too many of them, and besides, it only takes one fanatic to detonate a nuclear or biological weapon. No, if we win this war, it will be because we regained the moral high ground.
To do that, we have to win the hearts and minds of Muslims on the street. That takes us back to Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush or back further to Mr. Lincoln or, if you prefer, all the way back to Mr. Jesus. Turning our enemies into friends. That’s the only long-term strategy that makes any sense.
Ultimately, it is Muslims who must excise the scourge of radicalism from Islam. From within. We can help by behaving like the generous, just and benevolent society moderate Muslims once considered us to be.
Sorry, doves, but that doesn’t mean getting out of Iraq tomorrow. The military mission must be completed. But hawks must realize that there can be no lasting victory without a humanitarian mission as well. Not just in Iraq. In Bangladesh, the West Bank, anywhere in the Muslim world where there is suffering. Do that and who knows? Maybe by next Christmas we can start beating our swords into plowshares.