Selling Muhammad the Rope

The “War on Terror,” as the years roll by, looks more like a Maginot Line than like a Blitzkrieg.

Instead of hunting down terrorists or expelling Islamic cells from the United States, President Bush has chosen to attack the rogue states of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Instead of targeting Islam itself as the source of anti-American terrorism, administration officials have spoken blandly of “the religion of peace” and joined hands in prayer with some of the very mullahs who have egged their followers on to destroy us.  Instead of instituting rigorous ethnic profiling of all people whose origin and appearance would give grounds for suspicion, the administration has preferred to pass the PATRIOT Act, an impossibly unwieldy set of measures that intrude into the private lives of library patrons, e-mail correspondents, and elderly DAR members boarding airplanes.  And, finally, instead of protecting the borders, Mr. Bush insists that it is better to fight terrorism in Iraq than here in the United States, and this mantra has been repeated so often to American soldiers that it is virtually the only answer they give when reporters ask them what we are doing in Iraq.

Whether we view the war in Iraq as justifiable or not, this much is clear: We cannot defend Americans at home by killing Iraqis in the Middle East.  Although a large percentage of Republican voters apparently believed that...

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