Jewish World Review Oct. 19, 2001 / 2 Mar-Cheshvan, 5762
Debra J. Saunders
Before America gets tired of the
war on terrorism
"WHEN you strike one American, you strike us
all," President Bush said yesterday at Travis Air
Force Base in Fairfield. Bush also declared
America as "strong and resolved and united."
He must have been right about the "united" part
because after his speech Bush met with Gov. Gray
Davis and Davis emerged declaring the tete-a-tete
"a very positive meeting."
The last time Bush was in California, in May, Davis
merrily gave Dubya a PR- thrashing as he
complained how Bush's energy policies were giving
California consumers "a raw deal."
But on this serene Wednesday, on an Air Force
One stop in Fairfield and Sacramento on the way to
China, Davis was Dubya's new best friend. He even
talked up Bush's energy policies. He repeated the
mantra that America is "united." And: "one people,
Unity was apparent among the 3,800 people who
came to see Bush speak in Sacramento. They
loudly sang along with "G-d Bless the USA --
Proud to Be an American." Their eyes were misty.
They cheered when Bush promised, "We will not
tire. We will not falter, and my fellow Americans,
we will not fail."
Bush is aware that the cheering may not last forever.
Yesterday morning, the White House released a
transcript of an interview Bush gave to Asian
journalists in advance of Bush' trip to Shanghai.
During the interview, one editor asked if the
administration's Korean policy would change if
North Korea resumed hostilities and "the war
prolongs, as you have expected, one or two years."
Toward the end of the interview, Bush addressed
the time issue: "You mark my words, people are
going to get tired of the war on terrorism. And by
the way, it may take more than two years. . . . You
said one or two years. I envision something taking
longer than that."
No doubt, Bush has a very personal sense of the
danger of waging war, then withdrawing too soon.
His father's 1991 decision to cease fire on Saddam
Hussein's forces after 100 hours of ground
operations in the Persian Gulf War was true to the
international coalition's stated goals. However, 48
more hours of fighting might have made a difference
in weakening the ring around Hussein and, if not in
shortening his tenure, at least in undermining his
power and making him less able to wreak havoc on
his own people.
Bush predicted in his interview with the Asian
journalists that "Some people are going to start to
say: We're tired, but President Bush keeps going
on." He foresees the day when resolve and unity
may weaken, but promised to keep fighting
"because I think it's the right thing to do."
Already in one corner of America, there is no
resolve and no sense of unity.
Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council approved
by a 5-to-4 vote a resolution calling for a stop to
the bombing of Afghanistan "as quickly as possible."
No doubt many Berkeleyites oppose the bombing
on some sort of principle or another. Some may be
pacifists, others just seem knee-jerk anti-American.
Still, whether it was their intent or not, supporters of
the resolution cannot deny that their vote sends a
message to Osama bin Laden: Don't attack
Berkeley -- we're your buds.
And: Don't hurt Berkeley. You want Americans to
fight with each other. You want our resolve to
buckle. This town is where the disunity in America
Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.
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© 2000, Creators Syndicate