Reaction to President Bush's speech Tuesday night says a lot about what some politicians will do to gain partisan advantage in the middle of a war without borders or boundaries.
Even before the speech, a few liberal democrats took to the Senate floor and the airwaves to denounce the president's Iraq policy as a failure.
The big objection of the critics is what they say was the president's linkage of 9/11 to Iraq. He never said that. What he said was that Iraq is part of the broader war on terrorism that includes 9/11.
Those who have killed us, are killing us and wish to kill more of us are linked. They don't separate 9/11 from Iraq. To them, their hateful political ideology and extreme fundamentalist religion have the same objective — the destruction of America, Israel, Europe and all things western and the subjugation by force to their radical brand of Islamofacism.
That's the link and it is a conspiracy of demons. Nothing America or Israel does or doesn't do will keep these people from pursuing their bloody objectives — nothing except fighting, killing or capturing them before they cause more destruction on our shores.
Many of the critics have been wrong before. Senators Evan Bayh, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy all predicted that a free election in Iraq was either unlikely or would fail.
Elections were held, but that doesn't stop these false prophets from making new predictions and opposing the president at every turn.
These statements give aid and comfort to the terrorists. They believe we will back down, as we did in Vietnam 30 years ago, Lebanon 20 years ago and Mogadishu 12 years ago. They believe we lack the will to see this through.
In his speech Tuesday night, the president tried to shore up public opinion and American resolve. It will be a long war. It is a world war. And unless we stay the course, it will be an endless war.
And that's Column One for this week.
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Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.