We need to stay engaged with the world and understand our enemies.
May 08 2013
By Senator Marco Rubio
National Review Online
May 8, 2013
Now that more than a decade has passed since September 11, 2001, for some, the events of that day appear increasingly distant. A new generation of Americans is coming of age that did not live through the horror of those attacks.
Until the Boston bombings, many of our citizens knew the effects of 9/11 only through the intrusive security requirements of air travel. If nothing else, recent events should remind us that we are a country at war, that radical Islamic jihadists are evil, and that America has a moral and security responsibility to lead the fight to defeat them. Unfortunately, we have a president who wants to declare the war over, the enemy defeated.
Time and again, he and his top officials have failed to characterize the threat for what it truly is. Senior administration officials have described the leadership of al-Qaeda as “a shadow of its former self” or as having been “decimated.” And to be sure, the current administration has achieved some very real counterterror successes.
But if we’re not even willing to characterize the war as a war, or the threat as a threat, how can we ensure that we will win this battle? If, instead, we want to see every act of terror in the United States as some isolated case, disconnected from a broader effort — as administration officials are now spinning Boston — we’re doing a disservice to the American people.
President Obama is failing to explain to the American people the consequences of this conflict, why it is important, what the stakes are, and who our enemy actually is.
Across the globe, we’ve seen the results of his approach: an America disengaged, failing to lead, unwilling to tackle tough challenges, while others, who often do not share our values, fill the void. We’ve gone from being a country with a decades-long record of shaping world events, the guarantor of peace and stability, to being, in many cases, a mere bystander to world events, lagging behind others.
In reaction to the approach of the current administration, some argue that we should hunker down here at home. They believe that the government has overreached on national security — that more than a decade after 9/11, we need to focus more on restricting our government than on fighting those who want to kill us and disrupt our way of life.
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