OpinionJournal : "Will yesterday's savagery reunite the West against its common enemy?
That was an impressive sight yesterday, in Gleneagles, Scotland, of British Prime Minister Tony Blair responding to the London terror attacks flanked in solidarity by all the world's major leaders. Now let's hope those leaders react with the resolve President Bush showed after 9/11, rather than retreat the way Spain did after the Madrid bombings last year.
...The best response would be for G-8 leaders to immediately expand their commitments to both countries [Iraq and Afganistan]. Islamists are most dangerous when they sense weakness. And they can be forgiven for detecting it as they've watched debates in Europe and the U.S. in recent months. The calls to close Guantanamo, the recriminations over rendition of terror suspects, the demands for a "date certain" to withdraw from Iraq: In the mind of al Qaeda these are all signs of the West's flagging will to prevail...
...For months the debate in Washington hasn't been over how best to fight terrorists but how harshly we treat them. Rather than strengthen the Patriot Act, Congress wants to weaken it by creating a library loophole. The press corps has wallowed in Abu Ghraib as the defining event of the entire Iraq War.
...Perhaps the London bombings will inspire a new shared determination. Yesterday Mr. Blair read a joint statement of the leaders present, including France's Jacques Chirac and Germany's Gerhard Schroeder: 'Today's bombings will not weaken in any way our resolve to uphold the most deeply held principles of our societies and to defeat those who would impose their fanaticism and extremism on all of us. We shall prevail and they shall not.' More than what they say, the world will be watching what those leaders now do, al Qaeda most of all. "
As unfortunate as yesterday certainly was, perhaps the event will wake up many Americans who have quickly forgotten what 9/12/01 felt like and the resolve that our country shared, however briefly. It appears now to have faded in the stink of partisan politics, the creep of pacificism and protectionism, the great waving of the Downing Street Memo as something it certainly is not, the disconnect of some that Operation Iraqi Freedom is indeed part of the Global War on Terror, and an impression to the world that Osama bin Laden may have been right after all when he wrote and proclaimed that the West and especially America is too weak to fight a hard long war against Islamic jihad.
Will the geart voice of the American and British people push our leaders to fight and show our resolve or show weakness until we have another catastrophe greater than our 9/11/01 and 7/77/05? What does it take for Westerners to realize this is indeed a war we are fighting whether we want to or not?