Why It Is A War On Terror, Alan Keyes, World Net Daily, August 11, 2006
The following are excerpts from Alan Keyes commentary on Sen. Santorum’s speech to the National Press Club on July 20, 2006. It is well worth reading in its entirety here:
The main point of Sen. Santorum's speech is that President Bush was wrong to define the war in which we are presently engaged as a war against terrorism. "Some say we're fighting a war on terror," he observes. "That's like saying World War II was a war on blitzkrieg. Terror, like blitzkrieg, is a tactic of war used by our enemy; it is not the enemy. … In World War II, we fought Nazism and Japanese imperialism. Today we are fighting against Islamic fascism."
Terror isn't just a tactic Islamic fascists use. It is essential to what they are. Neglecting this fact is not only a semantic error. It is a strategic blunder.
Morale has always played a critical role in the outcome of war, but never more so than in the current conflict. A properly articulated understanding of the reason we must fight may be the key to maintaining our morale, i.e., our moral purpose and cohesion.
Sen. Santorum, himself, illustrates this at other points in his speech. Throughout the speech, he characterizes the Islamic fascists as brutal, wicked and evil.
It turns out that the key to victory or defeat is moral understanding. The Islamic fascists are evil, and it is right to defend ourselves against them. To illustrate their wickedness Sen. Santorum recounts the numerous terror plots and attacks that they have conceived and acted upon. So though terror is a tactic, their willingness to make use of it establishes the moral difference between them and the people they attack. Our sense of that moral difference is indispensable to maintaining the clear conviction that our fight against them is right and proper.
Each time we speak of the war on terror, therefore, we evoke the moral cause of the war in which we are engaged. We rightly remind ourselves that our fight is not just against people who have attacked us, but against the evil that they embrace and embody in their heinous crimes against human conscience. We also remind the world at large that the fight is not for us alone, but for people everywhere who believe that there are moral rules that should not be transgressed, even in war.
As a nation, we cannot escape this challenge by obscuring the moral clarity that defines and justifies the difficult war in which we are engaged.
We are not just doing the right thing by fighting terrorism, it is a moral obligation.