By the time I hit "PUBLISH" on this post, a cool and gentle breeze will have begun flowing into the brimstone gates of hell, as I'm about to agree with Bill Maher.
The debate rages on about Iraq while Americans are dying left and right. On any given day I could defend the proposition that these are unnecessary deaths and I can just as easily side with those who believe these are sacrifices that are ensuring freedom and safety for future generations. I usually doubt those, like my friend Robert, who say we invaded Iraq for oil, but at times I have my suspicions. Surge or no surge? Yes.
I'm that fickle.
Yet there's something that Maher says that I just can't deny. When it comes to the war on terror, President Bush's fatal flaw isn't that he asked too much from our country. It's that he didn't ask enough. After we were attacked, a wave of civic responsibility and unity overcame us. We were together and together we were asking, "What can we do?"
After Pearl Harbor, the event in our history most resembling 9/11, Americans sacrificed. Industry began manufacturing tanks instead of cars. Families consumed less. Children stashed money away in coffee cans and adults purchased war bonds. Everyone had a part and much was demanded.
There was a small window of opportunity where the American public would have done anything this President asked of us to fight the Islamic extremists. And what did he ask for? Patience. He relied on our military and asked the rest of us to be patient and understand that our soldiers may have to die so we can be comfortable and that our victories will not be like the victories of the past. In short, as Maher has said, he asked "the enemy" to fight our military. He didn't make them fight all of us.
So we went back to obsessing over Britney's bald head.