How do you win the war on terror?
If we are talking about military steps, in the modern era we say it is over and go home.
The Obama administration is already taking those steps in Iraq and making the investments to get Afghanistan to the point where we can do that too.
In a more profound way, though, the way we win the war on terror is to eliminate enemy.
If there is no enemy, there is no terror.
If there is no enemy, there is no war.
The Bush administration wanted us to believe that we could kill all our enemies because we were so much more powerful than they were.
The reality is that we can’t kill them all, and our efforts to do so only made them stronger because two rose up to take the place of every one that we killed.
Instead President Obama is going to unmask our enemy and reveal that they are more like us and we are more like them than either of us would like to admit.
He is doing that by reaching out to the Muslim world to change their perception of the United States. What better person to do that than a brown skinned man with a muslim-sounding name.
The Muslim world won’t trust the United States overnight. They will want to see tangible evidence that the United States is serious about peace in the Middle East and in Iraq.
Obama is, however, laying the groundwork. He intends to treat the Muslim world with the same sort of respect that we would like to see from them. He will follow that with a diplomatic plan to address the issues that represent barriers to peace.
Ultimately, he will succeed and win the war on terror by turning our enemies into our friends.
Some who read this are going to immediately assume that it is naive to assume that one man could have that effect. One group, however, is taking Mr. Obama’s initiative very seriously. That group is Al Qaeda. If their actions are any indication, they are afraid of him. If President Bush was their greatest recruiting tool, President Obama may be their greatest enemy. I believe he is their greatest enemy because he knows he can win this war.