Focus Point - The Wartime PresidentCommentary by Pete du Pont
October 26, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. It's become commonplace to suggest the Bush Presidency will be defined by the long term response to September 11. So far, I think he's headed for a good spot in the history books.
He's labeled it a war, which it is. He's been realistic, not promising quick a fix. He's built coalitions with unlikely members that can isolate the enemy. Most important, he's made it clear, over and over, that the war includes countries that support terrorists, not just the terrorists themselves.
Of course, there are questions. Can Bush hold the coalition together? Many are coalitions of convenience, not commitment. Attacking the sponsor countries will require resolve; to let Syria and Iraq skate if the evidence points against them means the war is lost.
The greatest task facing President Bush is to lay out both a broad vision and specific strategies to hold us together over the long period it will take to win a war against terrorism. It's a relentless and time-consuming effort. But I think Bush is up to it. But are we?
Those are my ideas, and at the ncpa we know ideas can change the world. I'm pete du pont, and I'll see you next time.