>The battle in Iraq is about more than what happens there. This is one part of a larger fight–a global fight–against radical Islamic terrorists who have waged war on the United States and our allies.
>This is not a question of fighting for land, for treasure, or for glory–we are fighting to rid the world of a radical and dangerous ideology. We are fighting to defend all that is sacred to our way of life. We are fighting to build a safer and more secure America–one where families can raise their children without the fear of terrorist attacks.
Right after 9/11 some smart guy–no doubt branded a coward and a traitor–pointed out that the very idea of declaring war on terrorism was mistaken. Terrorism is a method. Beyond that, however, he also argued that declaring war on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda only gave them the kind of global significance he had been aiming for.
In a similar vein, waging war (real war, with troops and such) on an ideology only repeats the same basic category mistake. However justified we might have been in attacking people who disagreed with us, attacking them with guns and ammo in order to defeat their ideology makes about as much sense as trampling someone’s feelings underfoot.
I suppose maybe, however, the ideas part of Boehner’s strategy consists in our steely resolve in persisting with our strategy. That’s kind of an idea. But that would only confuse how determined we are to hold our idea, not the cogency of our idea. After all, don’t we constantly complain that the terrorists hold their idea with steely resolve?