Sen. Kerry's presidential campaign argument that the War on Terrorism is actually all about finding bin Laden and bringing him in for criminal prosecution was always absurd, in my view, but the recent attack on the American consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as reported here in the Times of London, should explode that idea thoroughly. The network of terrorism that has set its eye on the United States, the West, and the rest of the modern world is far bigger than OBL and has to be attacked at the roots. The root of all this evil is state sponsorship of terrorism, for activities on this scale simply cannot occur unless some nations turn a blind eye to terrorists in their midst. We must always keep that in mind when considering what to do about terrorism today.
Reasonable people can disagree over whether an overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was a necessary and appropriate part of the remedy, but what cannot be denied is that the War on Terror does and must range quite far, and that state sponsorship of terrorism must be halted entirely. In addition, it is also evident that only the United States has both the resources and national courage to lead such a fight and indeed, to go it alone if necessary. Whether we have the will is the only important question remaining.