America is, whether it recognizes it or not, at war

Democrats' talk of engaging Iran and Syria is both dangerous and silly.

us israel flags burn 88 (photo credit:)
us israel flags burn 88
(photo credit: )
The coming US election, preceded by what is arguably the longest election campaign in American history, will turn on which question it serves to answer: is it about which candidate most represents change, or which will keep America secure at a time of war? At the moment, it looks like there is no serious contest between these questions. It is an election about change. Even though the case could be made that America has done well on both the economic and security fronts under George Bush, Americans are fed up with him, much as Israelis were fed up with Binyamin Netanyahu by the time he was booted out of office. Yet the assassination of Benazir Bhutto demonstrates how quickly the outside world can remind America of its existence. Suddenly, the world can look like a more threatening place. When that happens, Americans look to the presidency, more than any other office, to safeguard their security. As for those of us watching America anxiously from outside, the need for a global leader is obvious, in stark contrast to the near irrelevance - absent major international incidents - of this consideration to Americans themselves. Particularly in Israel, we can see that America is, whether it recognizes it or not, at war - the same war that Israel is fighting to defend itself against Islamofascist aggression. Though Bush is strongly identified with this fight, in my book neither party has a monopoly over how best to confront the threats facing the West. So far, the Democrats' talk of engaging Iran and Syria as a panacea is dangerous and silly, but the Republicans have not put forward a coherent strategy for defeating Islamofascism either. Indeed, as the Bush Administration enters its final years, its policies attain a greater resemblance to the previous administration's approach than to the path Bush set out in the months and years following 9/11. As the campaign slogs on, I will be looking for clues as to how the candidates from both parties would conduct American foreign policy should they be elected, and what the election will mean for the epic global struggle that is currently brewing in a way that has not been seen since the 1930s.