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Thursday, September 02, 2004

The New York Times > Opinion > Mr. Bush and the Truth About Terror

The New York Times > Opinion > Mr. Bush and the Truth About Terror: "September 2, 2004
Mr. Bush and the Truth About Terror

While Republican delegates have been meeting in New York City, terrorist bombs have been exploding in the rest of the world. The horrific pictures of victims on an Israeli bus and slain airplane and subway passengers, as well as of a school held hostage in Russia, are a stark reminder to Americans that terrorism is not all about us. It is the tactic of preference for the self-obsessed radical movements of our age.
President Bush was absolutely right when he said it was impossible to win a war against terrorism - it's like announcing we can win a war against violence. Terrorism can only be minimized and controlled, and that can be done only with a worldwide strategy, joined by all of the world's sensible and peaceful nations. We hope that when Mr. Bush accepts his party's nomination for re-election tonight, he makes that argument.
The chances of a serious dialogue about terror took a blow, of course, when Mr. Bush retracted his completely sensible statement about terrorism after the Kerry-Edwards campaign attacked it. So far, this has been an election season of monumental simple-mindedness, in which the candidates start each day by telling us this is the most important election in the history of the planet, then devote the rest of their waking hours to meaningless sniping. But it's certainly not too late to elevate the conversation.
Tonight we do not need Mr. Bush to remind us that he went to ground zero and spoke through a bullhorn. It was a fine gesture that any president would have made. As far as judging his leadership, it is as irrelevant as the famous extra minutes he spent in a classroom in Flori"

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