Since September 11, the government has been assuring us that those who have been terrorizing us will be found and brought to justice. President Bush sounds very confident as he proclaims that we will win the war on terrorism. And the cabinet members, the press secretary and members of both houses of Congress reassure us that life will return to "normal".
While this war is vastly different from other wars we have fought, including the war in Vietnam, there is one similarity to this war and the Vietnam War. In both cases, the government is far more concerned about politics, both international and domestic, than it is about actually winning the war.
The war on terrorism is winnable. But we won't win it.
I have no doubt that we will find Osama Bin Laden, that we will eventually topple the Taliban government in Afghanistan and that we will disrupt many major organized terrorist networks. However, the US Government and the American people refuse to acknowledge the number of fundamentalist Muslims (both Arab and non-Arab), who view their mission in life to kill Americans and to destroy our way of life.
For every terrorist we find, capture, prosecute and/or kill, another will rise in his place, without a prior record, many without prior connections to other terrorists, and they will travel to the United States and martyr themselves for their "cause", killing a few Americans along with them. From now on, the United States will bear more similarities to Israel than the America that existed prior to this year.
The only way to win the war on terrorism is to no longer allow anyone into the United States who is a Muslim, and to deport Muslims currently living here who are not already US citizens.
Of course this will not be done.
And even then, there will be Muslim sympathizers who were born and raised in the United States (such as members of the New Black Panther Party) who hate America and everything we stand for and who will be willing to sacrifice their own lives to kill a few of the rest of us. That number would be small, however, and very manageable if we closed the borders to terrorists from outside.
But the borders will remain open. And their will be no "racial profiling" or "religious profiling" in allowing people to come into the country. As long as an America-hater wants in to commit some horrific deed, all he will need to do is stay clean until he gets here, or simply alter his identity so that his ties can't be traced.
And from this point on, America will always be a "war zone."