'Battle of America' tests our will

(John Andrews in the Denver Post, Jan. 15) You’ve heard of the Battle of Britain. The country most identified with Western civilization and human freedom through the centuries, our mother country, stood alone in 1940 against Hitler and the forces of darkness. Had Britain not narrowly prevailed, the world would be unrecognizable today. This column, aiming not to cheer but to arouse you, will argue that our country in 2006 is locked in a struggle every bit as grave, against an enemy every bit as dangerous. I call it the Battle of America. Unless the United States prevails, our world will be unrecognizable very soon.

Exaggeration? Consider the parallels. When Winston Churchill was summoned as prime minister, remember, Britain not only faced military adversity. She was also torn with political self-questioning about whether to fight on against the Nazis at all. That story is grippingly told by historian John Lukacs in his hour-by-hour account, “Five Days in London.”

The Battle of Britain, as he relates, was more than an underdog power’s heroic victory over the Luftwaffe air armada. It was first a free society’s struggle of the soul about what constituted national identity and survival.

Three years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, we are at a similar stage in the Battle of America. Our peril is actually greater. The Al Qaeda nuclear threat to our cities is more apocalyptic than the German blitz on London, yet less galvanizing for self-preservation. And the Democratic psychology of defeatism besetting President Bush is worse than anything Churchill faced from doves inside his war cabinet.

Radical Islamists, the fascist heirs of Hitler, want to nuke our great urban centers, kill us by the millions, paralyze our economy, drive us from democracy and civil liberties into desperate martial law, and destroy the United States as a nation. They have said so.

Yet the party out of power, the university elite, entertainment celebrities, and the mainstream media would have you believe the mortal danger to our way of life comes not from this fanatical enemy but from Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.

We are unquestionably winning the Battle of Iraq. The millions of purple fingers and the regional wave of democratization prove it. The Battle of America is another matter, however. The only way we can lose in Iraq (same as Vietnam) is to quit, Vice President Cheney recently noted. But influential voices like Congressman Murtha and Chairman Dean are urging we do just that.

The Battle of America is a mind game, and right now the advantage is with Chamberlain-style appeasement and Oxford Union passivity: “Resolved, this house refuses to fight.” The hour is late. It’s time for the silent majority to make itself heard with a lion’s roar of Churchillian defiance. Britain’s cowardly continental neighbors are already being called Eurabia. Do you want your kids growing up in Amerabia?

This is for all the marbles. As Congress returns, Coloradans should tell Sen. Salazar, Rep. DeGette, and their fellow Democrats to wake up, you could get us killed, there’s a war on. We should encourage Sen. Allard, Rep. Tancredo, and their fellow Republicans to stay on a war footing and support our Commander-in-chief unwaveringly.

Penetrating Al Qaeda and overhearing their every whisper, warrants or not, must be our charge to Mr. Bush. Renewing the Patriot Act, so intelligence and law enforcement can cooperate against the terrorists, must be job one on the Hill. Crushing the enemy no matter how long it takes, not hurrying home and demobilizing, must be the order for our fighting forces in the Muslim lands.

Winning the Battle of America will mean being harsher, not nicer, to captured Islamofascists; distrustful of their Palestinian co-belligerents and faithful to brave Israel; tougher on our unfriendly neighbor, Mexico, and the flood of lawbreakers she sends north (many thousands of Middle Easterners among them). Sherman was right, war is hell. But national extinction is worse, and we’re running out of middle ground.

Those five days in London, May 1940, saw Britain beat the mind game, reject the surrender temptation, and go on to win its battle. Can America now do the same? This year may tell.