Four Years After

So much has happened to obscure the real nature of the crisis the nation faced on September 11, 2001, as well as the remarkable solidarity shown by the American people in the aftermath, that it is hard to believe it has been only four years since Al Qaeda terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In response to the attacks, the nation came together in a rare and inspiring way. Despite the bitterly disputed 2000 presidential election, Democrats rallied behind President George W. Bush, supporting him in nearly every initiative touching on national security. When the decision was made to invade Afghanistan and dislodge the Taliban regime sheltering Al Qaeda, the president rightly had the support of a united nation and people across the world. Our cause was just and our means proportionate.

Today, two and a half years into the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, the United States is distrusted abroad and deeply divided at home. Cindy Sheehan and other parents, who count their sons or daughters among the nearly 1,900 American dead in this unnecessary war, are encamped outside the president’s Texas ranch. Sheehan has inspired people to ask the right questions: Why did we invade Iraq, and why are we still there? Why are such a small number of Americans bearing the burden of this war? Does the president have a realistic plan to bring stability to Iraq? Or has he launched...

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