What U.S. newspapers are saying

Nov. 5, 2001 at 11:14 AM
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New York Times

America seems to be governed by two presidents. The George W. Bush who is commander in chief has been keeping the country united at a time when the war in Afghanistan has run into problems. But the George W. Bush running domestic policy is an entirely different person, less a leader than a narrowly focused politician. If America is to fight terrorism within its own borders and conquer the economic recession, the commander in chief is going to have to take control at home, too.

Americans trust Mr. Bush's leadership on foreign policy because his direction has been fair and nonpartisan, rising far above the ideology on which he campaigned. He has steered clear of political grandstanding, consulting Democrats as well as Republicans, and ignoring the hawks in his own party who have been demanding a wider war. On the home front, however, Mr. Bush acts as if he still cannot afford to alienate the right-wing leaders of the Republican Party and the big business and energy interests behind them.

Initially, Mr. Bush sent the appropriate signals to Congressional leaders to work together and produce legislation to rescue the economy, stiffen laws on terrorism and increase airport security. There was also a good initial response on Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans cooperated to produce a criminal justice bill on terrorism. In the Senate, the two parties crafted a bipartisan approach on beefing up security at airports that included expanding the federal work force to handle the job. Then Mr. Bush abruptly backed an ideological approach pushed by House Republicans who could not stomach the idea of increasing the number of federal employees. The Republican bill squeaked through the House last week, prompting cheers of partisan joy at the White House.

It was sobering to see Mr. Bush throw himself into the lobbying for a victory that is important only to one wing of his own party, while undercutting Republicans who had worked in the Senate to fashion a bipartisan approach. The end result will be to delay, or endanger, the passage of any airport security bill, and to reduce Mr. Bush's credibility with Democrats as an objective mediator.

Even worse is the president's failure of leadership on economic stimulus. While urging Congress to work fast, Mr. Bush has guaranteed a legislative impasse by backing a bill that does nothing to help the immediate economy and gives out all but a fraction of its benefits to corporations, especially in the energy field and to the wealthiest taxpayers.

The next issue requiring Mr. Bush's leadership relates to public spending. Of the $40 billion set aside after the terrorist attacks of September, only $7.7 billion is to be spent on homeland defenses, including airports, bioterrorism protections and improved safety. It is becoming increasingly obvious that this money will not be enough. A crash effort has to begin now to secure all transportation links, not simply airports, and to upgrade security of the nation's water supplies, food and nuclear facilities. There also needs to be a serious look at giving Tom Ridge's Office of Homeland Security real budgetary and operational authority over the functions now scattered in dozens of agencies.

When Democrats argue that money for these items should be attached to spending bills going through Congress now, the Bush administration wants to wait until next year, apparently because it feels the nation cannot afford the additional costs. But if that is the case, how can we afford multibillion-dollar tax cuts for corporations and the highest earners in the country? The nation needs its commander in chief to step in, and set priorities that meet the urgent current needs rather than one party's election promises.

Washington Post

In Marrakesh this week, representatives of more than 160 nations are meeting to push the Kyoto Protocol on global warming a step closer to ratification. As delegates hammer out the mechanics for implementing the protocol, the United States is once again on the sidelines, as it has been since President Bush announced his decision in March to abandon the Kyoto process. U.S. representatives are attending the talks but are bringing no new proposals to the table for this round. A Cabinet-level review of climate change policies has been underway since an initial set of recommendations for more research and technology development was announced last spring. It's not apparent that much was coming from that process even before Sept. 11, but the events of that day and the response to them clearly have pushed the issue aside for the time being. Few would quarrel with that at this moment, nor should they. But the underlying obligation to address global warming is not going to disappear.

The administration continues to insist it takes climate change seriously. But the president is lobbying for a House-passed energy bill that falls far short on automobile fuel efficiency standards, which would help to reduce carbon emissions. The administration also has squared off to fight a Senate bill that would limit the carbon dioxide output from power plants, which account for more than a third of U.S. emissions of that greenhouse gas. The president's energy plan does contain some steps toward energy efficiency and conservation, both key to holding down greenhouse gas emissions, but he himself has said more needs to be done. Officials are still much clearer on what they're against than on what additional steps to reduce greenhouse gases, other than more research, they're prepared to support.

More study is worthwhile, but it's not enough. The potential consequences of climate change are so serious, and the buildup of greenhouse gases is so difficult to reverse, that the only prudent course is to find responsible ways to act even while research continues. Private companies are finding ways to move ahead; so are some state governments. The federal government ought to be able to act as well. President Bush promised leadership on climate change; it's still needed.

St. Paul Pioneer Planet

This week marks vital movement on two fronts in the war on terrorism. The military campaign in Afghanistan, intensified last week, is reaching both deep and wide to meet its objectives. The public relations campaign, after flagging in the face of other administration priorities, rises to full volume. President Bush is scheduled to speak frequently and directly about the conduct of the war and the value of the alliances behind it.

The new round of presidential morale building, which will culminate Saturday at the United Nations, gives needed reminders of the military imperatives and the resolve behind them.

The dual escalations will help Americans dismiss the foolish chatter about an incipient military quagmire and buck up allies on a variety of key endeavors. The decision to press this war without recess for the Islamic month of Ramadan demonstrates that the United States knows the distinction between war and diplomatic dithering. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made this point repeatedly, and is now off to Russia and Central Asian countries to shore up important relationships for waging war.

There is no way to win this war except with a long, complex military campaign as part of equation. One month of hard slogging in Afghanistan does not a quagmire make. A month of air and ground action, now beefed up, makes a beginning for destroying terrorist networks and the Taliban there. Prevailing is not optional. Prevailing requires patience, so much better understood in the Mideast that has spawned this war than here.

Americans have shown their profound capacity to come together against a clear and present danger to freedom. But patience has seldom been a national strength. It needs to be now. Bush should reiterate his excellent themes from the address to Congress that laid out the purposes of the war on terrorism.

The administration would help its mission further if it would allow better media access to military in the field. There is always a tension between the military's wish for secrecy and information control, and the media's mission to inform. But this Defense Department is tugging too hard toward darkness.

Bush and his key aides are certain to revisit another point on American intent: that the war is against terrorism falsely dressed up as Islam, not against Islam or its faithful. This message is an important tool to dismantle the enemy's adroit framing of pictures of civilian casualties in Afghanistan as the manifestations of Western iniquity.

Returning to the reasons and requirements for the difficult, complex military campaign on foreign soil reinforces that mission. We will be listening as Bush rallies the troops -- civilian and military.

San Diego Union-Tribune

It is natural for Americans to think that this is our war. Sept. 11 happened to us, no one else and people must answer for that.

But it is also an alliance war, in some ways more an alliance war than any other. It is the first time that NATO has ever invoked its mutual defense clause for an action outside of Europe. That clause, Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty, states that an attack on any member (there are 19) is considered an attack on all.

America needs all the help it can get in this conflict.

It is not that we aren't capable of handling Afghanistan on our own, but that this is not an ordinary conflict determined just by bombs and bullets. We aren't facing vast armies and modern weapons. We are facing anthrax spores and threats against buildings and bridges.

We've had help in intelligence, logistics and diplomacy, not just from the allies, but also from Russia, Pakistan and nations of Central Asia. In intelligence, the Europeans have helped track down terrorist networks that now reach across the Atlantic.

Some of the terrorists who died Sept. 11, and some of the suspects currently in custody with links to them, have ties to allied nations, particularly Germany, Canada and France. Allied help in detaining and questioning the suspects moves us closer to destroying the al-Qaeda network.

But the time is approaching for fighting on the ground. If Afghanistan's Taliban continues to protect Osama bin Laden, we have no choice but to destroy the Taliban. At some point the bombing must give way to ground forces -- not just advisers and commandos, but infantry.

The Afghan opposition will not be enough to defeat the Taliban. It would not be the opposition if it had not already been defeated by the Taliban.

Where will NATO be when this clash comes? The British, Australians, Canadians and Turks, all NATO members, have pledged special operations forces. Even Japan, whose Constitution bans it from using military force, is providing logistic support. France, Germany, Italy and Spain have all offered direct combat help.

So far, the Bush administration has been keeping the allies at arm's length. There are no doubt reasons of security and command and control for wanting to keep the war -- so far -- a mainly U.S. show, but the time is at hand to get the allies more involved militarily.

The war against terrorism is not just America's war. We are the focus of it now for we are under attack, but most of our allies have experienced terrorism and want to help. It is in America's interest to show that this is not America against terrorism but civilization against terrorism.

We don't know yet whether this will be a short conflict or drawn-out. The Taliban could collapse tomorrow or protect bin Laden until the last mullah lies dead in his cave. Either way, it is in America's interest to make this an alliance war. That's what alliances are for.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Addicts have few morals. If necessary, they will lie, cheat and steal from their own mothers to get the fix they crave.

If you look at U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, addiction explains a lot of it. Some of what the United States is doing in that region is merely hypocritical; some of it's downright harmful to our own national security. But it's all being driven by our craving for oil.

For example, we act as though Saudi Arabia is a close and valued U.S. ally. We even station troops in that country, to protect it from outside enemies and internal revolt. And what are we protecting? A corrupt and brutally repressive monarchy that makes Castro's Cuba look as open as Great Britain.

And one-quarter of the world's known oil reserves.

Saudi Arabia is also committed --- publicly and privately --- to the destruction of Israel, our closest friend in the region. Last year, when Israeli and Palestinian leaders were tantalizingly close to settling their dispute, Saudi support might have convinced the Palestinians to accept. Instead the Saudis undercut the deal, to the great detriment of U.S. interests in the region.

And did the United States squawk? Not even a little bit.

In addition, the Saudi elite apparently diverts a share of its oil profits to quietly bankroll anti-American and anti-Israeli groups, including Osama bin Laden and al Qaida. The Saudi regime has refused to cooperate in the investigation of terror attacks against U.S. targets, and in its government-run schools, it indoctrinates children in anti-Western rhetoric. Fifteen of the 19 suspected terrorists in the Sept. 11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia.

Our continued support for the Saudi government despite that record has not gone unnoticed. To the rest of the world, we look like a country that talks piously of democracy yet supports brutal repression. We look like a superpower so dependent on oil that we will pretend not to notice the betrayal of a supposed ally. We look like a nation shocked and outraged at the murder of thousands of our citizens, but not so shocked and outraged that we will dare offend our supplier.

In other words, we look like an addict. And unless we change some things, our addiction is going to get worse. This year, the Persian Gulf will supply roughly 27 percent of the world's oil. By 2020, its share of the world market is expected to grow to 35 percent.

So what do we do? We have two basic options: Produce more, or consume less.

The key to the "produce more" strategy is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, which at the moment is off-limits to drilling. There's a significant amount of oil --- the experts' best guess is 10.3 billion barrels --- beneath that environmentally sensitive area. At peak production --- around 2020 if we started development today --- ANWR would probably produce about a million barrels of oil a day.

But let's put that into context. By 2020, U.S. demand for oil is expected to increase by 6 million barrels a day. In other words, even at peak production ANWR will cover less than 17 percent of our additional needs. By any reasonable measure, there's not nearly enough oil beneath ANWR to alter our strategic situation.

So how about conservation? Could that make a difference? The numbers there are more encouraging.

With 4.5 percent of the world's population, we produce 28 percent of its economic output. That makes us productive. But we also consume 40 percent of the world's petroleum. That makes us wasteful.

If the United States became as efficient as, say, Germany, we could produce just as much wealth while consuming 40 percent less energy. That's not pie-in-the-sky speculation; fuel-efficient automobiles, home appliances and factories are already in use in other advanced economies with living standards comparable to those in the United States.

Using oil more efficiently would produce a lot of benefits. It would cut air pollution. It would increase the competitiveness of U.S. industry. Most importantly, it would give us more control over our policy in an increasingly dangerous and unstable region.

Baltimore Sun

Washington should improve relations with Iran. But only if that nation wants to, and it cannot decide.

As things stand, the United States is keeping Iran out of the World Trade Organization and accusing it of supporting terrorism. Iran condemns the Sept. 11 events and will rescue U.S. pilots who come down from Afghan air space. But its supreme leader still calls the United States the Great Satan.

A committee of parliament urged President Mohammad Khatami to improve relations with the United States in order to consult on Afghanistan's future. The chief of the judiciary promised to punish anyone who advocates that. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, forbade it as against Iran's interest.

Meanwhile, as Iran's national soccer team moves inexorably toward a place in the 2002 World Cup, youth demonstrate after every match, destroying property and flirting with girls. They want an opening to the world and repudiate the Islamic regime their country has enjoyed since 1979, before many were born.

Iran rudely received the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who came asking it to let in Afghan refugees. Iran denounces both the Taliban regime and the U.S. campaign against it. The foreign minister warned Washington not to bomb during Ramadan, which never stopped Iran.

Washington broke relations with Tehran in 1980 while revolutionary mobs held 52 Americans hostage. Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley went to Tehran a few days ago to ask its rulers to stop supporting Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad terrorism in Israel. He left empty-handed.

The Iranian police seized 1,000 of some 150,000 satellite dishes in the country to purge Iran of Western thoughts, especially pop music beamed in by dissidents abroad.

A U.S. offer to end sanctions should be put on the table and stay there. But the quid pro quo would have to be an end to Iran's support of terrorism. Ayatollah Khamenei is not ready for that, regardless of whether President Khatami is.

A deal is not around the corner. But the discussion is having a wonderful effect opening up Iran's political life.

Boston Globe

Anyone who doubted that the war started on Sept. 11 has caused a reshuffling of all the cards in the global game of geopolitics need only consider the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Witness the cascade of reports about covert as well as overt contacts between U.S. and Iranian officials. Tehran's offer to assist any American pilots downed on Iranian soil, although mostly a symbolic gesture, was broadcast around the world.

Also publicized was a meeting in Washington between Iran's representative at the United Nations, Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Husseinian, and several U.S. senators, including Republicans Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Mike DeWine of Ohio. Their aim was to explore a new U.S.-Iranian dialogue that might lead eventually to normalized relations. The same possibility was broached by a special committee of the Iranian parliament.

The hardliners' response was not to denounce the proposal as heretical, but to reject it on pragmatic grounds. The supreme religious leader of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, said last Tuesday: "We have reached the conclusion that not just relations, but any negotiation, with America is against the nation's interests."

The traditional language of interests used by Khameini may be instructive. It implies that even the hard-line leaders of the Islamic Republic are not bound by any compulsion to reject forever negotiations or normalization of relations with Washington.

Indeed, there have been tantalizing signs that the first steps along that path have been taken. An Arab language paper in Paris, Al-Watan al-Arabi, reported that U.S. and Iranian officials held secret meetings near Geneva just before the US bombing of the Taliban began, discussing both short- and long-term cooperation. In the short-term, Iran was asked to provide intelligence about Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan. In return, as Secretary of State (Colin) Powell later hinted openly, America would only back a post-Taliban government that Afghanistan's neighbors can accept.

Even more suggestive was Tehran's wish list for long-term relations: not merely a say in Afghanistan but also access to the oil riches of the Caspian Sea, a reduction in U.S. armed forces in the Persian Gulf, and participation in Saddam Hussein's toppling provided that Tehran's wishes will not be disregarded in Iraq after Saddam's fall.

These concerns suggest how potent is the Iranian incentive for reconciliation with the United States -- the Great Satan. The hardliners' problem is that tens of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets lately in angry protests against their theocratic rulers. The hardliners are entitled to fear they would lose their reason for ruling if they reconcile with Washington. It may also be that they will have to be swept away before that reconciliation can be achieved.

Chicago Tribune

At the outset of the war against terror, the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia proclaimed that it stood firmly with the victims and against the terrorists.

The Saudis, it turns out, have an odd definition of the word "firm."

Their action has not matched the rhetoric. They have denounced the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, but won't acknowledge that some of the roots of terrorism emanate from their own soil.

The Saudi government has failed to thoroughly investigate records of 15 hijackers believed to have been Saudi citizens. Saudi charities and a prominent businessman have emerged as major sources of funding for Al Qaeda, the terrorist network of Osama bin Laden, yet the Saudis have refused to participate with at least 80 other nations in freezing the financial assets of terrorists.

So the pressure is on the Bush administration to break the cozy relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

There's one problem. The United States has a lot to lose. The United States doesn't like to admit to vulnerabilities, but here it is vulnerable.

The Saudis sit on almost a quarter of the world's oil and they're a moderating influence in OPEC. The United States relies on their oil.

The United States has 5,000 troops on Saudi soil, though they serve primarily to protect the Saudi rulers from hostile neighbors and restive Islamic fundamentalists.

That's the Saudi trump card. They tell the United States, in effect, you may not like our tactics, but the alternative would be an openly hostile fundamentalist regime controlling all of this oil.

The princes who rule the kingdom are heirs to a strict brand of Wahhabi Islam practiced by both Saudis and the Taliban in Afghanistan. A hostile view of non-Muslims is taught in Saudi and Taliban schools. Yet the Saudi regime has been a moderate ally of the West.

The Saudis have kept the oil flowing all these years as they walked a tightrope between their conservative Islamic roots and their Western allies. Now they are in a more precarious position, vulnerable to being replaced by a radical Muslim regime.

That apparently gives the Saudis reason to believe they don't have to back their words with deeds. But it's not too late for President Bush to show that he will back his words. The president said that when it comes to terror, you're either with the United States or you're against the United States. It's time to make that clear to Saudi Arabia.

It would be better if the United States had a firmer position of strength, if it didn't need that oil and didn't care who ran Saudi Arabia. It's not in a position to cut loose from Saudi Arabia.

It is in the position -- the victims of Sept. 11 prove it is in the position -- to demand that the Saudis stand firmly against terrorism, even when it emanates from their own citizens, even when it places their regime at some risk.

In time, the United States will have to reassess its affair of convenience with Saudi Arabia.

It no longer seems so convenient. Not at all.

Dallas Morning News

California had braced for the possibility of power brownouts when unknown computer hackers this spring somehow managed to sneak past its computer firewall to access a practice network that the state's electricity grid operator uses for training exercises.

California officials say the state's power grid and the software that controls it weren't compromised during the several-day incursion. But the prospect that a supposedly secure system was infiltrated conjures a potentially dangerous scenario.

The hackers may have used China Telecom's lines, raising the possibility of a concerted and organized attack from overseas. And what if copies of the software California uses on its electricity grid had been on the practice network at the time? Could someone have obtained the keys to the electrical grid and caused significant havoc?

California officials are mum on the matter, citing an ongoing FBI investigation. But in the age of asymmetrical warfare, where frontal assaults are countered by surreptitious attacks against less fortified civilian targets, the threat of cyberattacks on critical telecommunications, banking, water supply, energy, and emergency services is very, very real.

While not likely to cause mass deaths, well-orchestrated cyberattacks nonetheless easily could compromise commerce and national security. Code Red, Nimda, and the I Love You viruses each caused billions of dollars in lost productivity. And terrorist-inspired attacks would not require extensive training or financing. With relative ease, teenage hackers have infected corporate computers and overloaded telephone systems. There's no reason to believe a committed terrorist would be less successful.

The line between cybergraffiti and a terror campaign is not very wide. Hacking attempts increase during political crisis, and various nations including the United States, China, Russia, France, and Israel are actively engaged in ways to paralyze computer networks. The United States would be remiss not to take seriously the possibility of a cyberterror attack.

In the Middle East, Israeli and Palestinian hackers regularly wage keyboard clashes. India and Pakistan engage in cyberbattles over Kashmir. During one skirmish, sensitive nuclear research may have been downloaded from computers at a nuclear research center, according to the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College. And when a U.S. spy plane was forced down near Chinese territory, the ensuing international tension unleashed a barrage of hacking attempts on more than 1,200 U.S. sites.

Security experts say breaches of corporate and government computer systems in the United States are more common than its victims are willing to admit publicly. Most state and federal agencies do not probe their own systems for security weaknesses, said a congressional staffer familiar with the problem. "You can be compromised and not know it," the staffer said.

There are ways to minimize the government's exposure. Counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke, who now is responsible for coordinating the nation's cyberterror response, has suggested creating an Internet-like network strictly for government communications. Like dedicated military networks, it would have no connections to private or public networks that could be hacked.

Completing such a network would be expensive; however, using newer technology to insulate portions of the existing fiber-optic and satellite communication networks for secure government traffic is an achievable security measure. The government would be wise to explore this option.

But ultimately, private industry, which operates some of the nation's most critical assets, has to move aggressively to the front line of this struggle. Government can encourage security change, but "corporate cultures are slow to react to threats until a clear example of the costs of failing to exercise due care drives home the point," noted a report last year by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Analysts say it remains to be seen whether the events of Sept. 11 have provided lasting momentum. Anecdotally, congressional staffers say that private-sector commitment to security since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington has focused on keeping physical intruders away from sensitive equipment and information, not on thwarting ubiquitous cyberthreats. That has to change because only part of the risk -- the most obvious portion -- is being managed.

Michael Vatis, the director of the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College and a former head of the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center, says U.S. policy should focus on assuring that the private sector understands the dangers of computer terrorism. Long-term, high technology companies have to pay more attention to integrating security into their products. "As long as you have human factors, you can never have perfect security," he said. "But you can improve security design."

A 21st-century version of the Manhattan Project to combine the best minds of academia, private industry, and government to develop long-range cyberterror protections ought to be encouraged to keep the U.S. ahead of the terrorists. "Long-term vulnerabilities and threats are not a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon," Mr. Vatis said.

Mr. Clarke should consider options and encourage greater government-private sector cooperation in cyberdefense. Support from the government and industry groups, including the sharing of information among rivals, helped private industry upgrade computer systems during Y2K preparations.

The same formula could speed cyberterrorism preparations. Private industry also needs to vigilantly train employees how not to compromise corporate computer security.

The probability of a devastating cyberattack is increasing, and the consequences of underestimating the danger pose an unacceptable risk to America's economic engine and security. We must prepare ourselves now.

Miami Herald

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez doesn't know when to keep quiet. Only weeks after the Sept. 11 terror attacks on America, Mr. Chávez gave a nod to Carlos the Jackal, the notorious assassin.

The Venezuelan government doesn't consider the Jackal, native Venezuelan Illich Ramírez Sánchez, as a terrorist because he didn't commit any crimes in his homeland, according to Mr. Chávez's defense minister. Ramírez is implicated in dozens of killings, bombings and kidnappings in addition to the three murders for which he is serving a life term in France.

Yet Mr. Chávez shows pictures of dead Afghan children and criticizes the United States for its bombing campaign. By this logic, a cold-blooded assassin isn't a terrorist, but a country that justifiably goes after terrorists who killed nearly 4,000 civilians must be stopped.

Besides these pronouncements, Mr. Chávez has escalated attacks on Venezuela's press for questioning his judgment during a 15-day European tour. The president took issue with El Nacional, a Caracas daily, for the "tone" of the questions asked by its correspondent. Mr. Chávez's latest solution? An army of 2,000 "popular spokespeople" who will blanket the country to denounce bad and inaccurate news in the mainstream media. Dozens of community newspapers also will print positive reports on his accomplishments -- or else.

Omaha World-Herald

A reporter asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at a Pentagon press briefing what the U.S. military could do in Afghanistan "to keep the American people engaged in this, so that a certain amount of boredom doesn't set in."

The question underscored the self-serving, myopic manner in which some reporters with the Washington press corps are approaching the military campaign in Afghanistan. The reporter's question, like much of the work of the national press, implied that U.S. military operations are somehow deficient if they fail to provide TV networks and newspapers with dramatic new developments pegged to the daily news cycle.

The American public, however, isn't bored. The main people with the gall to gripe about boredom appear to be inside-the-Beltway reporters who act as if military considerations are less important than their news value.

Rumsfeld offered the proper response in a press statement released Thursday. Ultimately, he said, "war is not about statistics, deadlines, short attention spans or 24-hour news cycles." Instead, he said, "it is about will - the projection of will, the clear, unambiguous determination of the president and the American people to see this through to certain victory."

The press statement noted that eight months passed after the attack on Pearl Harbor before the United States began a land campaign against the Japanese, with the invasion of Guadalcanal in August 1942. The United States bombed Japan for three and a half years before the war came to an end. On the European front, the allies bombed Germany continually for nearly five years.

U.S. operations in Afghanistan should be judged on their military effectiveness, not on whether they meet the needs of a egocentric Washington press corps - or anyone else who is clamoring for instant gratification.

(Compiled by United Press International.)

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