We've made much progress. Osama bin Laden is less popular than he was after 9/11. The people of Iraq have rejected al Qaeda and the Shiite militias and are working through a new (albeit struggling) democracy. Afghanistan is war-torn, but the Taliban do not rule, and they are suffering severe losses. Now is not the time to doubt our commitment. Now is not the time to lose our will.
Odes to the glory of Islam and silly dismissals of Islamic radicalism as the work of "a few extremists" minimizes the extent of the problem and drains us of our own will to fight. After all, who wants to deploy for years, to fund vast sums, and to risk their lives to chase after "a few extremists"? Isn't that what cops do? Can't they protect us? Can't we just present a better image to stop the hate?
No, we cannot. Fighting radical Islam requires Predator drones, Hellfire missiles, and raids in the night. It also requires resolve, courage, and a clear-eyed view of the enemy. In short, it requires that we stay the course.
The French Revolution column is featured at Patheos' Evangelical Portal every Monday.