Commentary Magazine


Voters Reject Idea War on Terror is Over

From a Rasmussen poll taken late last week:

Voters overwhelmingly reject the idea that the war on terror is over one year after the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, although most feel his al-Qaeda terrorist group is weaker today. But a majority also still thinks a terrorist attack is possible in the next year.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11 percent of Likely U.S. Voters think the war on terror is over. Seventy-nine percent say that war, declared after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, is not over. Another 11 percent are undecided.

Will President Obama’s speech last night, hailing the beginning of the end of the “time of war” (formerly known as the Global War on Terror) convince the American people the terror threat is behind us? Despite all that has been accomplished since 2001, including the crippling blows to al-Qaeda that Obama emphasized last night, it’s often difficult to be optimistic. We’re about to enter the bloodiest time of year in Afghanistan. The Taliban may be weakened and desperate, but it is still capable, as we saw from last night’s suicide bombing and last week’s attack in Kabul. And after the spate of attacks on American troops by Afghan soldiers and police, handing off U.S. responsibilities to Afghan security forces seems like an insurmountable challenge.

Obama sounded hopeful last night when he talked about “the light of a new day on the horizon.” But the American public seems to realize that, contrary to the ’60s cliché, war isn’t over just because you want it to be.