This is a purely personal view but here goes: George Bush is a man ahead of his time. That is why his poll numbers are low. He sees something the West would prefer not to see and will refuse to confront until things get worse.

Tony Blankley has a column today on how slowly it dawns on societies that they are in a death struggle (as Bush perceived quickly but many have yet to realize):

“There is a historically fairly predictable pattern to the unfolding strategies and views of great wars. They often start with a morally ambiguous view of the enemy, a more limited conception of the war’s magnitude and a restrained application of violent tactics.

“Eventually, moral clarity is obtained, war objectives expand — often to grandiosity — and tactics become ferocious. For example, at the start of our Civil War during the 1861 battle of First Manassas, spectators came out by carriage with picnic lunches to observe the event. By 1865, Gen. Sherman executed a campaign of civilian terror and material obliteration in his march to the sea. Likewise, the war started with the purpose of saving the union, but morally expanded to end slavery — North and South.”

Where are we now with the war on terror?

“Today, the West’s struggle to resist radical Islamic aggression (both cultural and terroristic) is still in that early phase of moral confusion and limited tactics. Thus, we continue to debate the ethical merits of minor intrusions into American civil liberties (such as National Security Agency surveillance of some phone calls from foreign suspects), and even serious and patriotic men such as Sen. McCain and Gen. Powell challenge the need to permit psychologically rough — but nonviolent — interrogation of captured terrorists.

“But there are some signs that the early stage of moral confusion is beginning to give way to greater clarity.”

Blankley cites recent remarks by the Pope and Henry Kissinger as movement towards clarity.  Read the whole piece.