The reception of General David Petraeus on Capitol Hill has been distressing: Here is a general bringing good news, and many of our elected officials don’t want to hear it. I think it is because we don’t recognize the nature of the threat we face. Tony Blankley has a terrific column today on this, noting that a good many people still regard the terrorist threat as something to be handled by law enforcement rather than military action:

“Until we can convince the other half that we face an existential threat from radical Islam, virulent political strife in Washington will continue to delay the start of designing and implementing an effective, united national defense. …

“Europe is very much the canary in the mine shaft regarding cultural stress between Muslim and indigenous culture. All the same trends and instincts are beginning to emerge in America. If we permit unmanaged cultural drift, in five to ten years we will be approaching where Western Europe is today – in the throws of violence inducing inter-cultural stress. 

“In the days following that terrible attack six years ago, I realized that not only America, but the world was in for a test of our strength and our will and our capacity to persist for decades in a harrowing task. I certainly didn’t expect that we would bring things right in a half a decade. 

“But I never imagined that six years into the ordeal we would be so utterly confused and divided in the face of a rather obvious – if unique – threat and enemy.

“That failure constitutes, on the part of our government, the partisan opposition and the media, a collective act of abdication of duty without parallel in our long history. We live in much greater jeopardy than we need to because we remain divided and confused.”