It is a war in defense of our way of life against enemies who oppose that way of life, and who oppose it from common cultural and religious motives. Whatever specific aims, hopes, and delusions the al-Qaeda hijackers may have had, they could not have succeeded, they could not have drawn so many recruits, raised so much money, and found support and sanctuary, unless their motivations appealed to a wide group of people.
The war on terrorism is unlike the Cold War; the battle lines are not drawn in ideologically explicit terms. Had we asked in the 1950s, "Why do the communists hate us What are they after" the answers would have been clear: Their Marxist ideology of socialism, dictatorship, and world conquest calls for the elimination of our free capitalist system, and endorses the use of any means to achieve that end. It's all spelled out in The Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital, and an endless stream of Communist Party propaganda. The motivations of the 9/11 hijackers in particular, and of al-Qaeda in general, are not as transparent. ...Show more