Calpundit posts on the same subject, and says:
I most definitely don’t accept Steven Den Beste’s crude view that the president shouldn’t tell the American public about his larger goals because “They don’t need to know, and can’t be trusted to know.” This is not a specific operational aspect of war that needs to be kept secret from our enemies, it’s an argument about the overarching principle behind American policy and America’s place in the world for the next several decades. If the American public … and the world … can’t be trusted with that, we should just pack up and go home. Steven should be ashamed of himself for writing such a thing.
America and the western world are at war with ‘fascist’ Middle East governments and totalitarian Islamists…..[The parallels with the Cold War are:] that it will last a very long time – decades; that it will sporadically involve the use of military force, as did the Cold War in Korea for example; but that an important component would be ideological. I would add that, just as we eventually won the Cold War – and when I say ‘we’ here, I always mean Britain, the United States, the democracies, our allies – it was in no small measure because, while containing the Soviet Union and its allies militarily and with nuclear deterrence, we undermined their ideology.
What they said, all the way.
And I’ll echo Kevin strongly in disagreeing with Den Beste and Trent (and other commenters who have supported Trent here); it is critical that Bush articulate and sell his vision for why we are at war and what the war will look like – not tactically or diplomatically, but historically – and a clear vision of what we are really fighting and what we are fighting for. Because we will win this war with ideology, belief, and determination, and the role of the leader is in no small part to express those and to embody them so that the rest of us will internalize them and come to act on them.
It is a high standard, but we have had wartime Presidents – including the rich, spoiled sons of privilege – who have met it, and by the time we win this war, we will have had one or more Presidents who have met it. The challenge isn’t beyond Bush, and I hope that he can grow to meet it.