Osama Bin Laden cannot defeat America.
The angry (and often foul-mouthed*) ranters of the right cry the old cry: "Love America, or leave it!" (That's the sanitized gist.)
The issue is not in loving America: there is no doubt that that we all love our vision of America. Ann Coulter, George W. Bush, John McCain, Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, and Michael Moore all "love America". The issue is in knowing what America is. I think that some of the ranters on the right think that America is physical things: our cities, our farms, our mountains, our factories, or our even our current population. No!
America, boiled down, is our Bill of Rights.
We heard again from Osama this week. We can expect Bush's approval ratings to rise again.
As Abraham Lincoln said:
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.We are a “nation of freemen” (and freewomen). When we allow our fear of a madman (OBL), a cult (Al Qaeda), or even a great religion (Islam), to scare us into giving dictatorial power to any person, even one the majority “trusts”, eventually that trust will be broken and the suicide will be finished.
* I am sure the extremists on the other end of the political spectrum also include foul-mouthed, name-calling, armchair-soldier, ranting bloggers, but I don't read those.