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“What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that – far from ending there – our war against terror is only beginning.” Mr. Bush’s speechwriters wrote that line, he approved it, and he delivered it with passion and something resembling conviction. He went on to promise virtually limitless future commitments, lamenting that “some governments may be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will.”

Does that mean the United States is promulgating the doctrine that it has the right to send troops and bombs to any country in the world, anytime, on mere scraps of evidence that something is going on there that has some tenuous connection to an organized international terrorist ring? The words suggest it and the administration’s actions reinforce that impression.

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