Let's Be Realistic

bob schieffer CBS

When people asked last week, are we winning this war, I thought back to Vietnam when people asked that a lot. What it took us a while to understand back then was that when we have to ask, we are not winning. Winning is apparent.

We'll know we're winning when Osama bin Laden is dead or behind bars and those people in the caves come out with their hands up, and when we can open a letter without wondering if it's going to kill us.

No, we're not winning, not yet anyway. Nor is this some adult version of "Are we there yet?" And the government shouldn't try to treat it that way by pacifying us with soothing syrup. We don't need to keep hearing that everybody in the government has done everything right.

What we need to know is that people are doing the best they can and those who weren't have been moved out. And that whatever the cost, we'll hang in there until things go our way.

And they will. This country is just too big, too strong, too resourceful and has always shown too much resolve for it to come out otherwise.

They say the president's pondering what to tell the country this week. How about a little of that, and then a realistic assessment of just how hard this is going to be.

Remind us, too, that this isn't Vietnam or about trying to help someone else. It is about an attack on us that left thousands of our people dead. If we keep that one fact foremost in mind, we'll eventually find a way to get this done.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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