A retired attorney wrote the following to his four sons, May 19 2004.
As your father, I believe I owe it to you to share some thoughts on the present world situation. We have over the years discussed a lot of important things, like going to college, jobs and so forth. But this really takes precedence over any of those discussions. I hope this might give you a longer-term perspective that few and fewer of my generation are left to speak to.
To be sure you understand that this is not politically flavored, I will tell you that since Franklin D. Roosevelt, who led us through pre and WWII (1933 - 1945) up to and including our present President, I have without exception, supported our Presidents on all matters of international conflict.
This would include just naming a few in addition to President Roosevelt - WWII: Present Truman - Korean War 1950; President Kennedy - Bay Of Pigs (1961); President Kennedy - Vietnam (1961);  eight presidents (5 Republican & 4 Democrat) during the cold war (1945 - 1991); President Clinton's strikes on Bosnia (1995) and on Iraq (1998). 
Be sure to read this as completely as non-political as possible or otherwise you will miss the point.
Our country is now facing the most serious threat to its existence, as we know it, that we have faced in your lifetime and mine (which includes WWII).
The deadly seriousness is greatly compounded by the fact that there are very few of us who think we can possibly lose this war and even fewer who realize what losing really means.
First, let us examine the basics:
1: When did the threat to us start?
Many will say September 11th 2001. The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior to 2001, with the following attacks on us: Iran Embassy Hostages. 1979; Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983; Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983; Lockerbie, Pan Am flight to New York 1988; First New York World Trade Center attack 1993; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996; Nairobi Kenya US Embassy 1998; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998; Adem Yemen US Cole 2000; New York World Trade Center 2001; Pentagon 2001. (Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 attacks worldwide). 
2: Why were we attacked?
Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms. The attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush - I, Clinton and Bush - II. We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats, as there were no provocations by any of the Presidents or their immediate predecessors, Presidents Ford or Carter
3: Who were the attackers?
In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims.
4: What is the Muslim populations of the world?
5: Isn't the Muslim Religion peaceful?
Hopefully, but that is really not material. There is no doubt that the predominately Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian), that made no difference. You either went along with the administration or you were eliminated. There were 5 to 6 million Christians killed by the Nazis for political reasons, including 7,000 Polish priests. ( http:www.nazis.testimony.co.uk/7-a.htm ). Thus almost the same number of Christians were killed by the Nazis, as the 6 million holocaust Jews who were killed by them, and we seldom heard of anything other than the Jewish atrocities. Although Hitler kept the world focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy about killing anyone who got in his way of exterminating the Jews or of taking over the world - German, Christians or any others. Same with the Muslim terrorists. They focus the world on the US, but kill all in their way - their own people or just the Spanish, French or anyone else.  The point here is just like the peaceful Germans were of no protection to anyone from the Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no protection for us from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what they are frantically bent on doing - by their own pronouncements - killing all of us infidels. I don't blame the peaceful Muslims, what would you do was to shut up or die?
6: So who are we at war with?
There is no way we can honestly respond that it anyone other than the Muslim terrorist. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way no win if you don't clearly recognize and articulate whom you are fighting.
So with this background, now to the major questions:
1: Can we lose this war?
2: What does losing really mean?
If we are to win, we must clearly answer these two pivotal questions.
We can definitely lose this war, and as anomalous as it may sound, lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer to the second question - what does losing mean? It would appear that a great many of us think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going about our business like post Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get.
We would no longer be the premier country in the world. The attacks will not subside, but steadily increase. Remember, they want us dead, not just quiet. If they had just wanted us quiet, they would not have produced an increasing series of attacks against us over the past 19 years. The plan was clearly for the terrorists to attack us until we are neutered and submissive to them.
We would of course have no future support from other nations for fear of reprisals and for the reason that they would see we are important and cannot help them.
They will pick off other non-Muslim nations, one at a time. It will be increasingly easier for them. They already hold Spain hostage. It doesn't matter whether it was right or wrong for Spain to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Spain did it because the Muslim terrorists bombed their train and told them to withdraw the troops. Any thing they want Spain to do will be done. Spain is finished.
Next will probably be France. Our one hope on France is that they might see the light and realize that if we don't win, they are finished too, in that they can't resist the Muslim terrorists without us. However, it may be already too late for France. France is already 20% Muslim and fading fast. 
If we lose the war, our production, income, exports and way of life will all vanish, as we know it. After losing, who would trade or deal with us if they were threatened by the Muslims. If we can't stop the Muslims, how could anyone else? The Muslims know what is riding on this war and therefore are completely committed to winning at any cost. We better know it too and be likewise committed to winning at any cost.
Why do I go on at such lengths about the results of losing? Simple. Until we recognize the costs of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100% of our thoughts and efforts into winning. And it's going to take that 100% effort to win.
So, how can we lose the war? Again, the answer is simple. We can lose the war by imploding. That is, defeating ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose and digging in and lending full support to the war effort. If we are united, there is no way that we can win.
Let me give you a few examples of how we simply don't comprehend the life and death seriousness of this situation.
-President Bush selects Norma Mineta as Secretary of Transportation. Although all of the terrorists attacks were committed by Muslim men between 17 - 40 years of age, Secretary Mineta refuses to allow profiling. Does that sound like we are taking this thing seriously? This is war. For the duration we are going to have to give up some civil rights we have become accustomed to. We had better be prepared to lose some of our civil rights temporarily or we will most certainly lose all of them permanently. And don't worry that it is a slippery slope. We gave up plenty of civil rights during WWII and immediately restored them after the victory and in fact added many more since then. Do
I blame President Bush or President Clinton before him? No, I blame us for blithely assuming we can maintain all our political correctness and all of our civil rights during this conflict and have a clean, lawful, honorable war. Get them out of your head.
-Some have gone as far as in their criticism of the war and/or administration that it almost seems they would literally like to see us lose. I hasten to add that this isn't because they are disloyal. It is because they just don't recognize what losing means. Nevertheless, that conduct gives the impression to the enemy that we are divided and weakening, it concerns our friends, and it does great damage to our cause.
-Of more recent vintage, the uproar fueled by the politicians and media regarding the treatment of some of the prisoners of war perhaps exemplifies best what I am saying. We have recently had an issue involving the treatment of a few Muslim prisoners of war by a small group of our military police. These are the type of prisoners who just a few months ago were throwing their own people off buildings, cutting off hands, cutting out their tongues and otherwise murdering their own people just for disagreeing with Saddam Hussein. And just a few years ago these same type enemy fighters who recently were burning Americans and dragging their corpses through the streets of Iraq. And still more recently the same type of enemy that was and is providing videos to all news sources internationally, of the beheading of an American prisoner they held. Compare this with some of our press and politicians who for several days have talked and talked about nothing else but the "humiliating” of some Muslim prisoners, not burning them, not dragging their charred corpses through the streets, not beheading them. Can this be for real? The politicians and pundits have even talked of impeachment of the secretary of defense. If this doesn't show the complete lack of comprehension and understanding of the seriousness of the enemy we are fighting, the life and death struggle we are in and the disastrous results of losing this war, nothing can. To bring our country to a virtual political standstill over this prisoner issue makes us look like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned - totally oblivious to what is going on in the real world. Neither we, nor any other country, can survive this internal strife. Again, I say this does not mean they are disloyal. It simply means that they are absolutely oblivious to the magnitude of the situation we are in and into which the Muslim terrorists have been pushing us for many years. Remember, the Muslim terrorists stated goal is to kill all infidels. That translates into all non-Muslim - not just in the United States, but throughout the world. We are the last bastion of defense.
We have been criticized for many years as being 'arrogant'. That change is valid in at least on respect. We are arrogant in that we believe that there we are so good, powerful and smart. That we can win the hearts and minds of those who attack us, and that with both hands tied behind our backs, we can defeat anything bad in the world. We can't. If we don't recognize this, our nation, as we know it will not survive, and no other free country in the world will survive if we are defeated. And finally, name any Muslim countries through out the world that allow freedoms of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equal status or any status for women, or that have been productive in one single way that contributes to the good of the world.
This has been a long way of saying that we must be united on this war or we will be equated in the history books to the self-inflicted fall of the Roman Empire. If, that is the Muslim leaders will allow history books to be written to be written or read.
If we don't win this war right now, keep a close eye on how the Muslims take over France in the next 5 years or less. They will continue to increase the Muslim population of France and continue to encroach little by little on the established French traditions. The French will be fighting among themselves over what should or should not be done, which will continue to weaken them and keep them from any united resolve. Doesn't that sound eerily familiar?
Democracies don't have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force. Instead, they give their freedoms away, politically correct piece by politically correct piece. And they are giving those have shown, worldwide, themselves, once they are in power. They have universally show that when they have taken over, they then start brutally killing each other over who will be the few who control the masses. Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct, about the 'peaceful Muslims'?
I'll go to jail to print the truth about Bush and al-Jazeera
By Boris Johnson
It must be said that subsequent events have not made life easy for those of us who were so optimistic as to support the war in Iraq. There were those who believed the Government's rubbish about Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction. Then the WMD made their historic no-show.
Some of us were so innocent as to suppose that the Pentagon had a well-thought-out plan for the removal of the dictator and the introduction of peace. Then we had the insurgency, in which tens of thousands have died.
Some of us thought it was about ensuring that chemical weapons could never again be used on Iraqi soil. Then we heard about the white phosphorus deployed by the Pentagon. Some people believed that the American liberation would mean the end of torture in Iraqi jails. Then we had Abu Ghraib.
Some of us thought it was all about the dissemination of the institutions of a civil society - above all a free press, in which journalists could work without fear of being murdered. Then we heard about the Bush plan to blow up al-Jazeera.
Some of us feel that we have an abusive relationship with this war. Every time we get our hopes up, we get punched by some piece of bad news. We yearn to be told that we're wrong, that things are going to get better, that the glass is half full. That's why I would love to think that Dubya was just having one of his little frat-house wisecracks, when he talked of destroying the Qatar-based satellite TV station. Maybe he was only horsing around. Maybe it was a flippant one-liner, of the kind that he delivers before making one of his dramatic exits into the broom-closet. Perhaps it was a kind of Henry II moment: you know, who will rid me of this turbulent TV station? Maybe he had a burst of spacy Reagan-esque surrealism, like the time the old boy forgot that the mikes were switched on, and startled a press conference with the announcement that he was going to start bombing Russia in five minutes. Maybe Bush thought he was Kenny Everett. Perhaps he was playing Basil Brush. Boom boom.
Who knows? But if his remarks were just an innocent piece of cretinism, then why in the name of holy thunder has the British state decreed that anyone printing those remarks will be sent to prison?
We all hope and pray that the American President was engaging in nothing more than neo-con Tourette-style babble about blowing things up. We are quite prepared to believe that the Daily Mirror is wrong. We are ready to accept that the two British civil servants who have leaked the account are either malicious or mistaken. But if there is one thing that would seem to confirm the essential accuracy of the story, it is that the Attorney General has announced that he will prosecute anyone printing the exact facts.
What are we supposed to think? The meeting between Bush and Blair took place on April 16, 2004, at the height of the US assault on Fallujah, and there is circumstantial evidence for believing that Bush may indeed have said what he is alleged to have said.
We know that the administration was infuriated with the al-Jazeera coverage of the battle, and the way the station focused on the deaths of hundreds of people, including civilians, rather than the necessity of ridding the town of dangerous terrorists. We remember how Cheney and Rumsfeld both launched vehement attacks on the station, and accused it of aiding the rebels. We are told by the New York Times that there were shouty-crackers arguments within the administration, with some officials yelling that the channel should be shut down, and others saying that it would be better to work with the journalists in the hope of producing better coverage.
We also recall that the Americans have form when it comes to the mass media outlets of regimes they dislike. They blew up the Kabul bureau of al-Jazeera in 2002, and they pulverised the Baghdad bureau in April 2003, killing one of the reporters. In 1999 they managed to blow up the Serb TV station, killing two make-up girls, in circumstances that were never satisfactorily explained.
To be fair to the Americans, we must also accept that they had good grounds for resenting al-Jazeera. The station is hugely respected in the Arab world, has about 35 million viewers, and yet it gives what can only be described as a thoroughly Arab perspective of current affairs. It assists in the glorification of suicide bombers; it publishes the rambling tapes of Bin Laden and others among the world's leading creeps and whackos; it is overwhelmingly hostile to America and sceptical about the neo-con project of imposing western values and political systems in the Middle East.
And yet however wrong you may think al-Jazeera is in its slant and its views, you must accept that what it is providing is recognisably journalism. It is not always helpful to the American cause in Iraq, but then nor is the BBC; and would anybody in London or Washington suggest sending a Tomahawk into White City? Well, they might, but only as a joke. Exhausted Western leaders, living in the nightmare of a media-dominated democracy, are allowed to make jokes about blowing up journalists. I seem to remember that when I was sent to Belgrade to cover the Nato attacks, Tony Blair told the then proprietor of The Daily Telegraph that he would "tell Nato to step up the bombing!" Ho ho ho.
But if there is an ounce of truth in the notion that George Bush seriously proposed the destruction of al-Jazeera, and was only dissuaded by the Prime Minister, then we need to know, and we need to know urgently. We need to know what we have been fighting for, and there is only one way to find out.
The Attorney General's ban is ridiculous, untenable, and redolent of guilt. I do not like people to break the Official Secrets Act, and, as it happens, I would not object to the continued prosecution of those who are alleged to have broken it. But we now have allegations of such severity, against the US President and his motives, that we need to clear them up.
If someone passes me the document within the next few days I will be very happy to publish it in The Spectator, and risk a jail sentence. The public need to judge for themselves. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. If we suppress the truth, we forget what we are fighting for, and in an important respect we become as sick and as bad as our enemies.
# Boris Johnson is MP for Henley and editor of 'The Spectator'