Archive for Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nation at war warrants support

April 1, 2009


One frequently reads and hears that Afghanistan has become “Obama’s war.” The implication by many who use that phrase is that if things go badly in Afghanistan, President Obama will be blamed and it will cause him political damage. But if things go well, who will get the credit? It won’t be George W. Bush, of that you can be sure.

Is it fair to call Afghanistan, “Obama’s war?” I think not. Whenever American soldiers are at war, it is in the interest of all Americans, whatever their political beliefs, to back the president until the objectives of victory and stability are achieved and the troops are able to come home.

Anyone who hopes Obama will suffer defeat is guilty of un-Americanism, even anti-Americanism. There is nothing patriotic about wishing military defeat in order to win the next election. If American policy prevails in Afghanistan, it will not be a victory of party or of presidents, this one or the one before. It will be a victory for liberty — for the Afghan people and for America.

With the presidential campaign long over, President Obama sounded like his predecessor last Friday, as he outlined his reasoning for continued prosecution of this war: “The United States of America did not choose to fight a war in Afghanistan. Nearly 3,000 of our people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, for doing nothing more than going about their daily lives. Al-Qaida and its allies have since killed thousands of people in many countries. ... The road ahead will be long. There will be difficult days ahead.”

The president has said that among his objectives is to locate “moderate” members of the Taliban. Moderate members of the Taliban? He’d have better luck finding pork chops on the menu at a kosher restaurant. If there are any moderate Taliban members, I suspect that once they are exposed they will not enjoy long and happy lives.

Some of the president’s other objectives seem more realistic. In addition to sending an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan to train Afghan security forces, the president said he also wants to dispatch “agricultural specialists and educators; engineers and lawyers. That’s how we can help the Afghan government serve its people and develop an economy that isn’t dominated by illicit drugs.”

He wants support from the United Nations, international aid organizations and America’s partners and allies. One would hope that these partners and allies who expressed joy over Obama’s election will now follow through and give him the help he asks for, because defeating the Taliban is also in their best interests. Conservatives are more likely to support President Obama on Afghanistan than liberals supported President Bush on Iraq, as long as victory over the Taliban remains his objective. And if the effort is successful, the credit should be shared with President Bush, just as equal credit is due to Democratic and Republicans presidents who fought the Cold War.

But even if the Taliban is defeated in Afghanistan, that defeat will not end their fanatical threats against Israel, America and Western Europe (which is why we’re all in this battle together). The Taliban’s hatred of Israel and the West is like an infection that is resistant to treatment. Just when you think you’ve neutralized it, it pops up again. Radical Islam in all its forms — whether it is named Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, or one of a dozen other monikers — has no intention of signing a surrender document with the West. That is because Islamic terrorists believe they get their instructions directly from Allah. Most would rather die than surrender or make peace with infidels.

President Obama, like President Bush before him, should hasten that objective. If President Obama continues on this path, he should have the full support of the American people. All of them.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.


jaywalker 9 years ago

Pakistan seems to be the key to the fight. But can the Afghans ever get past opium production as stock in trade? 'Cuz if not it seems likely they'll continue to fall backward into that same factional gang society that gave rise to the Taliban in the first place.

gogoplata 9 years ago

Whenever American soldiers are at war, it is in the interest of all Americans, whatever their political beliefs, to back the president until the objectives of victory and stability are achieved and the troops are able to come home.

I could not disagree more with this statement.

Left_handed 9 years ago


Do you have a BA in Revisionist History? The Bush administration went after Obama from the get-go (they didn't find him) whereas your hero, the Philanderer/Perjurer in Chief William Jefferson Clinton had Bin Laden offered up to him on more than one occasion and his response was to make a puddle on the floor and run away.

Richard Heckler 9 years ago

The 9/11/01 culprits were living 2 blocks from NSA headquarters in Maryland. NSA could see the motel in which they were living. Bush and his admin staff were aware of this.

The FBI was not informed but some agents discovered the information but were not allowed to operate.

The bottom line is Bush/Cheney dropped the ball. Consequently Bush/Cheney never saved lives when considering more than 3000 died on 9/11/01, more than 4000 soldiers have died, 30,000 disabled soldiers and several hundred thousand innocent Iraq and Afghan family members have died.

This multi trillion dollar NOT necessary occupation of the mideast(Iraq,Afghanistan & son to be Pakistan) is breaking the bank. It's past time to bring the troops home.

JHOK32 9 years ago

Bush invaded Iraq for 2 reasons: 1. He wanted their oil for his big oil buddy millionaires so they could get even richer (which they did). 2. He wanted a personal victory of killing Saddam who W publicly admitted had tried to kill Bush Sr. Too bad he had to kill 4000 of our own kids & maim another 30,000 to accomplish these 2 goals. W could have cared less who was in Afghanistan - they have no oil! Bush calls himself a Christian yet murders our kids for corporate profits. He is a scumbag!

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