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."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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