That Beinart thinks that we should never have fought the Taliban is what one expects of a man of the left. When it comes to fighting evil, the left is almost pacifist. Moreover, he and the left generally are busier fighting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, American conservatives and carbon emissions.
So let's make two things clear about the president's repeated claims that the wars have ended.
First, as noted, the Iraqi and Afghan wars have not "ended." Only America's involvement has "ended." In Iraq, the war between violent Islamists and other Iraqis is intensifying; and in Afghanistan the war between violent Islamists and other Afghanis will begin as soon as, or even before, American troops leave.
Second, when a country leaves a war before achieving victory it is not called leaving. It is called defeat. The only goal of a war is victory. Even if you have been victorious on the battlefield -- as we have been in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and as we were in Vietnam -- if you leave before securing your ends, you will have lost the war. Had America left South Korea after having won the Korean War on the battlefield, there would still have been a war on the Korean peninsula -- a war that South Korea would have ultimately lost, and thereby disappeared from the map. All of Korea would have then become the concentration camp that North Korea is today.
If America is not prepared to stay indefinitely -- and to stay does not necessarily mean to continue fighting -- in a country in which it fights, it should never engage in that war.
Because when the decent leave, the indecent win.
Thanks to President Obama and the Democratic Party, the decent will have left Iraq and Afghanistan.