Al-Qaida in Afghanistan is said to be ravaged and on the run. Yet we read of al-Qaida affiliates cropping up not only in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, but Iraq, Syria, Libya and Mali. How many of these new cells were inspired by past drone strikes to destroy old al-Qaida cells?
The New York Times and The Washington Post have admitted they acceded to White House requests not to publish their discovery that we had established a drone base in Saudi Arabia for attacks in Yemen.
But planting a U.S. drone base on Saudi soil is no small matter. Osama bin Laden gave as a primary cause for his declaration of war on America that we had defiled the sacred soil of Arabia that is home to Mecca and Medina by planting our infidel bases there.
After 9/11, at the Saudis' request, we removed our bases. What will this revelation mean for that royal family? What will it mean for America's image in the Muslim world? Is any benefit we derive from a drone base just north of Yemen worth enraging much of an Islamic world of 1.5 billion?
In his 1951 address to Congress, Gen. Douglas MacArthur declared: "Once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision."
Congress, the administration and the American people need to ask: Why have we been unable to bring this war on terror to a "swift end"? Why this "prolonged indecision"? Why has the battlefield in the war on terror not narrowed, but expanded from South Asia to the Middle East to North Africa?
Is the war on terror to be like the war on crime, eternal, with U.S. soldiers policing the world forever, even as cops police our cities?
What is Obama's plan, the Republicans' plan for ending or winning this war, whose scope widens with each year?
"No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare," wrote the author of our Constitution.
As we see the great buildings of our capital enveloped in concrete barriers, as U.S. citizens are forced to submit to intrusive searches before boarding airliners, one wonders: How long before the Republic becomes a garrison state?
If we do not end this war, this war will one day bring an end to the freedom for which the Fathers fought.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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