This distinction between a war of choice (Iraq) and a war of necessity (Afghanistan) has become canonical to American liberalism. But we should dispense with that distinction, for it is both morally false and intellectually muddled. No philosophy of just and unjust wars will support it. It was amid the ferocious attack on the American project in Iraq that there was born the idea of Afghanistan as the "good war." This was the club with which the Iraq war was battered. This was where that binary division was set up: The good war of necessity in the mountains of Afghanistan, the multilateral war born of a collective NATO decision—versus George W. Bush's war of choice in Iraq, fought in defiance of the opinions of allies who had been with us in the aftermath of 9/11...
Wars are great clarifiers. Barack Obama's trumpet is uncertain. His call to arms in Afghanistan does not stir. He fears failure in Afghanistan, and nothing more. Having disowned Iraq, kept its cause at a distance, he is forced to fight the war in Afghanistan. So he equivocates and plays for time. Forever the campaigner, he has his eye on the public mood, the steel that his predecessor showed in 2007 when all was in the balance in Iraq is not evident in Mr. Obama.
There is a difference between playing to win, and playing not to lose.
9/11/09 0950: Ralph Peters knows the difference.
Eight years ago today, our homeland was attacked by fanatical Muslims inspired by Saudi Arabian bigotry. Three thousand American citizens and residents died.
We resolved that we, the People, would never forget. Then we forgot.
We've learned nothing.
Instead of cracking down on Islamist extremism, we've excused it.
Instead of killing terrorists, we free them.
Instead of relentlessly hunting Islamist madmen, we seek to appease them.