That was the theme, apparently, of the speech to the nation by President Obama Tuesday night, which lacked the drama that would have accompanied it before Vladimir Putin's and Bashar al-Assad's diplomatic move had taken the wind out of Obama's war sails. But let us leave the children for a moment and consider how marvelously these "mainstream" politicians "grow" in office.
Starting with Obama. Many voted for him in 2008 believing he was an anti-war, or peace candidate, opposing that old war horse John McCain, who seemed to want American "boots on the ground" everywhere. Indeed, to this day, some believe Obama's single contribution to the nation's and the world's welfare may be his winning the presidency in 2008, thereby closing the White House door to McCain, who might by now have opened half a dozen or more new hot war fronts in the Global War on Terror.
Obama appears to be trying to wind down that war, having reluctantly yielded to the expiration of the Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq at the end of 2011 and withdrawing U.S. combat forces from that country. He has set a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan, where America and our allies have been fighting for nearly 12 years. Though he waged an unauthorized air war over Libya in 2011, he has said that the war on terror must end and that no nation can remain indefinitely on a wartime footing while still preserving its democratic or republican freedoms.
That may be a disappointment to some of the neocon hawks, who seem to believe, as Theodore Roosevelt said long ago, that “all the great masterful races have been fighting races,” and that no achievement of peace can match the glorious virtues that bring victory in war. For the editors of and contributors to Commentary or the Weekly Standard magazines, it is always the eve of World War II and the latest villain is always another Hitler threatening the peace and security of the entire world.
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Photo of war dead in Syria