When Leftists (including President Obama) whine about the budgetary decisions of the Bush administration, they usually mention “two wars” and tax cuts, and sometimes they will mention the Medicare prescription drug benefit. When they lump the war in Afghanistan with the other things, it raises serious questions about whether they “get it” regarding the importance of the War on Terror and the legacy of 9/11.
We can debate the wisdom of the tax cuts and the expansion of Medicare, and the war in Iraq was a war where we pre-emptively attacked another sovereign nation and forced regime change. We can debate whether these three were necessary or wise. It is foolish and dangerous to lump the war in Afghanistan with the other three things.
This should not have to be pointed out, but we were attacked on September 11 – eleven years ago this past Tuesday. We were attacked without provocation by Al-Qaeda. Their attack was not simply an act of war. It was a war crime. Rather than targeting a military base, Al-Qaeda targeted civilians with the intention of murdering as many noncombatants as possible.
In response, we resolved to go get the war criminals responsible for this atrocity. They were hiding in Afghanistan, sheltered by the oppressive Taliban regime. We asked Afghanistan to hand over the war criminals to us and they petulantly refused. In response, we were forced to invade and destroy Al-Qaeda’s network ourselves.
What is the point? The point is this: We had a choice as to whether to implement the tax cuts and the Medicare expansion. We had a choice as to whether to invade Iraq. We did not have a choice as to whether to invade Afghanistan. That was not a war we wanted, but it was a war we had to fight. Not invading Afghanistan was never an option. Had we done nothing, it would have only guaranteed another 9/11.
Does President Obama understand why we had to invade Afghanistan to attack the Taliban and Al-Qaeda? Obama’s premise is that we did not spend as much energy on Afghanistan as we should have, and to some extent he was right. But when he and his fellow Leftists lump Afghanistan in with the other three things as if it was a war of choice, it raises serious questions about whether he really “gets it” or whether he grudgingly did the right thing only because it was politically necessary. We cannot afford a President who thinks like that.