Don't know if my television and computer screens will survive much more of this ignorance. Every time I hear or read about the "two wars" I want to send some nearby solid object hurtling in the specific direction of the purveying display. For the sake of convenience we have settled for simple stupidity as the appropriate level of intelligence in our discourse.
We are not, I say again, NOT, fighting two separate wars--one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Our limited combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are, at most, separate CAMPAIGNS in a larger war. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines a (military) campaign as "A series of military operations undertaken to achieve a large-scale objective during a war: [i.e.] Grant's Vicksburg campaign secured the entire Mississippi for the Union."
Of course, the foregoing definition applies to our current limited military operations if you accept that we are fighting a "war." I do not.
Make no mistake, we are involved in a war--have been for nearly three decades--with Islamic totalitarian fundamentalists whose goal is the subjugation 0f the world according to their perverted interpretation of the Koran. These zealots, yet lacking control of a state with the wherewithal to conduct conventional military operations to achieve their objectives, have resorted to terrorism as their tactic. They have, at least, tacit approval and support for their actions from several nation states; Syria and Iran chief among them.
In reaction to the attacks of September 11, 2001, our nation responded in righteous anger as if attacked unprovoked and for the first time. It was not unprovoked, any more than Japan's initiation of open armed hostilities against us on December 7/8, 1941 was "unprovoked." Japan did indeed surprise us with their attack of our fleet at Pearl Harbor, but we had provoked that fight with our correct, in my opinion, economic and political pressure on them for their expansionist rampage in China. Our Islamic totalitarian fundamentalist enemies have been under pressure from our correct, in my opinion, attempts to expand democratic republican ideals in the Middle East, and they fought back with increasing effectiveness until we could not ignore them any longer.
But, we are not fighting like we are at war. We are behaving as the Romans did when Palestine revolted--sending a couple of handy legions to put down the rebellion, with hardly a ripple of effect on the lives of the citizenry of Rome. I do not intend to disparage the efforts of our military--they have been magnificent--but they have not been fighting a war.
A WAR would have been declared as such by a congress with a spine and an eye on the future of our nation--not their next election. A WAR would be fought, not against our enemies' tactic--i.e., The Global War on Terror--but against the nations supporting the Islamic totalitarian fundamentalists as their proxy army. Only when the totalitarian ayatollahs and hereditary totalitarians are replaced by some form of rational representative government will terror recede to the level of street crime.
A WAR would be supported by the sacrifice of every member of our great nation. A nation truly at WAR, our nation truly at WAR, would overwhelm our enemies in a matter of months--not in the ambiguous generational "long war" by which the previous administration sought to balance war aims with societal ease. When we went to war against Germany and Japan, we marshaled every ounce of our national will and strength, lifted our nation out of a debilitating economic crisis, utterly defeated our enemies with stunning rapidity, and created incredibly stable democracies and invaluable trading partners in their wake.
Mr. President, that's Change we can believe in. Mr. President, that's the way to bring us out of this economic mess and bring prosperity lapping back on our shores--and the world's.