Does the President support the premise of the War on Terror? Does the President support the premise of the prosperity of war, that is to support constant conflict somewhere on the globe where American enterprise can be leveraged for greater profit on the backs and blood of brave soldiers, fighting for some cause either real or perceived?
What an ugly notion.
Since we don’t like ugly, as a nation is it safe to say we are no longer pursuing ugly as it pertains to war in general, and the war on terror in particular? Are we pursuing the Abrogation of Terror instead?
However, when you examine closely our cause for conflict you encounter some very ugly truths. Liberty may be upheld. Lives are most certainly saved. Ideals are magnified. An ethos is forged and re-forged again, and we all band together and remind each other of how proud we are to be Americans.
However, on the other side of that coin rests the ugliness of war, where our rationale for conflict is questioned, and the answers break our hearts and minds and test our resolve. This pain of truth is magnified when we realize that our actions may embolden the very forces we stand arrayed against, perpetuating a cycle of violence with no end in sight.
President Obama has pursued a logical path in his fight against terror and his prosecution of war. He has continued the unwinding of a decade of conflict.
Iraq, a war built on a lie that cost immeasurable amounts of American treasure, brave men and women who stood on the firing line as they were ordered, is over. This conflict plunged the Iraqi people into sectarian violence, opening them to slaughter. In the last, the end gift of this conflict was the aiding in the creation for the foundation of the great American Recession.
In Afghanistan, the President is adhering to the stand-down. We are leaving the theater of conflict, most assuredly with mixed results. Afghanistan must learn to stand on its own, and it will continue to be an area of conflict as long as its people continue to remain in conflict with one another over religion, prosperity, and the future of their people. We won’t be able to leave them behind completely, for that is not the American way. However, we must ensure the lesson of self-reliance solidifies. They must become dependent on themselves. The President supports this and is pursuing this policy.
I have long advocated for the Abrogation of Terror as opposed to the War on Terror.
The President spoke at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington D.C. on Thursday. He gave a speech that was defining for his foreign policy going forward. In my opinion it was a stronger assertion of his administration embracing the Abrogation of Terror.
The Abrogation of Terror requires that we face terror with the full force of diplomacy, recognizing that terrorists are created in the painful vacuum of poverty. The development of infrastructure, education, and the evolution of peaceful social paradigms removes the need for terror, and allows a developing nation’s citizens to view terrorists with disdain, in which case they will deal with the terrorists of their own volition.
However, the Abrogation of Terror also requires that we remain vigilant and strong, and reserve the right to use the might of our military to safeguard the American people, and their interests. It is two-sided, a sword combined with a plowshare, and it is incumbent upon us as a leading nation among nations to pursue this path with vigor, to lead with strength and peace, and avoid an investment in war at all costs.
Guantanamo Bay is a ready-made poster for terror. Its existence incites others to the cause of terror. The President failed in closing it down during his first term, but his breaking of such an essential promise was functionally dependent on the failure of the Republicans in Congress. As such, they own the lion’s share of this failure, and by virtue of such failure the fostering and creation of new terrorists worldwide.
The President has also committed to moving the Drone program further into the light of day, under the auspices of the Pentagon, as opposed to it being a shadow program run by the CIA. The Drone program has pushed the limits of American morality. However, its effectiveness cannot be denied. Drone strikes have dealt killing blows to terrorism, even as it has fostered no small amount of hate and angst both here and abroad. We must not abandon the program as it is so very effective. However, the parameters of execution must remain in the light of day, allowing America to seek a better, more moral plateau in its prosecution against terror, if one can truly do so when it involves the taking of life. We must continue to consider this.
Finally, the President made it clear that he would seek to not just kill, but capture, contain and prosecute those who commit terror. The Republicans stood opposed to allowing terrorists to enter the American justice system, something they supported in the past. In this action, as with so many others, they continued to play the game of politics, pushing lives and liberty into the background as they ever sought to consolidate power, and control the direction of American policy. It’s high time we all remembered…this is not a game
The Aspiring Critical Thinker,