The term "failure" does not flow well in my daily discourse with opponents regarding the war on terrorism, especially when I recognize that the goal is obscure and the primary lessons of attaining that goal remain unlearned.
For much of this decade, I based my support firmly in the belief that America was in a "war on terrorism" and we would not rest until "victory" was ours, and "cowards" will never shake our "resolve." The previous commander in chief learned the lessons of his predecessors and acted on the 9-11 Commission's advice. These acts were not only criminal; they were acts of war. The 9-11 Commission and President Bush realized this, tore down boundaries between intelligence-gathering agencies and discontinued habeas corpus for illegal combatants.
The belief that everyone deserves the right to habeas corpus is a throwback to the pre-9-11 mentality and sets the equivocation between terrorists and common criminals. Amazingly, one year into the presidency of Barack Obama, the country has reverted to a pre-9-11 status. He and his administration are reluctant to use the terms "terrorist" or "war on terrorism," and political correctness has run amok.
The only goal assured regarding Afghanistan is to pullout in 18 months. Attorney General Eric Holder will try illegal combatants in federal court instead of using military tribunals. President Obama will relocate illegal combatants from Guantanamo Bay to Thomson Correctional Facility in Illinois, therefore guaranteeing them unambiguous, American constitutional rights.
And despite connections, no one in the administration or the liberal press will acknowledge that the Fort Hood massacre and the Christmas bomber of Delta Flight 253 are more than mere isolated events.
I firmly believe that the aforementioned events are merely the precursors of renewed and emboldened probing by terrorist organizations or terrorists acting from viral proxy. Individual terrorists no longer need to act in concert with others to conduct jihad against America. This should be the lesson that the Obama administration weds with those gleaned from the 9-11 Commission. However, President Obama has chosen appeasement, apologies and political correctness as the central goals in his "overseas contingency operations" while systematically refusing to cite "victory."
Although I try not to be a fatalist, I fear that if these incoherent policies continue unabated, they may be the reasons why we will fail.
Jason Clay Pope
North Augusta, S.C.