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“Perpetual war” – but where does the buck stop now?

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on Sep. 9, 2011 at 11:20 am |
September 9, 2011 12:42 pm

I am not often surprised at what appears on the opinion pages (especially since I read the pieces before they appear), but today’s column on war and peace by Eugene Robinson almost took my breath away.

Robinson complains at length about America’s continuing war in Afghanistan without once mentioning the name of the man who is prosecuting that war – Barack Obama.

Obama at some point deserves responsibility for the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan; I mean, we’re fast approaching the fourth year of his presidency. Robinson somehow neglects to note that Obama stepped up America’s involvement there.

Robinson’s column is part of a larger picture: The remarkable decline of anti-war protests since Obama’s election. What gives? Did war suddenly become less repugnant in January 2009?

Personally, I think Obama’s done a fine job in Afghanistan, especially compared to the Bush administration’s stupendous mismanagement of the war in Iraq.

And really, rhetoric about “perpetual war” in Iraq started sounding like stale propaganda a couple years ago. There’s sporadic fighting there, but the United States is doing very, very little of it.

Since 2009, the U.S. military has suffered something like 100 fatalities in Iraq. Roughly half of those, according the the credible iCasualties website, were “non-hostile,” a category that includes accidents and illnesses.

Not what most people would call war. The war in Iraq got won some time back; that may be a painful truth for some, but it’s time to face it.

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