The quote in the title of this post sums up, in five simple words, the difference between us and the Islamist terrorists. We affirm life and create. The Islamist terrorists affirm death and destroy.
But these words were not uttered by the President of the United States Tuesday night during his prime time speech from the Oval Office announcing the official end of the combat mission in Iraq. Nor did he utter any similar sentiments to explain what we have been fighting for. They were the words of an Israeli settler group in response to yesterday’s gruesome massacre by Hamas gunmen of four innocent Israeli civilians in the West Bank. The murder victims included a pregnant woman.
We are fighting the same enemy as Israel – fanatical Islamist terrorists who know only the language of death and destruction. Whether they go by the name of al Qaeda, Hamas, or any other of their numerous titles, they are all heinous murderers. They are all the enemies of civilized society.
Obama’s speech was a somber reflection on the sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform and a reminder that more sacrifice lies ahead in Afghanistan. But missing was any passion about the existential cause we – and Israel – are fighting for. Instead, Obama reiterated his intention to begin withdrawals from Afghanistan next year (although acknowledging that the pace will depend on conditions on the ground).
Obama spent precious time in his speech on the need to fix our economy, which he called his central mission as President. With all due respect, the president’s most important mission as Commander-in-Chief under the Constitution is to keep this nation safe. He has failed both missions to date.
Instead of repeating that he was originally opposed to the war in Iraq (but not mentioning his later opposition to the surge that brought us victory), Obama should have pointed out the importance of the strategic defeat that al Qaeda suffered in Iraq – which they called the front line against the “Crusaders.” Our brave soldiers made that possible, fighting alongside Iraqi Muslims who rejected the nihilism of the Islamic terrorists.
Obama’s heart is not in the fight because he evidently still harbors the same misguided notion about Iraq that the New York Times expressed in its lead editorial today.