I just purchased and watched again the DVD of National Geographic’s four-hour documentary, “Inside 9/11.” The documentary traces the roots of Islamic Jihad, the forming of al Qaeda (“The Base”), the carrying out of the attacks of September 11, subsequent terrorist attacks around the world and the capture of Kalid Sheikh Mohammed and others responsible.
Two weeks after the attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush, in a speech to the CIA workforce, said, “(I)f you harbor a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist; if you provide safe haven to a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist; if you fund a terrorist, you're just as guilty as a terrorist.”
Our mission in Afghanistan – unlike our reasons for invading Iraq – could not have been any clearer.
Since then more than 900 American and nearly 600 Allied troops have lost their lives attempting to carry out that mission.
Tonight our president will address our nation and the world about our continued involvement in a country where for most of its citizens war has been a way of life.
I recomment you read this CNN REPORT which examines all the considerations President Obama has weighed leading up to what he will say tonight.
I do not expect him to ask Americans not in uniform to make sacrifices in our daily lives. That kind of sacrifice faded with WWII. While Americans are in harm’s way on two war fronts, we at home paid homage to Black Friday.
I trust this young American president. I trust his judgment and his heart. Barack Obama is commander-in-chief of America’s armed forces and is far more privy to information essential to doing the right thing than are you and I.
Osama bin Laden defined the terms of the stuggle in October 2001 when he told Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, “This place may be bombed, and we will be killed. We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.” (Source of quote: “Inside 9/11,” National Geographic)
So, to those on the far right who despise him and to the anti-war far-left which feels betrayed, I say, this is Obama’s decision to make and, in so doing, he freely accepts the burden.
That takes courage, no more than he expects of the men and women who serve under him and certainly no less than we should expect of each other.