In his campaign to win the election as a war president, Barack Obama flatters the worst vices of chauvinism and panders to the most vulgar and brutal idea of the qualities that define a leader and the actions that ennoble a country. No alchemy of eloquence can atone for the confession of moral surrender involved in such a boast.
This week, in accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama strenuously argued that "as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation" he "cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people." I couldn't agree more. But what exactly are the threats to the American people coming from Afghanistan? The Taliban? Or the 100 al-Qaeda members who didn't get the "we're moving to Pakistan" memo? In his 2002 denunciation of the war in Iraq, Obama said: "I don't oppose all wars...What I am opposed to is a dumb war." Well, escalating troop levels to 100,000 and spending $30 billion a year to take on 100 terrorists -- that's 1,000 U.S. soldiers and $300 million for every one al-Qaeda fighter -- while the real threats lie elsewhere strikes me as the gold standard of a dumb, immoral war of choice.