As we Americans remember our war dead this Memorial Day, it is an appropriate time to reflect on United States President Barack Obama’s recent comments signaling an end to the War on Terrorism. His advancement of a strategy to withdraw from the battlefield is premature.
Liberals and isolationists deride the global fight against Islamist terrorists as an “endless war.” They should direct their complaints to the terrorist enemy, instead of to their victims. As the long as the enemy remains at war with us, then we will remain at war, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Indeed, militant Muslims have engaged in a fourteen-century-long war against the world under the motto of “submission or death.” Jihad (holy war), which may include violence, is a core part of Islamic belief. Both Islamists and Communists are committed to advancing their causes by any means necessary, as the recent Boston Marathon Bombings and the killing of a British soldier in
London by jihadis or the slayings in India by the
Maoist Naxalites remind us.
The war may be reduced – as it all but has been – to a minor war, or perhaps even to a temporary lull, but it can never end. At best, we may be able to deter terrorism by Islamists or Communists as a strategy, but not violent jihad. We surely will not be able to deter either, however, if we give into such violence by pulling back from the fight because the enemy objects to our policies or methods and kills or maims for the sake of intimidating us into giving into their demands. The enemy is counting on our preference for peace and life and or weariness over the loss of blood and treasure. We are still winning the war, but the enemy has a strategy to win by tiring us of the attrition abroad and lulling us into complaisance at home. We must not fail our duty to preserve life or liberty.
We must recall not only those who gave their lives in service to their country in past struggles for liberty, but especially those martyred in the current war, not only out of gratitude, but, as was said nearly one hundred fifty years ago in a small burial field in Pennsylvania by an earlier American Commander in Chief, with a resolve that these dead “shall not have died in vain.”