Obama's war that dare not speak its name

Mitt Romney had it only half right when he attempted in the second presidential debate to score Barack Obama for his reluctance to concede that Benghazi was a terrorist attack. The real issue is not how long the president took to call the assault on the U.S. consulate an "act of terror"—but that he still has not called it an act of war.

Plainly this is no oversight. On "The Late Show with David Letterman" a week after the attack—late-night television having become our commander in chief's preferred venue for addressing the great public issues—Mr. Letterman asked President Obama directly whether the Benghazi attack was an act of war, one that meant we were at war. Mr. Obama said "no"—and went on to say that terrorists had attacked not only the Benghazi compound but a "variety of our embassies."

There was a reason for that addendum, and, as odd as it may seem, a logic. As anyone who has been part of a White House communications team knows, words are chosen (and un-chosen) for a reason. In President Obama's case, calling a textbook act of war by its rightful name would undermine a foreign policy based on a single idea: He's the man who gets us out of wars, not into them.

In light of Benghazi, it's interesting to go back to 2004 and then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission about the greatest failure of Republican and Democratic administrations before that fateful day. "The terrorists were at war with us," she said, "but we were not yet at war with them." 
Eleven years after 9/11 and seven weeks after the murder of his ambassador in Benghazi on the 9/11 anniversary, President Obama has yet to heed the lesson.
Obama has not gotten us out of the war, he has only retreated and left others to fend for themselves.  The war goes on and will until we can get the enemy to recognize that his cause is hopeless.  Obama is more likely to conclude that our own cause is hopeless.  That would be an admission of defeat.


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