I've said all along that we needed to elect a Democrat in 2008 because we needed to put the Democrats in charge of the war on terror.
As long as Bush and the evil Republicans were in charge, Democrats could say that Bush provoked the terrorists, that his cowboy diplomacy wrecked all efforts at peace, that the war in Iraq was the wrong war, that Bush was "stubborn," and so on.
That sort of thing is just politics. But it also arises honorably from the liberal belief system. Liberals adhere to a belief system that says that conflict arises out of social injustice and oppression. Remove the injustice and you remove the violence. That is the meaning of Reverend Al Sharpton's war cry: "No justice, no peace."
Liberals apply this doctrine to everything except their culture war with conservatives. But of course, that conflict is the fault of conservatives for being racists, sexists, and homophobes.
So the United States needs to educate its governing elite, liberals, to reality from time to time. Or as Smokoe Joe, the charcoal-burner in the boy's adventure story Brendon Chase said: We need to "larn 'em."
Just as President Carter entered office complaining of our "inordinate fear of communism," so President Obama entered office promising a "reset" of US foreign policy, an emphasis on "soft power" over crude neo-con "hard power."
The problem is that the American people expect its government to defend against enemies foreign and domestic. Whatever a Democratic president may enter office thinking, he finds sooner or later that reality and public opinion force him to fight communism or Islamic terrorism, or whatever the anti-American threat may be. So now President Obama has been forced to up the ante in Afghanistan and now, after the Christmas pantybomber, declare that:
"We are at war. We are at war against al Qaeda."
So that's all right. That has "larned" President Obama and taken care of our liberals friends on defense for the next generation.
Now we need to deal with our liberal friends on all the other things they know that aren't so.
I am thinking of health care, "affordable housing," education, regulation, environment, welfare, finance, monetary policy, public-private partnerships, excessive government pay, and so on.
Hey, we can't solve everything in one year.