It’s been called the war we were supposed to be fighting. The one we should have focused on before running headlong into Iraq, and I must echo this conclusion.
We’ve been entrenched in this country for 8 years today; the invasion was meant to find Osama Bin Laden, destroy a significant portion of the leadership of Al‐Qaeda, and to remove the Taliban from governing as they harbored and sponsored the group. We’ve managed to do two of the three. Finding Bin Laden, or his remains, has been the most difficult task to date.
We have yet to achieve the goal of completely stamping out the Taliban, the source of much of extremist Islamic influence left in Afghanistan, and establish a strong democratic system–but why should we do this last thing?
Should we be in the business of nation building, or securing liberty for ourselves and our progeny? I can agree that liberty and freedom are important goals, but a society must set that contract with itself.
I want to echo this editorial when I say that while it is important for us to establish some real goals and walk away from Afghanistan with a victory, our real goals should indeed be establishing and maintaining a defense against those philosophies and those peoples that are at odds with our own philosophies and constitutional liberties.
It is not wrong to oppose such antithetical ideas; it is not wrong to demand that any individual from another nation or culture that enters our country on any sort of permanent basis disavow their former allegiances and embrace that which is truly American: freedom, liberty, a shared culture of individualism, and fierce opposition to tyrannical encroachments on any of it. To become a member of our society, one must become an American and nothing else.
And this is what we should be preparing for; we should be preparing for the eventual encroachment on our liberties from a politically correct philosophy that would embrace those antithetical cultures and encourage them to flourish here, when in fact what has made this nation great has not been those diverse cultures, rather it has been the ability for individuals to take what is best about their cultural influences and use that within the framework of what freedom and liberty can provide.
As was stated by Theodore Roosevelt, despite his progressive shortcomings:
In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
We are at odds with radical Islam, and we cannot back down, but Afghanistan and the middle east might not be the appropriate theater for this opposition. Rather it should be in defense of our own borders.