I didn’t watch President Obama’s interview on 60 Minutes last night, which Jennifer reported on this morning. But I was struck by one thing she quotes Obama as saying, that this war in Afghanistan “was foisted on us as a consequence of 19 men deciding to kill thousands of Americans back in 2001.”
The 19 decided? The 19 men didn’t “decide” to fly planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon any more than the Japanese pilots who attacked Pearl Harbor decided to sink the American Pacific fleet in 1941. They were ordered to after elaborate planning and strategic decisions were made by a large and complex organization that regarded itself as an enemy of America.
This strikes me as a window into the inner Obama. In his head he knows that this is a war and has to be fought as one. That’s why he ordered 30,000 additional troops into a foreign country and made the speech he made at West Point. But perhaps the reason he seemed so unhappy making it is that, in his heart, he still thinks of 9/11 as a crime, a horrendous one to be sure, but a discrete act by evil men, operating on their own authority, like bank robbers.