Some pundits are saying that President Obama has been floundering in his response to the ISIS crisis because public opinion polls show most Americans don’t want another war.
In all my 84 years, I cannot recall a time when most Americans wanted war. That is something we should be proud of. But wars are not always optional.
Even World War II — which some have called “the good war” — was not something that most Americans wanted. But the Japanese took that decision out of our hands when they bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. And Hitler removed any possible doubt when he declared war on us shortly afterward, making sure that we were in the war all over the world.
No one has promoted the dangerous notion that war is optional more than Barack Obama. He declared peace in Iraq when he pulled American troops out, and he declared victory over al Qaeda because his administration had killed bin Laden (with an assist from the Navy SEALS). But all this make-believe has come back to haunt him, as make-believe often does.