The Corner

‘A Decade of War Is Now Ending’

Someone needs to inform the jihadists.

On a day when we are still counting the bodies – including the American bodies — from the deadly terror attack in Algeria, this statement from President Obama’s inaugural address was particularly jarring. Algeria is hardly the only flashpoint. Our conflict with jihadists not only continues but will continue long after we’ve left Afghanistan. The perpetrators of the Benghazi attack are still at large, France is engaging in offensive military operations against al-Qaeda in Mali (with American logistical support), and Iran is busy building the bomb. Also, let’s not forget the possibility of intervention in Syria, or our semi-regular drone strikes in Yemen.

In short, we’re a nation at war, and we will remain a nation at war until our enemy either gives up or is utterly defeated. It takes all parties to agree (or acquiesce) to peace, but it only takes one party to wage war, and our enemies have given no evidence that they have abandoned their intention to kill as many Americans as they can. We may relax our efforts, but our enemies will not.

I’m reminded of the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” Words have consequences, and I fear that the consequences of the president’s words will include complacency and distraction.  

Our enemy is resolute. Are we?

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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