This and his remarks about Pakistan remain the most salient reasons for the President’s action.
“Unlike Vietnam, we are joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action. Unlike Vietnam, we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency. And most importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan, and remain a target for those same extremists who are plotting along its border. To abandon this area now – and to rely only on efforts against al Qaeda from a distance – would significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and create an unacceptable risk of additional attacks on our homeland and our allies.”
It can be assumed that the full force of right wing will be focused on trashing him while a comparable group from the left will do the same. Both will forget that the President has said the same thing from the start.
What the President did not say as strongly as he might have, is that this is a battle comparable to WWII. We are fighting the same irrational and lethal force. The impunity of both Taliban and Al Qaeda stops at no boundary. If this is the case, it is naive to assume that we can walk away. It is a matter of trusting the President’s judgment.
Pacifists were ultimately willing to take up arms in WWII. Because they came to understand the stakes. The stakes are as high now.