Godspeed, Mr. President

American presidents have done it for years, but it seems awfully silly to hold wartime press conferences to let the enemy know when you're coming.

But President Obama has taken it a step further by pretty much announcing when we'll be leaving, too.

How can you set a deadline on a war?

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., supported the Iraq surge and supports this one. But he expressed "grave doubts" about Obama's decision to announce a July 2011 date to begin a U.S. withdrawal.

Others agree with McCain that that can only embolden the enemy and send a chill throughout our Afghan allies -- who now know we aren't committed to a long-term effort.

We support the president and applaud him for doing what's necessary to win in Afghanistan. He's absolutely right when he says, "I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al-Qaida.

"It is from (there) that we were attacked on 9-11, and it is from (there) that new attacks are being plotted as I speak."

It must have been a difficult conclusion to draw, for a man who recently was named a Nobel Peace Prize laureate -- especially when his liberal Democratic base shortsightedly wants to cut and run, interestingly after years of complaining to the Bush administration that the real war on terror is in Afghanistan.

(It's also interesting to note that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is gung-ho about the surge, after having prematurely declared the Iraq War "lost.")

Vice President Joe Biden argues that a withdrawal date is necessary to prod the Afghan government toward reform and stability. Perhaps he's right -- but you don't need to hold a prime-time speech to communicate such a thing to Kabul. That should be done in private, so as not to telegraph your strategy to the enemy.

With those reservations, however -- along with the lament of how long this inescapable decision was dragged out -- we support President Obama's choice to finish the job in Afghanistan.

We also see hopeful signs that other nations will help out. They certainly should. But much more than they are. Radical Islam is a global cancer caused not by any policy or actions of the West, but by the insane hatred for infidels and the utter disdain for God-given life that makes radical Muslims one of history's most insidious maladies.

Godspeed, Mr. President.

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