a photo of the President Obama
Whitehouse.gov/Pete Souza

Liberals are beside themselves. They’ve never had an anti-war president. They have tried with candidates such as Henry Wallace, Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern. President Barack Obama seemed like a liberal dream come true.  He was going to end wars, bring peace and fight evil with understanding, compassion and enlightenment, not with bombs and drones. However, as if something out of a Shakespeare play, the man who didn’t want war has succumbed to the Beltway noise and become the fourth president to be drawn into the conflict in Iraq.

Although it may be too little, too late to repair the damage of his presidency, I think he is recognizing that liberalism is a flawed ideology. You can’t fight bad people with ACLU lawyers reading them their Miranda rights or wait to hear from every country from Bolivia to  Estonia before deciding whether it is humane to go after people who slaughter Christians, behead hostages and thumb American blood in our eyes.

Nobody wants war but there are times when you have to make a stand. War should never be the first resort, but if forced to fight we should make a statement. We should send a message and put all nations on notice that we are America, the world’s last superpower. We shouldn’t have to apologize for taking action. If you bomb, behead and slaughter our citizens for being American it is our moral duty to bring to bring those who want to create chaos and instability to justice.

Even as the US launches an effort to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) we must remember we are not at war with Islam. Muslims around the world must understand that distinction too. They must see that ISIS is co-opting their faith and speak out against those radicals. There will  only be peace in the Middle East when the people of Islam denounce those who kill in the name of Islam.

Our country cannot continue with dithering and debating while a humanitarian crisis unfolds.  The president had no choice but to intervene in a situation that has sent thousands of refugees fleeing for their lives. We didn’t ask for a role but from a human standpoint we can’t turn our backs while innocent people are slaughtered. I’m not a warmonger but  we need to put boots on the ground solely because we have the brains, brawn and technology to clean up the mess ISIS has created.

At the same time, we need to show the world we are different than the savages we are bombing. We need to fight hate with love, offering food, water and blankets to victims of the conflict. If we can show the people of Iraq and Syria tenderness, mercy and understanding, we will help inspire them to build a fighting force that is not afraid of evil but will challenge and resist it wherever it lies.

I have been critical of President Obama but he is winning me over again. Although I disagree with him on domestic policy. I believe he is setting the right tone on foreign policy. I say to all these right-wingers who wrap themselves in the flag. Now is the time to be patriotic and salute this president.