Rotating Forces

As the fight in Afghanistan heightens, with more troops flown in and more and more losses recorded, the conflict has come to be seen as Obama’s war, writes The Chicago Tribune.

As the fight in Afghanistan heightens, with more troops flown in and more and more losses recorded, the conflict has come to be seen as Obama’s war, writes The Chicago Tribune. But, more than that, it has come to be seen as America’s war. Once a formerly anti-war party takes power and escalates a fight started by its opposition, then it acts as a legitimizing force on that conflict, removing petty politics and replacing it with bipartisanship and a national agenda. And such sentiments have been reflected in the mood of the general public who have dumbly accepted the actions of their new president without growing demonstrations and personal outrage. "Why not? Because Obama is now commander in chief. The lack of opposition is not a matter of hypocrisy. It is a natural result of the rotation of power. When a party is in opposition, it opposes. That's its job. But when it comes to power, it must govern. Easy rhetoric is over, the press of reality becomes irresistible. By necessity, it adopts some of the policies it had once denounced. And a new national consensus is born. In this case, the anti-war party has followed the Bush endgame to a T in Iraq and has doubled down in Afghanistan. And there is no general restiveness (at least over this)."

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