Shifty progress in terror wars

Death tolls continue to rise eight years into America’s ill-defined conflict.

Defending his provisional non-decision on Afghan War troop increases Monday, Commander-in-Chief and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama told a military audience in Jacksonville that he refused to âÄúrush the solemn decision of sending you into harmâÄôs way.âÄù The speech comes one day after the deadliest Iraq terrorist attack in two years. On Sunday, vehicles armed with explosives killed 155 people, including two dozen children, in Baghdad . The Iraqi government blamed similar bombings in August on Baathist insurgents harbored in nearby Syria. A political adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said of SundayâÄôs attacks, âÄúif the neighbor countries are still recruiting, allowing, hosting the murderers and terrorists, hosting their leaders, it is too difficult to control such terrorist attacks.âÄù Attacks like SundayâÄôs are a chilling reminder of the fragility and cost of AmericaâÄôs nation-building efforts and of the utter insanity of fighting âÄúa war on terrorâÄù (a term which the Obama administration has officially banished from use). If terrorists have reestablished themselves in Syria, as Iraqi officials suggest, or in Pakistan, as CIA Director Leon Panetta believes, does our military follow them there? Eight years in, outright victory in the war on terror is as futile as ever. But American politicians continue to fund the operations, and amid economic malaise and a health care debate, an ever-increasing death toll is choked for import. Wednesday, Obama will sign a $680 billion defense appropriations bill, including $130 billion for the Iraq and Afghan wars. Tossing a bone to liberal Democrats, the bill included GLBT hate crime legislation. But the principled dissent of Rep. Dennis Kucinich, DâÄìOhio, spoke loudest, âÄúisnâÄôt war the most offensive of hate crimes?âÄù