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What War?

2:42 PM, Sep 18, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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William McGurn, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

The grave for Maj. Thomas Kennedy is so fresh that it lacks a headstone. In its place are flowers, flags and mementos left by people who knew this Army officer as a classmate, as an instructor, as a neighbor. Such is the terrible beauty of West Point, where even on a sun-kissed football Saturday it is impossible to forget America is at war.

That sounds like a platitude, it is so obvious. Then again, maybe it's not so obvious—at least to this White House. In the week since our ambassador to Libya was murdered along with three others from our consulate in Benghazi, the president has studiously avoided using the "w" word to describe what was plainly an attack on the United States.

That approach was on full display at Andrews Air Force Base Friday, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton welcomed home the bodies of the four slain Americans. The president and his secretary of state spoke well and warmly about these men, about their families, about the good work they were doing. Still, someone who had only their remarks to go by could be forgiven for coming away with the impression that these were people killed in some senseless shooting—not Americans targeted and murdered by enemies who are at war with us and act accordingly.

In his Rose Garden remarks delivered the morning after the killings became news, the president's lone reference to war was to Libya as a country "striving to emerge from the recent experience of war." In Saturday's radio address, war went completely unmentioned. The president had also left it unmentioned during the solemn ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base the day before.

What does it say about a president's foreign policy when Americans who represent him are killed overseas—and the only reference to the glaring fact of war comes from the Army chaplain, who asked the Almighty to help us defeat these agents of terror?

Whole thing here.

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