03/29/10 — Hope for change: President made trip and promises in Afghanistan ... will they last?

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Hope for change: President made trip and promises in Afghanistan ... will they last?

The scene was like something out of a movie -- and the words were, too -- dapper President Barack Obama sporting a bomber jacket and shaking hands with the men and women stationed at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan today.

He promised those who gathered there that their mission was a priority and important. He also praised their work and promised that the minute he sees there is no more need for their services, he will bring them home.

He looked patriotic, and he looked sincere.

Let's hope he was.

The surprise trip to Afghanistan smells a little like a presidential poll push. It is just too close to the battle over health care and the precipitous drop in the president's approval rating.

But if, indeed, this was simply a chance to shore up the work that is being done in Afghanistan as well as a real push to force Afghan leaders to clean up their act, then this just might be the hope and change so many of those who worry about America's ability to protect itself have been waiting for.

Terrorists do not follow the Geneva Conventions, and they have no remorse when it comes to killing innocents on a grand scale -- there is plenty of proof of that.

So, for now and likely forever, they must be hit swiftly and deftly and with little regard for the calls for negotiations that often accompany such battles.

This is a group of people who are bent on killing Americans -- and that is a threat we cannot ignore.

Perhaps the president's trip to Afghanistan is a sign that he understands that concern.

Published in Editorials on March 29, 2010 10:22 AM