In one of the most dramatic gestures by any modern president, President Obama’s paid a midnight visit to Dover Air Force Base.
And there, on behalf of all Americans, he solemnly received the bodies of 18 young Americans killed in action this week in Afghanistan – and grieved with and comforted their families.
It was a very somber moment, filled with meaning.
Because it showed the human cost of this war. Families, careers, homes, and children’s lives destroyed by the loss of a loved one who went off to war and never came back.
And because it showed, also, both Obama’s compassion and the awesome burden he bears.
After his visit to Dover, the war in Afghanistan is now, even more so, Obama’s war. And he alone will decide whether to escalate it or end it. There is no in between.
Obama’s taking time to make that decision, as he should. But one can only hope that, in the end, he realizes that the goal of building a stable government in Afghanistan – which has never, in centuries, had a stable central government – is an impossible goal.
And not worth destroying any more families like those he visited with at Dover Air Force Base.
That’s my parting shot for today.