In an open letter to President Obama (Herald, Sept. 10), Jack Wilson of Longboat Key asked the chief to speak from the White House and announce that the USA has declared war on Islamic extremists who have vowed to commit acts of global terrorism.
Wilson's letter made a lot of sense to me. He also said that Mr. Obama needs to announce the appointment of a supreme allied commander to conduct this global war on terror, adding that the one chosen must be a "near unanimous" choice of senators and representatives of Congress.
I listened to the president's speech from the White House on 9/11 and decided he came to fulfilling Mr. Wilson's requests when the president said: "With a new Iraqi government in place (not quite yet, some commentators averred) and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat."
Of course there was disagreement in the wake of Obama's upbeat presentation. After all, this is a democracy -- the best in the world -- but in general there will be relief that our president said: "We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy."
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No doubt Wilson would have preferred use of the word "war."
Should the coalition call for a supreme allied commander, I humbly suggest Gen. David Petraeus for his popular leadership on the battlefield in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite knowing of his later fall from grace in his personal life. After all, nobody's perfect.
Go, Jack Wilson. Go, Mr. President.
Ruth M. Gill