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Smart exit strategy key to leaving Afghanistan

President Barack Obama is right about one thing: The American people are weary of war. They are weary of an Afghan war that began righteously, in pursuit of the evil-doers who plotted the 9/11 terrorist assault, but whose capital was frittered away with the sideshow of unnecessary war in Iraq.

They’re weary of a war that is itself now a sideshow to the Taliban’s rise, abetted by new terrorist havens in Pakistan.

More than a decade after 9/11, the downside of waging an endless, worldwide, 24/7 “war on terror” is sinking in. Nonstop war has sapped our resources and the resilience of our armed forces.

So one can’t fault the president for trying to put the best face on his latest plan: an orderly retreat from these frustrating, costly wars.

Nor is it a bad plan. …

But Obama is wrong to oversimplify the dangers and the mess that still exist. We’re bidding well to repeat the error of 1989, when America walked away and left Afghanistan to descend into chaos, with Osama bin Laden the beneficiary. Americans may be weary, but the stakes, in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region, remain frighteningly high.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer


Ohio right to crack down on driving distractions

… In Columbus, the Ohio Senate passed a bill which would ban texting while driving, and focused on the most frequent users of electronic messaging, teenagers.

… The texting bill would also prohibit those under 18 from not only using cellphones, but iPads or other electronic devices while they are behind the wheel, unless there’s an emergency. For teens, a violation would be a primary offense, meaning officers could pull them over if police observed them using a device. …

Adult drivers would be barred from texting, too, but an officer could only cite them if they are first pulled over for another offense.

There would be difficulties in enforcing a texting ban. It could be hard, for example, for an officer to determine if a driver is texting or simply dialing a phone. And it’s not so easy to determine if someone is 17, or 18 or 19.

Still, our lawmakers are doing the right thing by pushing forward.

There are many things that can distract a driver, but using a cellphone while driving has contributed to hundreds of accidents, which have taken lives and caused serious injuries.

Sending a text while driving is already banned in 37 states, and Ohio should follow suit to regulate a driver distraction that is clearly dangerous. …

The (Findlay) Courier, May 4