Wanted: A President Who Can End The War In Chicago

Source: Rahiel Tesfamariam / The Washington Post

During Barack Obama’s first run for presidency one question followed him almost everywhere he went: What is your plan and timeline for ending the war in Iraq? It was arguably his response to that question that won the votes of millions of Americans who were tired of seeing flag-draped caskets carrying the corpses of slain soldiers back into the country. With the upcoming presidential election, the war in Afghanistan is not the only one that we should have lingering questions about.

Chicago’s alarming “war zone-like statistics” reflect a state of emergency that demands both immediate and long-term intervention.

While 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 individuals have been killed by gunfire in Chicago during the same period, as reported by WBEZ based on the Department of Defense and FBI data. And the number of Chicago homicides that have taken place this year (228) exceeds the number of Americans who have died in Afghanistan (144), according to The Daily. Some sources report that murders are up 35 percent from last year with the Chicago Tribune putting the percentage increase as high as 49.25 percent.

The onus to be deeply troubled by and strategically responsive to Chicago’s pandemic of violence obviously doesn’t fall solely on Obama, but that’s surely the type of commander-in-chief that I want in office. One who is committed to ensuring that Americans don’t have to walk on blood-stained sidewalks day in and day out, regardless of what their zip code is. I understand that localized leadership is where the real power rests in matters like this, but are we demanding enough from our presidential candidates?

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