In any time and place, war is fiendishly simple. It is the ultimate zero-sum contest — you win or you lose.

That eternal truth is so obvious that it should not need to be said. Yet even after the horrific slaughter in Paris, there remains a distressing doubt about whether America’s commander in chief gets it.

President Obama has spent the last seven years trying to avoid the world as it is. He has put his intellect and rhetorical skills into the dishonorable service of assigning blame and fudging failure. If nuances were bombs, Islamic State would have been destroyed years ago.

He refuses to say “Islamic terrorism,” as if that would offend the peaceful Muslims who make up the vast bulk of victims. He rejects the word “war,” even as jihadists carry out bloodthirsty attacks against Americans and innocent peoples around the world.

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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.