March 7, 2009

The Road to a Democrat Led Defeat of America Goes Through Afghanistan


Once there under the umbrella of "hunting down Bin Laden," it would be only a matter of time before that "mission" was declared either a success or "impossible." -- American Digest, October 4

Well, that didn't take long, did it? Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban

WASHINGTON — President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.

What follows is an article I wrote a month before the election on October 4.

Jim H. Ainsworth in an article at American Thinker asks Obama to
"please explain why American lives are more precious in Iraq than they would be in Afghanistan-why you are willing to spend treasure and lives in this hostile land, but want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq?"

I don't know what Obama would say if he answered this question, but I do know that there is no honest answer he can give, even if he were an honest man. Indeed, the whole warp and woof of the Afghanistan question cannot be answered honestly by any of the myriad Democrats and fellow travelers who have been boosting this canard for years.

Indeed, if you had to extract any current position on the war on terror promoted without hint or hindrance by Democrats over the past few years it is that "the real war is in Afghanistan." Yes, only there can we track, find, capture and bring to a court of law the evil doer Osama Bin Laden. And then we can declare, with the running to ground of this one man, not victory, but a win. And then we can go home.

This constant carping about the real war in Afghanistan is so much mirrors and smoke sent up from the smoldering brainpans of people who have no such opinion at all. They would be liars to a man if they were any real men among them.

Do not buy the Afghanistan lie.

The real position of these latter-day traitors is to stop the War on Terror completely, humiliate the United States, and lull the country back into a September 10th state of mind. Neither Obama or anyone else in his sniveling cohort give a tinker's damn about Afghanistan. What they do know is that if they can get the War in Iraq shut down to "send more desperately needed resources" to Afghanistan, then shutting down and surrendering in Afghanistan will be child's play.

While there are genuine American interests at play in Afghanistan, those interests are as nothing compared to the much larger interests at stake in Iraq. The interests in Iraq include, but are not limited to, creating and maintaining an ally in the heart of the middle east with dependable and permanent bases for US air and sea power. The location of those bases on real estate that puts air, sea, and armor on the doorstep of Iran. (And, if things get really hinky, on the doorstep of Saudi Arabia as well.) In terms of strategy and tactics, Iraq is much more central to American interests than Afghanistan. There is also the fact that bringing Iraq oil online will be of immediate benefit to the world at large. No "10 year" wait there. Control of the Persian Gulf and the ability to keep the Straits of Hormuz open also factor into the game. Finally, a democracy of 25 million men and women is good to have in a region dominated by radical theocracies. There's a big investment in Iraq in blood and treasure.

For these reasons and more, it would will prove difficult to extricate American power from Iraq. Unless... unless... Unless the argument is made that we need to reinforce Afghanistan and we are, frankly, fresh out of army. In that case, you might be able to withdraw a lot of our forces from Iraq and send them, not home, but to Afghanistan.

For a little while.

Once there under the umbrella of "hunting down Bin Laden," it would be only a matter of time before that "mission" was declared either a success or "impossible."

Given that the public interest in Iraq is, even now, marginal but still engaged, the idea that the public would sustain an interest in some sort of massive posse action in Afghanistan is risible at best. Obama, the Democrats, and the Left know this.

If we ever do evolve to a point in the war on terror where we stand down in Iraq in order to stand up in Afghanistan, I give that little adventure about 18 months maximum before we fold up our tents like Arabs and silently steal away.

Afghanistan deserves to be fought and won on its own terms, not as a stealthy way of retreating from the field altogether. Anybody who tells you the Iraq war is useless and Afghanistan is the "real" war is really telling you Afghanistan is just the long way home. Wagging our tails behind us.
First published, October 4, 2008

Posted by Vanderleun at March 7, 2009 10:53 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

"Of all the arguments for pulling out of Iraq, the greater importance of Afghanistan is the least serious." - Charles Krauthammer, March 2007

The Democrats, and Obama in particular, are un-serious and irresponsible in urgently serious times:
rise of Islamists
energy and environment
foundational value system
Marxism vs free-market capitalism
and so on...

I think you have the right read on this, Gerard.

Posted by: Western Chauvinist at October 5, 2008 6:52 AM

Had the Dems listened to Charlie Wilson we would not be having this conversation.

Face it; should Obama be elected defeat in the ME is assured and a Soviet-style rout in Afghanistan in the making.

Posted by: BJM at October 5, 2008 8:21 AM

Yes, I can hear them sputtering now, "Afghanistan is destabilizing Pakistan and we must stabilize Pakistan by leaving Afghanistan."

Posted by: vanderleun at October 5, 2008 8:27 AM

You've nailed it.

The Afghanistan argument for most Dems (i.e., leftists) is nothing more than cover for their defeatist position on Iraq. I'd say 18 months of commitment in Afghanistan is optimistic. Maybe a year, tops, and then we get to be served the familiar fill-in-the-blank rhetoric from the Party of Surrender:

"Afghanistan is lost. Our nation has wasted too much blood and treasure on this failed cause."

"OBL isn't in Afghanistan. He's in Pakistan. Why are we in Afghanistan?"

"We don't have enough support from other nations (after they leave), to continue."

"Karzi is an ineffective leader. Why should the U.S. support him? We should negotiate with the Taliban."

Have I left any out? Of course, I did forget to add that "this war is Bush's fault", for added measure.

Posted by: SK at October 5, 2008 10:08 AM

We'll see what happens, but here are some things for Donks to ponder:

It's 2011, President Obama Skywalker wants to turn around send troops somewhere in the wake of a disastrous exit from Afghanistan. Upon meeting with the Joint Chiefs, Skywalker is stunned into silence when the generals tell him,

"Nope, Mr. President, not this time unless...

1. You give us veto power over deployments now and in the future.

2. You guarantee unconditional funding and continuing popular support for the mission until we finish the job.

3. You fix it with Congress to double the size of the Armed Forces...with pay increases to match.

You must meet all of our conditions, Mr. President; otherwise, we're not going. Think carefully before you decide: where else are you going to get the troops for your little adventure? From the UN? Good luck with that."

So what does Obama Skywalker do? If he caves, then he's just made the Armed Forces the fourth branch of government. If he refuses, then the troops won't be going anywhere, so he might as well clean out his desk, turn off the Oval Office lights, and move back to Hyde Park. Furthermore, if Obama Skywalker tries to fire or arrest recalcitrant troops, how's he going to do it? Have county mounties serve summonses to all of them? Maybe Obama could ask Congress to cut off funding to the Defense Department. But what if the generals pull the congressional leadership aside and give them a "Nice Congress--hate to see anything happen to it" chat? What then? "Things fly apart..."

I'd like to think Obama is smarter than he lets on, but, as we've learned to our sorrow, we must never underestimate the idiocy and expediency of politicians. But y'all know that already, don't you?

Posted by: MarkJ at October 5, 2008 12:32 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble, MarkJ, but the armed forces are under civilian control. If the commander-in-chief sends troops somewhere, the Joint Chiefs will be advising him on how best to do it. They can object, but they can't force the President to do what they want, because they work for him. The day that our military demands concessions from a sitting President is the day that our republic collapses.

Posted by: Chris at October 5, 2008 1:05 PM

Gerard you just don't understand- sometimes you have to destroy America's credibility to save it.

Posted by: The Count at October 5, 2008 2:50 PM

well...Their arguement would be (since you don't even mention it before swatting it down)...that al Qaeda, the group responsible for 9/11, and it's leader, one Mr. bin Laden, were/are operating from Afghanistan and/or Pakistan. Iraq, whilst a problem regime, was a run-of-the-mill dictatorship that had nothing to do with 9/11 and could have been dealt with in other ways short of an invasion. You protest, saying that regardless, Iraq had become the central front in the war on radical Islam. They counter that it is our presence in Iraq that drew the al Qaeda types into the country and that if we left, Iraq would be much better off. As for Afghanistan, they would argue that what could be more important than bringing those responsible for 9/11 to justice? Once that is accomplished, they would undoubtedly return to a law enforcement model of containing Islam. own personal view is somewhere between what I take yours to be and what I believe to be the Dem. position. The Dems sincerely believe that we can handle this problem through law enforcement. On that I think they will be proved horribly wrong.

Posted by: Barnabus at October 5, 2008 3:28 PM

I suggest this as grist for the AD mill. Mr. Totten nails it correctly. Thinking that winning in Afghanistan is the 'correct' war is just stupid. It is much wider than that and 9/10 thinking will get us all killed eventually.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Robohobo at October 5, 2008 5:38 PM

Thanks for the Totten pointer. Mike's a friend and someone I admire deeply.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 5, 2008 5:44 PM

What makes me angry are the generals, like the Brit commander in Afghanistan, who say we cannot win. WTF. maybe the trick to winning in Afghanistan, as with Iraq, is to find someone who believes in the mission and looks for ways to win.

Posted by: Davod at October 8, 2008 6:31 AM

He's already lost the military.

Posted by: Eric Blair at March 7, 2009 8:08 PM

It's stunning that Obama will seek audience with the Taliban, but refuses to do so with Republicans.

Posted by: Velociman at March 8, 2009 8:49 AM

While your general comments are right about at least some of the Democrats, there may be some wisdom in talking to the Taliban.

The Taliban is not the reason the US went into Afghanistan. Al-Queda is. If we can get the Taliban to cough up bin Ladin and al-Queda, the Taliban can have the mountains of Afghanistan.

The only issue left of international importance would be opium.

I'm not willing to see US fighters die in the mountains or valleys of Afghanistan just so the ladies there can wear western dresses.

That said, I must say it seems unlikely that the Taliban will, in fact, give up al-Queda.

And the letting al-Queda and the Taliban set up shop in Kabul, kicking out the current government, complete with photos of bin Laden triumphant in Kabul, would be political suicide for any US administration. And I think Obama knows this.

If not, bin Laden sets up shop in Kabul, attacks the US again, Obama gets voted or impeached out, and the Republicans get swept into office. The war in Afghanistan might start again.

Posted by: Fred2 at March 8, 2009 5:45 PM

Q: How can you tell a moderate Taliban?

A: He's the one using an electric knife.

Posted by: Broadsword at March 17, 2009 4:56 AM