Rasmussen: Majority wants out of Afghanistan within a year

posted at 4:17 pm on March 7, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

One of the few areas where Barack Obama and Republicans have largely agreed has been prosecuting the war in Afghanistan.  Obama ran on the promise to fight the Taliban more robustly, and he has delivered on that promise with escalations in troop commitments and a significant increase in drone attacks across the border into Pakistan.  The commitment has created momentum for NATO and for the elected government in Afghanistan, even if other diplomatic issues have created trouble with the latter.

Until now, Obama could count on significant domestic support for continuing the effort in the Af-Pak theater.  According to Rasmussen, though, that support has apparently dissipated:

A majority of voters, for the first time, support an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan or the creation of a timetable to bring them all home within a year.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 31% of Likely U.S. Voters now say all troops should be brought home from Afghanistan immediately, while another 21% say a firm timetable should be established to bring all troops home within a year’s time. The combined total of 52% who want the troops home within a year is a nine-point jump from 43% last September. Just 37% felt that way inSeptember 2009.

Only 34% of voters now think there should be no timetable for withdrawal. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.

The erosion goes across partisan lines.  In September 2009, only 19% of Republicans and 28% of independents wanted troops brought home immediately or within a one-year fixed timetable.  Eighteen months later, it’s now 37% of Republicans and 45% of independents.  Democrats have also shifted from 61% in September 2009 to 73% in March 2011.

Younger voters drove most of the negatives in 2009, with 61% demanding withdrawal immediately or within a year.  In 2011, the demand has actually been reduced among 18-29YOs (51%), but has gone up significantly with all other age groups:

  • 30-39: Now 53/32 for withdrawal, was 34/58
  • 40-49: Now 49/34, was 30/58
  • 50-64: Now 53/35, was 33/55
  • 65+: Now 46/35, was 40/41

Obama and his administration had recently been discussing longer-term plans to keep American forces in place through 2014 or beyond.  If these numbers continue to erode in an election season, don’t expect Obama to remain that committed to seeing the war through to victory.  He’s sacrificed his left flank for two years in order to position himself as a relatively hawkish liberal, but if the center and right abandon the war, Obama will not turn himself into LBJ to keep American forces fighting on the other side of the world.


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I believe that is doable. IF we use the right equipment and completely level the mountains… should take about 24 hours.

shar61 on March 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Bring our soldiers home now.

Knucklehead on March 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Well, crap.

Count to 10 on March 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Well, of course they want us out. But does that mean that the respondents won’t support our military staying until the job is done?

hawksruleva on March 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Count me in that majority.

Get out of Afghanistan, Iraq and while we’re at it, WTF are we doing in Germany 60 years after WW2 and 20 years after the Cold War?

angryed on March 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

A timetable is the stupidest thing ever. You fight until you decide it is not in your interest to, taking care not to be blinded by short term setbacks. Then if necessary you leave. No announcements necessary.

RINO in Name Only on March 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I believe that is doable. IF we use the right equipment and completely level the mountains… should take about 24 hours.

shar61 on March 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

I think China would object to the fall out.

Count to 10 on March 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM

My stance on this: Go all-in or go home.

Has Obama done everything that Petraeus has asked him to do in order to make COIN work over there?

If so, how much longer does Petraeus think it will take for a sustained effort to show results?

If not, why hasn’t he given Petraeus what he’s asked for?

teke184 on March 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM

OT:

This letter should be front page for sheer ballsiness…

dforston on March 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Uhhh, General Rassmussen, may I please see some references?

No Sir, inexperience is NOT desirable for leading troops in battle.

Caststeel on March 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM

wow, why does this soun so familiar? Oh yeah… BOOOOSH!

upinak on March 7, 2011 at 4:24 PM

I’m not a quitter,but I’m beginning to think we should leave also. The way Obama has handled this war has been atrocious.
When Bush was in charge, say what you will about him,I felt confident of victory. No more do I have that confidence. This is nothing against our brave military,but it is against the CIC. If you can call him that.

sandee on March 7, 2011 at 4:24 PM

I think we should leave as well. They are not capable of standing on their own after all these years and likely never will be.

sharrukin on March 7, 2011 at 4:24 PM

After 10 years, people are realizing this is not actually a war anymore. It’s just a another gigantic government project costing literally hundreds of billions.

keep the change on March 7, 2011 at 4:25 PM

But SecDef Gates just said we’ll be in Afghanistan well beyond 2014…

Skandia Recluse on March 7, 2011 at 4:25 PM

After the Said Musa stuff I came to that conclusion as well. These people aren’t worth it anymore.

AbaddonsReign on March 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM

All in or all out….but enough of this kinda, sorta crap.

search4truth on March 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I believe that is doable. IF we use the right equipment and completely level the mountains… should take about 24 hours.

shar61 on March 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Since the last START, right equipment may be a little short.
But we could always ask NoKo and Iran to lend us a few.
/crickets

Caststeel on March 7, 2011 at 4:27 PM

This isn’t even a war, it’s a police operation. It’s stupid, there is no set mission, and no more American lives are worth it.

RightXBrigade on March 7, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Recruitment will be way up for the jihadis. No matter how we spin it, it’s their victory.

unclesmrgol on March 7, 2011 at 4:28 PM

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/wisconsin-gop-senate-leader-responds-dem-leaders-request-meet-illinois-border_553056.html

Ummmm… link didn’t show on last post. Grrr…

dforston on March 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM

This deserves its own post. Its an awesome slam.

AZCON on March 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM

It would appear the citizenry of the US is starting to come to their foreign policy senses.

JohnGalt23 on March 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM

The Soviet Union was unavailable for comment.

Electrongod on March 7, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Well, perhaps… that is because we have a CIC who does not want to win. I would much rather keep the soldiers here then have them somewhere else dying when the CIC does not truly want VICTORY, a word that has never been uttered by the press or anyone in Government since the immaculation of Obama.

I don’t know know if that is the best solution though. What I really want is for our soldiers to be able to do whatever is necessary to ensure that terrorist regimes do not control Afghanistan ever again.

jeffn21 on March 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

If these numbers continue to erode in an election season, don’t expect Obama to remain that committed to seeing the war through to victory.

what does victory even mean?

sesquipedalian on March 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

After 10 years, people are realizing this is not actually a war anymore. It’s just a another gigantic government project costing literally hundreds of billions.

keep the change on March 7, 2011 at 4:25 PM

This. Count me in the GTFO now category.

Socmodfiscon on March 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

RE: AFPAK- What is the objective? If we have an objective then it is over when we fulfill that objective or abandon it. Is it to eliminate the Taliban, find Bin Laden, set up a democracy, what?

AZCON on March 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

And yet Obama gets higher ratings for his handling of Afghanistan than just about anything else…I think people get tired of the whole thing and yes, sure we would all like to see the troops out of there in a year…but in the end I don’t think polls like this will make much difference.

In fact, I bet most people would answer yes to pulling the troops out of Korea as well. Right now, they just see the military as competition for spending.

Terrye on March 7, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I’d like to see General Patreaus on our Sothern Border…

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2011 at 4:35 PM

DarkCurrent: Near majority have 2-digit IQ

DarkCurrent on March 7, 2011 at 4:35 PM

I’d like to see General Patreaus on our Sothern Border…

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2011 at 4:35 PM

I second that.

fourdeucer on March 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

don’t expect Obama to remain that committed to seeing the war through to victory

Yeah ….what were the definitions of “victory” again?

And how is that done with both hands tied behind your back and a pair of dirty Muslim underwear pulled down over your eyes?

Your going to have to pull out soon to go and bleed for the Sacred Saudis against teh evil demockracy protesters and save teh precious.

BL@KBIRD on March 7, 2011 at 4:40 PM

If we had a leader, then I say stick it out…but two years ago I was saying this…If Obama is elected, then pull out of most every war, we won’t win with him, he will just delay decisions, and be so indecisive that we won’t be able to be effective. Save our men for when we have a real leader, one that knows how to win a war. All we do is lose our finest because the American people made a bad choice at the polls. It sickens me to know how many fine men gave their lives for this horrible president.

right2bright on March 7, 2011 at 4:40 PM

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/wisconsin-gop-senate-leader-responds-dem-leaders-request-meet-illinois-border_553056.html

Ummmm… link didn’t show on last post. Grrr…

dforston on March 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM

That is a thing of beauty.

Knucklehead on March 7, 2011 at 4:40 PM

I have no idea what the endgame looks like, how long it will take to reach it, or how much it will cost.

I place this on Obama’s shoulders, as he has shown a complete and utter lack of leadership on this war, which was a cornerstone of his campagin. He repeatedly said we had to win here.

I just don’t know if it is worth continuing at this point.

WisCon on March 7, 2011 at 4:42 PM

RE: AFPAK- What is the objective? If we have an objective then it is over when we fulfill that objective or abandon it. Is it to eliminate the Taliban, find Bin Laden, set up a democracy, what?

AZCON on March 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Hope and Change, of course.

Moreover, consistent with the Muslim Brotherhood’s blueprint for society (highly influential in Sunni Islamic countries and consonant with the transnational-progressive bent of the State Department), the constitution obliges the Afghan government to “create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice” (which, naturally, includes free universal health care). It commands that the Afghan flag be inscribed, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His prophet, and Allah is Great [i.e., Allahu Akbar].” The state is instructed to “devise and implement a unified educational curriculum based on the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam” and to “develop the curriculum of religious subjects on the basis of the Islamic sects existing in Afghanistan.” In addition, the constitution requires the Afghan government to ensure that the family, “a fundamental unit of society,” is supported in the upbringing of children by “the elimination of traditions contrary to the principles of the sacred religion of Islam.” Those contrary traditions include Western Judeo-Christian principles.

Was that what you figured we were doing when you heard we were “promoting democracy”? Is that a mission you would have agreed to commit our armed forces to accomplish? Yet, that’s what we’re fighting for. The War On Terror hasn’t been about 9/11 for a very long time. You may think our troops are in Afghanistan to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban — that’s what you’re told every time somebody has the temerity to suggest that we should leave. Our commanders, however, have acknowledged that destroying the enemy is not our objective. In fact, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former top U.S. commander, said what is happening in Afghanistan is not even our war. “This conflict and country are [theirs] to win,” he wrote, “not mine.”

Rae on March 7, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Bring them home now.

j_galt on March 7, 2011 at 4:43 PM

I’m in the Air Force and about the most pro kill terrorist guy I know. We need to get out sooner than that. Why are we there? To build another country that will end up hating us. Screw that. Have we avenged 9/11? No. All we did was remove the Taliban and put a corupt govt in its place. Let’s get out of Iraq too. That war should have ended after we caught Sadam Husein. but here we are dieing for people that hate us. We should leave both places today with the understanding that if we need to return, it wil only be in the form of lots of bombs and missles. These people and their stupid way of life are not worth the lives of my brothers and sisters. Oh and as far as avenging 9/11 lets kill Osama bin Laden wherever he is. WHERE EVER HE IS. WHEREVER HE IS!!!

nazarioj001 on March 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM

ITA, bring them home. May sound Paulinite, but their lives are cherished back home and they should be taken care of. Been through hell and back.

And I don’t have anybody nor know anyone in the military.

ProudPalinFan on March 7, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Vigorous, non-PC, victorious prosecution of armed conflicts was supposed to be one of the benefits of having a Republican in the White House (George W. Bush). No more Vietnams with an idiot like LBJ micro-managing and picking bombing targets.

And yet, both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been plagued by lawyers and PC rules of engagement. If we’re getting our guys killed just to re-enact the bureaucratic clusterfark of Vietnam then I want our guys out. Now.

I’d like to see General Patreaus on our Sothern Border…

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2011 at 4:35 PM

A great idea that neither the idiot Bush nor Obama have put into practice.

Django on March 7, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Oh and as far as avenging 9/11 lets kill Osama bin Laden wherever he is. WHERE EVER HE IS. WHEREVER HE IS!!!

nazarioj001 on March 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Great idea. We should do that. Where is he?

DarkCurrent on March 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM

You can’t engage in nation building in a region that has no idea what a nation is and has no institutional foundation to build on. It is a tribal wasteland and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Any smart Republican candidate should be calling for withdrawal.

The BEST we could hope for is a semi stable anti-American, anti-Christian Islamic government that institutes Sharia Law. If that is the best case scenario our choice is obvious. We are literally helping those who hate our guts and like to pal around with the Tyrant in Tehran. ENOUGH. Eradicating Al Qaeda made sense, the rest, not so much.

echosyst on March 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Since the U.N asked for us to be there, why isn’t the U.N. paying for more of this.

OH that’s right, we pay the U.N. half of all the money they receive. If the U.N. wants us there longer, I suggest the U.N. credit us, the U.S., the money we have spent.

Hmmmm

upinak on March 7, 2011 at 4:57 PM

1. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war,
where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots,
as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand
mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them
a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front,
including entertainment of guests, small items such as
glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armor,
will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day.
Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.

2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory
is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and
their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town,
you will exhaust your strength.
3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources
of the State will not be equal to the strain.

4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped,
your strength exhausted and your treasure spent,
other chieftains will spring up to take advantage
of your extremity. Then no man, however wise,
will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war,
cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

6. There is no instance of a country having benefited
from prolonged warfare.

7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted
with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand
the profitable way of carrying it on.

8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy,
neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.

9. Bring war material with you from home, but forage
on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough
for its needs.

10. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army
to be maintained by contributions from a distance.
Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes
the people to be impoverished.

11. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes
prices to go up; and high prices cause the people’s
substance to be drained away.

12. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry
will be afflicted by heavy exactions.

13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion
of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare,
and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated;
while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses,
breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields,
protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons,
will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.

15. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging
on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy’s provisions
is equivalent to twenty of one’s own, and likewise
a single picul of his provender is equivalent to twenty
from one’s own store.

16. Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must
be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from
defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

17. Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots
have been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first.
Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy,
and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours.
The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.

18. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment
one’s own strength.

19. In war, then, let your great object be victory,
not lengthy campaigns.

20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies
is the arbiter of the people’s fate, the man on whom it
depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.

Sun Tzu would say about the Afpak latrine….FAIL!

BL@KBIRD on March 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Sun Tzu would say about the Afpak latrine….FAIL!

BL@KBIRD on March 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Sun Tzu’s kingdom got destroyed.

DarkCurrent on March 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I dunno who was on the Ed Morrissey web show, but I finally found my kiddo’s homework on President Lincoln and a little book about kids that go back to the theater and try change history. They wanted to avoid Lincoln’s assasination by John Wilkes-Booth.

The question on the project was, “If you had gone back in time, explain what and how you would have done to try and save Lincoln’s life that was different from what the 3 were doing.”

My son responded, “I would go up there to save Mr. Lincoln’s life by running over to the door, use the hole to enter the room, and taking the shot that killed Mr. Abraham Lincoln”.

The teacher wrote below, “WOW! You would have been an incredible hero!”

ProudPalinFan on March 7, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Sun Tzu’s kingdom got destroyed.

DarkCurrent on March 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM

All kingdoms get destroyed.

j_galt on March 7, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Sun Tzu’s kingdom got destroyed.

DarkCurrent on March 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Well, no one is perfect, especially after being dead fifteen years before that happened. ;)

BL@KBIRD on March 7, 2011 at 5:26 PM

I’d like to see General Patreaus on our Sothern Border…

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Now please.

tetriskid on March 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM

actually pulling out, and the major economic cost that would likely occur would have public ready to go right back in.

jp on March 7, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Ed: what do you mean by “uh oh”?

Reduce the deficit — bring the troops home and stop throwing billions of dollars down a rathole.

Old Fritz on March 7, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Sarah Palin, Foreign Policy Messiah

Walter russel mead blog post

jp on March 7, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Ed: what do you mean by “uh oh”?

Reduce the deficit — bring the troops home and stop throwing billions of dollars down a rathole.

Old Fritz on March 7, 2011 at 5:41 PM

it could very likely cost more, not less. These things are dynamic, not static.

jp on March 7, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Obama will ignore the majority on this, as he should. We don’t show up or quit the battlefield each day depending on the popular opinion. We get one choice to get into a war. After that the choices are win or lose. No president wants that on his scorecard, regardless of whether he started it.

Beyond that, these childish fancies of go or stay are just that. We made a commitment when we asked Afghanis to support us that we would see it through. If we pull out now, we betray them and dishonor ourselves. There would be another bloodletting of the Cambodia variety. Who are these people who are willing to take responsibility for another holocaust? Is the the soldiers? Doubt it. The parents and families of the soldier? Doubt that too. I think it’s the same soulless people who happily wage war against non-viable tissue masses and whose favored form of government is responsible for more deaths than the heart attack. Add on the uninformed and can’t-be-bothered and majorities are easy to come by. They’ll be all upset when they see the pictures of the slaughter, but they’ll never take responsibility any more than they took responsibility for the millions of innocents murdered by the KR. I say ignore them. They’re going to vote for Obama anyway. Why should he care what they think?

Immolate on March 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

We get one choice to get into a war. After that the choices are win or lose.

Win or lose what? What is the objective here? How do you define victory?

We can in fact leave if we choose. If they start hosting terrorist groups again we can respond to that without ground invasions which play to their strength and our weakness.

Beyond that, these childish fancies of go or stay are just that. We made a commitment when we asked Afghanis to support us that we would see it through. If we pull out now, we betray them and dishonor ourselves.

Those Afghani’s don’t support us. They support a Sharia theocracy with Karzai and his band in charge. One that embraces the murder of anyone who disagrees with them, such as converting to Christianity. How is that different than the Taliban? Is that what we want there?

We made a commitment, but they clearly did not.

There would be another bloodletting of the Cambodia variety. Who are these people who are willing to take responsibility for another holocaust? Is the the soldiers? Doubt it. The parents and families of the soldier? Doubt that too.

Take another look upthread. Those who have members serving and who have served are very skeptical of what can be accomplished in Afghanistan.

I say ignore them.

Immolate on March 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Karzai and his group cannot hold. They have been unable to get the country to rally behind them and they have been unable to create a viable army. An everlasting war without any clearly defined objective is not a left or right issue as you are trying to paint it.

The Muslims aren’t going to create a viable state, they aren’t going to embrace democracy and the Pathans aren’t going to stop being a backward tribal people. Whether we destroy the Taliban or not, none of these things will change.

sharrukin on March 7, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Sarah Palin, Foreign Policy Messiah

Walter russel mead blog post

jp on March 7, 2011 at 5:42 PM

This one at Cato Unbound is better:

Neoconservatism Unmasked

Rae on March 7, 2011 at 6:21 PM

We’ve been there for 10 years. TEN YEARS. I never expected us to be there nearly that long. And I don’t see a coherent plan for victory, nor significant progress to that end. When is enough enough, another 10 years?

Free Constitution on March 7, 2011 at 6:40 PM

I think Palin has it right on Afghanistan:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers in harm’s way in Afghanistan right now. We owe it to all those brave Americans serving in uniform to give them the tools they need to complete their mission.

We can win in Afghanistan by helping the Afghans build a stable representative state able to defend itself. And we must do what it takes to prevail. The stakes are very high. The 9/11 attacks were planned in Afghanistan, and if we are not successful there, al Qaeda will once again find a safe haven, the Taliban will impose its cruelty on the Afghan people, and Pakistan will be less stable.

Our allies and our adversaries are watching to see if we have the staying power to protect our interests in Afghanistan. I recently joined a group of Americans in urging President Obama to devote the resources necessary in Afghanistan and pledged to support him if he made the right decision.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,576162,00.html#ixzz1FxazB5sD

O’REILLY:
Do you think it’s possible for victory in Afghanistan? Is it possible?

PALIN: I do. It has to be. We have got to be victorious in Afghanistan or the terror cells are going to grow. And what is Al Qaeda’s goal? What is Al Qaeda’s goal? Growing those terror cells so they can come and destroy America. That’s what Al Qaeda is for, is for that.

O’REILLY:
But if you have a corrupt Afghan government, that the people don’t support, no matter how many troops you send in there, it isn’t going to work. That’s the problem in Afghanistan.

PALIN: Well.

O’REILLY
: The Karzai government is a bunch of corrupt people.

PALIN:
Karzai is an imperfect leader. Every world leader is. We need to be working with him. We have no choice. We have got to win in Afghanistan. We have to send in the reinforcements, and I say this as a mom of an infantryman who could ultimately end up over there, which scares me. Of course I know that for the future of our world, we have got to — we’ve got to get rid of the terrorists over there and not allow those cells to grow.

Surrender to the terrorist will not make America safer.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Give General Petraeus just a little more time
And the Afghan’s love for Americans will surely grow
Give him just a little more time
And the Afghan’s love for Americans will surely grow

Ever leaving wonderful Afghanistan would be a big mistake
Let’s think of how wonderful Islam can be and hesitate
Almost broke and the troops as tired as they may be
But there’s no need for America to act in it’s own interest selfishly
If we part Afghanistan, Allah won’t forget it
Decades from now he’ll surely make us regret it

Unlike General Petraeus you don’t understand how wonderful Islam can be and
you’re in a hurry
They’re not eager to help us at all but don’t you worry
General Petraeus will win their Shariah Hearts and Minds and then they’ll want a
better Islamic way of life
But these things don’t come overnight

Don’t give up ‘cos Afghan progress has been oh so slow
General Petraeus is surly gonna win their Shariah Hearts and Minds if he just
even more with courageous restrain does go

Cheshire Cat on March 7, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Unlike in 2001, Afghanistan is no longer al Qaeda’s primary base of operations and has not been for some time. Their primary base of operations is now in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and a number of other counties. According to CIA Director Leon Panetta, al Qaeda now has 50 to 100 members in Afghanistan. This is absolutely insignificant in comparison to our 100,000 troops and almost as many contractors there and is a gross waste of our troops and our money, that we have to borrow from the Chinese and bill to the grankids. To act as if Afghanistan is most of the forest when it is only a tree or two is gross incompetence, if not utter insanity, on the part of Obama and Petraeus and Palin.

Murphy9 on March 7, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Surrender to the terrorist will not make America safer.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Sarah Palin has it wrong. There won’t be a stable representative state and they have shown no signs of being able to defend themselves. How many bloody years do they need?

What does surrendering to the terrorists even mean? I understand we don’t want terror tactics to force us to alter our policies, but what does that have to do with staying in Afghanistan? We need to stop trying to make the Muslim nations behave in ways they aren’t going to if we aren’t pointing a gun at them. These are supposed to be our friends.

If they start hosting terrorism again, then hit them and hit them hard. That doesn’t require an occupation of their country.

If we left Iraq it would devolve. If we left Afghanistan it would devolve. Where is the evidence that these Muslim democracies are even possible?

sharrukin on March 7, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Sarah Palin has it wrong. There won’t be a stable representative state and they have shown no signs of being able to defend themselves. How many bloody years do they need?

sharrukin on March 7, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Palin does not have it wrong and anybody who is even considering supporting her for President should understand that they will be supporting not only a continuation of the Afghanistan war…but most certainly an escalation of it.
Palin fully understands the disaster that will unfold with capitulation in this theater. The need to take stronger measures with Pakistan will certainly be included in the very near future regarding this war so it will get worse before it gets better.

What does surrendering to the terrorists even mean? I understand we don’t want terror tactics to force us to alter our policies, but what does that have to do with staying in Afghanistan?

To surrender in this war is a victory for Islamic radicalism.The defeat of the “Great Satan” by a bunch of so called “goat herders” running around the mountainside will strengthen the networks for terrorist all over the world…but will most certainly neuter any help we seek from any type of coalition in the future.
Intelligence, financial tracking ,wiretapping,supply routes,logistical assistance,financial support,man power support,and many other areas are built on relationships we have with other countries. You can kiss a lot of this goodbye if we were to surrender in Afghanistan.You can kiss any future teamwork with this goodbye also.
Why would other countries risk hurting their relationships with fellow countries and their own people to help out the US…..especially when the US shows no resolve and capitulates at home even when they achieve success after success on the battlefield.
Leaving Afghanistan in defeat,basically leaving the Afghans more powerful and better equipped than when we invaded in 2001 would be a disaster,would embolden terrorist all over the world,and destroy a vast network of intelligence and cooperation that has taken us years of blood and treasure to build.

If they start hosting terrorism again, then hit them and hit them hard. That doesn’t require an occupation of their country.

What is this “if” they start hosting terrorism again.The only thing that has stopped any “hosting” of terrorism is boots on the ground.We have not won there yet and terrorism is being hosted still as we speak.Pakistan right now is merely going through a transition and adjustment in their means of financing,communicating,and carrying out attacks.They are learning how to beat our drones and backstabbing relationships better and better every day.The Obama administration has bungled Pakistan so bad that they are now holding our diplomats hostage.Our money is not even enough to buy corporation anymore.

This idea that we will wait until they start hosting terrorism again and “hit them hard” makes no sense.You want to pull out and allow them to get better organized,better equipped (through countries like Iran),and build stronger coalitions with terrorist networks so that they can “hit us again” with even deadlier attacks that would make 9/11 look like just a bad day.That is not a plan…that is nothing more than an excuse for capitulation.
Running from an enemy that we know we will have to face later,while we have more of an advantage against them,would be insane.

The Islamist threat is growing faster than ever…now is not the time to say” let’s head home and wait for them to strike again”……..

Even the White House knows that the Islamist movement is the driving force in the rev@lutions we are seeing now.
They want to spin them as “secular” and “moderate” that has even the average foreign policy official rolling their eyes at the naiveté.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/03/AR2011030305531.html?hpid=topnews

Some within the U.S. intelligence community, foreign diplomatic circles and the Republican Party say Obama’s readiness to accept Islamist movements, even ones that meet certain conditions, fails to take into consideration the methodical approach many such parties adopt toward gradually transforming secular nations into Islamic states at odds with U.S. policy goals.

…….The rapid growth of radical Islam rising across the region combined with terrorist states like Iran being close to weaponizing a nuclear weapon show that this is no time for capitulation….but a time that the west needs to take this threat more seriously and move with a stronger hand.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 9:35 PM

.The rapid growth of radical Islam rising across the region combined with terrorist states like Iran being close to weaponizing a nuclear weapon show that this is no time for capitulation….but a time that the west needs to take this threat more seriously and move with a stronger hand.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Yes but Afghanistan is the absolute wrong place. It should be Iran and Saudi Arabia getting their nations undone and rebuilt at the point of a gun. Take their oil and all their assets as partial damages for stoking Islamic hate in the world. That is what needs to be done.

BL@KBIRD on March 7, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Palin does not have it wrong and anybody who is even considering supporting her for President should understand that they will be supporting not only a continuation of the Afghanistan war…but most certainly an escalation of it.

Well I don’t agree with her on that score but I can still support her given what the alternatives are.

Palin fully understands the disaster that will unfold with capitulation in this theater. The need to take stronger measures with Pakistan will certainly be included in the very near future regarding this war so it will get worse before it gets better.

So how do we take measures against Pakistan when our logistics are dependent on Pakistan? We cannot support an army in Afghanistan without the supply routes through Pakistan. So by staying in Afghanistan we are actually precluding being able to act against one of the prime supporters of terrorism and a nuclear armed one at that.

What does surrendering to the terrorists even mean? I understand we don’t want terror tactics to force us to alter our policies, but what does that have to do with staying in Afghanistan?

To surrender in this war is a victory for Islamic radicalism.The defeat of the “Great Satan” by a bunch of so called “goat herders” running around the mountainside will strengthen the networks for terrorist all over the world…but will most certainly neuter any help we seek from any type of coalition in the future.

So we can never leave anywhere that might have a Muslim terrorist? We can never leave Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else we happen to intervene in? That makes no sense. We should stay in Afghanistan if there is a point to it not simply because some guys with Kalashnikov’s don’t like us. We need to think strategically not do chest bumping.

Intelligence, financial tracking ,wiretapping,supply routes,logistical assistance,financial support,man power support,and many other areas are built on relationships we have with other countries. You can kiss a lot of this goodbye if we were to surrender in Afghanistan.You can kiss any future teamwork with this goodbye also.
Why would other countries risk hurting their relationships with fellow countries and their own people to help out the US…..especially when the US shows no resolve and capitulates at home even when they achieve success after success on the battlefield.
Leaving Afghanistan in defeat,basically leaving the Afghans more powerful and better equipped than when we invaded in 2001 would be a disaster,would embolden terrorist all over the world,and destroy a vast network of intelligence and cooperation that has taken us years of blood and treasure to build.

I think we are hampering our ability to act by staying tied to these regimes. The intelligence we get from them may be valuable but it doesn’t seem to be making much difference in what we know or how we react to events. That may be because of the political situation that prevents us from acting such as we saw with Egypt and now Libya.

If they start hosting terrorism again, then hit them and hit them hard. That doesn’t require an occupation of their country.

What is this “if” they start hosting terrorism again.The only thing that has stopped any “hosting” of terrorism is boots on the ground.

So how is that any different than Lebanon, Iran, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, or Indonesia?

Do we invade all of them to have boots on the ground? They all have Muslim terrorists. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are some of the worst offenders.

We have not won there yet and terrorism is being hosted still as we speak. Pakistan right now is merely going through a transition and adjustment in their means of financing,communicating,and carrying out attacks.They are learning how to beat our drones and backstabbing relationships better and better every day. The Obama administration has bungled Pakistan so bad that they are now holding our diplomats hostage. Our money is not even enough to buy corporation anymore.

Except as I pointed out we cannot act against Pakistan can we? We have to pretend they are our friend as long as we are in Afghanistan just as we pretend that Saudi Arabia is our friend in exchange for the air bases and logistics they provide.

How is being in Afghanistan helping with Pakistan? They are refusing to release out diplomat and they know they can do that due to our presence in Afghanistan.

This idea that we will wait until they start hosting terrorism again and “hit them hard” makes no sense.You want to pull out and allow them to get better organized,better equipped (through countries like Iran),and build stronger coalitions with terrorist networks so that they can “hit us again” with even deadlier attacks that would make 9/11 look like just a bad day.That is not a plan…that is nothing more than an excuse for capitulation.

We are already allowing that as you admit with your point about Pakistan and Obama is not the only one who did that. Bush did as well due to the need for Pakistan. They are doing everything you say they are and under the protection of a nation we laughingly call an ally and we are partially funding it through the cash we give Pakistan.

Running from an enemy that we know we will have to face later,while we have more of an advantage against them,would be insane.
The Islamist threat is growing faster than ever…now is not the time to say” let’s head home and wait for them to strike again”……..

I am not suggesting running, I am suggesting taking it seriously and stop pretending that our so-called allies who are trying to kill us, are our friends. We should attack the terrorist networks wherever they are found and deal with their fund-raisers whomever they may be.

Even the White House knows that the Islamist movement is the driving force in the rev@lutions we are seeing now.
They want to spin them as “secular” and “moderate” that has even the average foreign policy official rolling their eyes at the naiveté.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/03/AR2011030305531.html?hpid=topnews
Some within the U.S. intelligence community, foreign diplomatic circles and the Republican Party say Obama’s readiness to accept Islamist movements, even ones that meet certain conditions, fails to take into consideration the methodical approach many such parties adopt toward gradually transforming secular nations into Islamic states at odds with U.S. policy goals.

Absolutely agree with this but secular regimes in the middle east are largely the result of western occupation and western dominance and that is fast fading. The socialist and national socialist experiments like the Baathists and Nasserites are ideologies of the past. Traditional Islam is re-emerging and it is unchanged from what it has been historically.

The so-called peace we had with Islam was a weakened Islam and an occupied Islam. Now that is changing and they are renewing their historical aggression.

…….The rapid growth of radical Islam rising across the region combined with terrorist states like Iran being close to weaponizing a nuclear weapon show that this is no time for capitulation….but a time that the west needs to take this threat more seriously and move with a stronger hand.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 9:35 PM

I absolutely agree but I think I have a fundamentally different perspective on this. You seem to believe as Bush did that we are dealing with radical Islam.

I don’t.

I think we are dealing with Islam as it has always been. 1,400 years of history suggest that what is going on is entirely consistent with Islamic history.

What we call terrorists and Mujahideen were once called Ghazi warriors and the Janjaweed of modern Sudan aren’t much different than their 7th century counter-parts.

These types of small raiding groups are a part of the Islamic concept of Jihad and have always been present in Islam as a religious duty.

Islam is at war with anyone who is not Muslim and they always have been. Look at the borders of the Muslim world and you will see low scale warfare and terrorism.

There is no point to an occupation of Islamic countries with the objective of creating a nation that doesn’t act Islamic.
That isn’t going to happen.
Ever!

sharrukin on March 7, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Never seen a dumber poll, or more wimpy comments.

We’ve been here before, folks. You and everyone in your family, your neighborhood, and your sphere of influence has tied the hands of our military, and caused this war to last longer than it ever had to. If you had supported violent, catastrophic, and merciless war till unconditional surrender of Afghanistan, the Taliban, Pakistan, and Muslims across the world, this war would be over. But you don’t!

You whine and complain about how violent war is, when this war is one of the least bloody America has suffered. Your grasp of history sucks, and you all want to be seen as humane and civilized while treating the enemy with kid gloves. Wars are lost in such a manner.

It is the attitude of Americans across the country that is to blame for the length of the war, and the continued bloodshed over there. You all insisted on minimizing civilian casualties, and on treating our warriors as some kind of victim (They “need to be brought home and cared for”??? They are tough and ready to kick the Hell out of our enemies. They don’t need your sympathy. They need your respect and support for their mission. Quit pussyfooting around and let them kill our enemies, and the civilians who hate us too, to finish this job).

Yes, Islam is not changing. Muslims haven’t suffered in this war. If they were truly suffering, as Nazi Germany and Japan suffered in the final years of the war, they would surrender also. They would do anything to stop our killing, if they were suffering. If we quit, our kids will be slaves for the rest of our country’s existence, because our enemies have no plan to treat us well whatsoever.

If you do not understand that this is a existential war, and its loss means our children will lives as slaves, cursing us for failing to oppose Islam when we had the chance, as we now deride Chamberlain (Britain), Deladier (France), Spaak (Belgium), Hendrik Colijn (Netherlands), the leaders of Europe who let Hitler run all over the poorer countries of Europe while the supposed peace-loving British and French citizenry allowed the largest war on Earth to be unleashed, then you deserve all the scorn possible to be inflicted on you.

To win, we need to fight, vigorously, mercilessly, and as violently as possible until Muslims understand their extermination will result if they do not surrender unconditionally. If that means nuclear war, then so be it. You either win in an extremely violent and catastrophic attack, or you go home and await the nuclear, biological, or chemical strike which will surely follow within 5 years.

If you want to quit and suffer the consequences on your kids, then leave before Victory. If you value their future, you’d better stop whining and start fighting at home and abroad to change our country, our press, our culture, and our government. Stand for strength and endurance, instead of cowardice and malaise, or surely, we will all be subdued in two decades and live under oppressive socialist tyranny, which has always lowered the value of Life, and enslaved more millions than any other ideology in human history.

Subsunk

Subsunk on March 7, 2011 at 10:50 PM

BL@KBIRD on March 7, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I agree with you that Iran/Saudi Arabia/Yemen will have to be addressed( I have to say I put Pakistan on a higher level of priorities due to their already established nuclear capabilities and vast terrorist networks that have launched massive attacks)…and addressing them will be made much easier with a strong foothold in Afghanistan.Whether we like it or not….the Islamic world has declared war on the west and it will have to be addressed. Territory that we have gained needs to be kept at all cost.

. Take their oil and all their assets as partial damages for stoking Islamic hate in the world.

…again I agree 100%.

This is where our passiveness and domestic political culture have killed us.We should have made sure that we gained economically in Iraq (Afghanistan)to ensure that it did not fall back under radical control and recoup treasure that we spent in having to deal with their murderous,ideological actions.To win that war and then let other countries gain the economic benefits from it was insane. The “no blood for oil” crew was going to rage no matter what. But to have the usual suspects rant about how these wars would “bankrupt” our Nation,then rant and complain if we do try to recoup economic benefits renders their faux outrage meaningless.
We had to lose life and treasure to deal with their Islamic radicalism…..so you bet when we win…we should see to it that we recoup economically and to secure against future radical takeover.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Well I don’t agree with her on that score but I can still support her given what the alternatives are.

..Sure you can…but this is not just some social policy that you have to look over like gay marriage.
The war in Afghanistan will certainly not be decided by 2012.
If Palin is to become President….her support will involve sending men and women to war.It will certainly involve an escalation of military involvement into Pakistan.Pakistan has watched America dither and become unbelievably passive under Obama.They have also watched our economic needs strangle us and hurt our leverage on the world stage even more.Right now they fear us not one single bit.Afghanistan will not be secured without taking out the financing,training,and support of terrorist in Pakistan.All other options have failed.to accomplish what we came to the region to do…we will have to make serious military strikes in Pakistan.
Palin has made it consistently clear that surrender in this region is not an option.When she gathers with the military brass to see how to bring success to this mission…she will choose the mission that will bring success without worrying about keeping a UN council happy.
If you can be so against this war but still cast a vote for someone who is so committed to completing the mission…then you can overlook a lot more than I would be able to.

So how do we take measures against Pakistan when our logistics are dependent on Pakistan? We cannot support an army in Afghanistan without the supply routes through Pakistan. So by staying in Afghanistan we are actually precluding being able to act against one of the prime supporters of terrorism and a nuclear armed one at that.

To leave a bordering country that we already control is supposed to make it easier on dealing with said country?????

I don’t think so.

Supply routes have been established elsewhere.We have had to pay out the a$$ to the Russians for this due to Obama being played like a cheap violin by Putin.We have agreements with the NDN that help supply Afghanistan and I am sure that any military action that would take place in Pakistan would be precipitated with supplying Afghanistan ahead of time.
As the relationship with Pakistan deteriorated over the last year or so,the military has made moves to ease their reliance on Pakistan.

In Islamabad on Tuesday, General Petraeus said the American military had secured agreements with Russia and other countries to move supplies to Afghanistan from the north, easing the military’s heavy reliance on more dangerous routes through western Pakistan.

“It is very important as we increase the effort in Afghanistan that we have multiple routes that go into the country,” General Petraeus told reporters in Islamabad, where he had met with the head of the Pakistani Army as well as the country’s president and prime minister. The general had previously visited Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan to discuss the issue.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 11:23 PM

So we can never leave anywhere that might have a Muslim terrorist? We can never leave Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else we happen to intervene in? That makes no sense. We should stay in Afghanistan if there is a point to it not simply because some guys with Kalashnikov’s don’t like us. We need to think strategically not do chest bumping.

Then why no outrage about all the troops we have in N.Korea…Germany…Japan and other regions. Keeping troops to maintain stability and protect our interest is certainly not new.

…and there is a point to it….the same point we had when we invaded in 2001.The mission has not been accomplished.We did it in Iraq when many said it could not be done…it was a waste of time….their is no way they will stop killing each other….they hate America to much to work with us.We heard for years how impossible winning Iraq would be.
The American Soldier and strong leadership on the Hill knew the disaster of losing…..and found a way to win.
Surrender was not an option then and should not be one now…not with the stakes so high.

We should stay in Afghanistan if there is a point to it not simply because some guys with Kalashnikov’s don’t like us.

Those same “guys with Kalashinikov’s” pulled off the worst attack on American soil in our History.
They are probably the most lethal and determined enemy this country has ever faced.When…and I mean when because “if” is no longer on the table….they procure the means of stronger weapons(Iran and Pakistan will see to it that this happens) they will become even deadlier.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Rationalizing withdrawl does not change the fact that it is a defeat that will allow the Taliban/Al Queda to train more recruits, raise more money by growing opium for sale to our children and planning more attacks on you know who. Withdrawl is not a solution, it is only a tactic; the problem will remain.

Give Petraeus a chance to see what can be done. He is our best option right now. The troops believe in him. The public believes in him. If we pull out now and have to go back in three or four years from now, we won’t have Petraeus or a foothold and the next time we won’t have any Northern Alliance to ease the way back in.

KW64 on March 7, 2011 at 11:40 PM

To leave a bordering country that we already control is supposed to make it easier on dealing with said country?????

Yes, it makes it easier if we are not reliant on that country for being there.

You also haven’t answered what exactly is the point of being there?

What do you hope to accomplish besides avoiding being seen to retreat?

If the only purpose is to show how tough we are then carpet bombing someone can do that a lot cheaper and with much greater effect.

Supply routes have been established elsewhere.We have had to pay out the a$$ to the Russians for this due to Obama being played like a cheap violin by Putin.We have agreements with the NDN that help supply Afghanistan and I am sure that any military action that would take place in Pakistan would be precipitated with supplying Afghanistan ahead of time.

An alliance with Russia against Islam is a good idea if we can negotiate in good faith and get real results from it.

A fake alliance for the sole purpose of staying in Afghanistan for reasons unknown doesn’t strike me as a good idea.

Baxter Greene on March 7, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Do you believe a Muslim Democracy is possible?

Do you believe that Sharia law encoded in the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan is compatible with a stable modern state?

How long do we stay and what is victory?

sharrukin on March 7, 2011 at 11:45 PM

I think we are hampering our ability to act by staying tied to these regimes. The intelligence we get from them may be valuable but it doesn’t seem to be making much difference in what we know or how we react to events. That may be because of the political situation that prevents us from acting such as we saw with Egypt and now Libya.

The intelligence we get is invaluable.It has made a huge difference and saved thousands of lives.Not only has it helped our armed forces in saving the lives of Soldiers and planing counter attacks better…Terrorist plots have been broken up around the world with such regularity that it hardly makes news now.Is that good….yes and no.
It is definitely reassuring that a lot of the measures we are taking are working…but the success has also led to apathy in dealing with the overall picture of Islamic terrorism. Certainly the war against Islamic terrorist would be taken a lot more seriously and be a higher priority if there were more successful attacks.Unfortunately without massive causalities….the average citizen starts to think that the threat is not so relevant and start to drop their guard.
The fact that the war in Afghanistan has been pretty much blacked out to help Obama’s poll numbers has led to many people not understanding the significance of completing the mission and the disastrous results of failure.

So how is that any different than Lebanon, Iran, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, or Indonesia?

Do we invade all of them to have boots on the ground? They all have Muslim terrorists. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are some of the worst offenders.

Just like with any policy…you deal with the most dangerous and most pressing first.We certainly need to achieve success in the wars we are engaged in now before addressing other areas.There are many ways to address the problems in these countries(Obama has already opened up a front in Yemen).My reference to “boots on the ground” was directed at Iraq/Afghanistan.After we achieved our military objectives in Iraq and the local forces got to the point that they only needed our assistance to deal with the threats that were left…..our footprint decreased.Now I believe we certainly should have a stronger economic relationship and the necessary boots to protect that but Obama was more concerned about scoring political points than securing our hard earned victory in Iraq.
No one is happier about this than Iran and Sadr.

We have not achieved our military objectives in Afghanistan and the terrorist still operate there.If the leadership here can match the courage and resolve of the American Soldier than we could certainly look towards the same chain of events (but hopefully better handled “peace”) in Afghanistan.

Victory in Afghanistan would certainly have a serious effect in how other countries decide to deal with their extremism to a point that they would not be a threat to the US.The attack on Iraq had major implications around the muslim world with countries like libya giving up their WMD program without a single bullet being fired.

Surrender in Afghanistan certainly would not make other Islamic nations fear us more or have any second thoughts about launching attacks.

Baxter Greene on March 8, 2011 at 12:04 AM

We are already allowing that as you admit with your point about Pakistan and Obama is not the only one who did that. Bush did as well due to the need for Pakistan. They are doing everything you say they are and under the protection of a nation we laughingly call an ally and we are partially funding it through the cash we give Pakistan.

No doubt the game Pakistan has played has gone on for decades.As time has gone on…the threat from the terrorist has grown and this relationship has certainly gone through many different levels of importance.
Remember that the 90′s under Clinton was spent gutting the military and our intelligence services.When Bush took office and “inherited” a wide open war with terrorist groups like al-qaeda (who had planned the 9/11 attacks on Clinton’s watch…so to go by liberal standards…Bush inherited this also) and then 9/11 happened only a few months into his Presidency.
Our ability to deal with this threat,to understand how they worked, and to find out where they were at was stunningly inept.
When Pakistan turned over KSM…the information we got from him constituted the vast majority of intel we had at the time according to the CIA and Dick Cheney.Our deal with the “devil”(Pakistan) became a high priority due to how little we had to address the high priority that became terrorism after 9/11.So yes…we have played a pretty corrupt game with Pakistan…but it is a game that certainly does not carry the same weight that it did before.
Our increased abilities to address terrorist threats have made the games Pakistan is playing less tolerable combined with the fact that we know that there is no success in Afghanistan without shutting down Pakistan’s terrorist support.
Every international relationship changes and the one with Pakistan has deteriorated so badly that it is becoming obvious that military action or a serious change in leadership is the only thing that will make a difference now.I have already addressed some of this above but will reiterate that a Palin Presidency makes stronger military action in Pakistan almost inevitable.She will not play games with the lives of Soldiers and will take the stronger route to finish this.

I am not suggesting running, I am suggesting taking it seriously and stop pretending that our so-called allies who are trying to kill us, are our friends. We should attack the terrorist networks wherever they are found and deal with their fund-raisers whomever they may be.

You have stated that we need to withdraw from Afghanistan without victory…that is running away.
Leaving Afghanistan without completing the mission is defeat no matter how it is spun.It will be deemed a victory for the terrorist.

How is withdrawing going to increase our ability to attack terrorist networks.We know where they are now and that they are doing everything they can to launch attacks.
Leaving Afghanistan…destroying our relationships on the ground that provide the necessary intelligence to be able to launch any successful attacks…..and hoping that the current leadership even has the courage to attack are taking some pretty big chances with America’s national security.
We went through 8 years of Clinton saying “no” over eight times to take out Osama and launching missiles at empty tents….you might be okay with taking these kind of chances with our National security….I am not.

Baxter Greene on March 8, 2011 at 12:30 AM

I absolutely agree but I think I have a fundamentally different perspective on this. You seem to believe as Bush did that we are dealing with radical Islam.

I don’t.

I think we are dealing with Islam as it has always been. 1,400 years of history suggest that what is going on is entirely consistent with Islamic history.

Okay I definitely see your point.
..and please let me add that I appreciate this conversation so if I come off in the wrong way it is not intentionally.I respect your viewpoints and admit that I am in the minority in what I believe we should do.
I just don’t see how withdrawing helps us.

To your point about it not being radical Islam but “the norm” is certainly a point I have been trying to educate myself with more.
I do believe that those who follow sharia law are radical.
But I would like to believe that a ….I guess you could call it “modernized” Islamist would not hold the same ideological insanity that we see in so many right now.
An influx of women’s rights,modern culture,education,and social expansion could neuter the radial elements.
I know that many jihadist(like the 9/11 highjackers) right now are well educated and held high level professions.But I just can’t help I guess hoping that a couple of more trips to the strip clubs,a few more shots of tequila,and maybe a dam# good blowjob might have turned some of the 9/11 highjackers from wanting to end it all for “allah”.
Unfortunately history and the facts on the ground don’t really support this idea of “moderate muslim”.
Like you stated…they only seem to be moderate when they are in the minority.Once they have crushed all other religions and practices that don’t pertain to the Koran…well you have an Islamic country.

I certainly need to expand more on this element of it and pretty much feel that if we can’t have a “moderate” relationship…then we have to destroy it before it destroys us.

Baxter Greene on March 8, 2011 at 12:48 AM

When Pakistan turned over KSM…the information we got from him constituted the vast majority of intel we had at the time according to the CIA and Dick Cheney.Our deal with the “devil”(Pakistan) became a high priority due to how little we had to address the high priority that became terrorism after 9/11.So yes…we have played a pretty corrupt game with Pakistan…but it is a game that certainly does not carry the same weight that it did before.

That is an argument for a CIA that utilizes human intelligence more than electronic intelligence. Something the Israeli’s specialize in and we need to improve that. Many of our vulnerabilities arise due to politically correct decisions that ignore the reality of what we are dealing with. We trained some terrorists pilots here in the United States, the 911 hijackers got through security checkpoints despite suspicions due to security officers fears of being called Islamophobic.

You have stated that we need to withdraw from Afghanistan without victory…that is running away.
Leaving Afghanistan without completing the mission is defeat no matter how it is spun.It will be deemed a victory for the terrorist.

“Without victory”
“without completing the mission”

What is victory? How will we know it when we see it?

How is withdrawing going to increase our ability to attack terrorist networks.We know where they are now and that they are doing everything they can to launch attacks.

And yet we don’t.

We know where Hamas is and we do nothing.
We know where Hezbollah is and we do nothing.
We know where the Taliban are in Pakistan and we poke at them with drones with a Pakistani leash on our efforts.
We know the Kosovo links to terror groups and we do nothing.
We know the Chechen links to terrorist groups and we do nothing.
And on it goes.

Why?

In each case there are political groups from our Muslim allies who would be upset if we acted.

Yes, it would increase our ability to attack terrorist networks if we disengaged from those allies who are trying to kill us.

sharrukin on March 8, 2011 at 12:52 AM

I certainly need to expand more on this element of it and pretty much feel that if we can’t have a “moderate” relationship…then we have to destroy it before it destroys us.

Baxter Greene on March 8, 2011 at 12:48 AM

That possibility is what scares the crap out of me.

I hope I am wrong because I am aware of how bad it will be if there is no moderation possible within Islam.

I guess containment is the best possible way to deal with them as we did with Marxism.

sharrukin on March 8, 2011 at 12:56 AM

I’m in the Air Force and about the most pro kill terrorist guy I know. We need to get out sooner than that. Why are we there? To build another country that will end up hating us. Screw that. Have we avenged 9/11? No. All we did was remove the Taliban and put a corupt govt in its place. Let’s get out of Iraq too. That war should have ended after we caught Sadam Husein. but here we are dieing for people that hate us. We should leave both places today with the understanding that if we need to return, it wil only be in the form of lots of bombs and missles. These people and their stupid way of life are not worth the lives of my brothers and sisters. Oh and as far as avenging 9/11 lets kill Osama bin Laden wherever he is. WHERE EVER HE IS. WHEREVER HE IS!!!

I agree with you 100% and I’m an active duty Marine about to go back to that shithole country in the near future. WE DON’T HAVE A MISSION!!!

RightXBrigade on March 8, 2011 at 1:09 AM

To leave a bordering country that we already control is supposed to make it easier on dealing with said country?????

Yes, it makes it easier if we are not reliant on that country for being there

.

But your definition of reliance was based on supply routes.We have already addressed this problem and could further address it if the need arised.

You also haven’t answered what exactly is the point of being there?

I still agree with the original resolution to invade that was pretty much unanimous.


Joint Resolution

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.

Whereas, on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States and its citizens; and

Whereas, such acts render it both necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to self-defense and to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad; and

Whereas, in light of the threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by these grave acts of violence; and

Whereas, such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States; and

Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

House of Representatives
On September 14, 2001 bill House Joint Resolution 64 passed in the House. The totals in the House of Representatives were: 420 Ayes, 1 Nay and 10 Not Voting (the Nay was Barbara Lee – D-CA).
[edit] Senate

On September 14, 2001 Senate Joint Resolution 23 passed in the Senate by roll call vote. The totals in the Senate were: 98 Ayes, 0 Nays, 2 Present/Not Voting (Senators Larry Craig – R and Jesse Helms – R).

The point of being there has been addressed several times in my posts.
To defeat an enemy that has declared war on us an launched major attacks.To see that this enemy does not have the ability to resettle and launch attacks against us from this region in the future.

What do you hope to accomplish besides avoiding being seen to retreat?

This question has been answered several times throughout my posts.

Do you believe a Muslim Democracy is possible?

Do you believe that Sharia law encoded in the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan is compatible with a stable modern state?

I am going to have to defer to my 12:48 post for this.
I don’t won’t to say that it can’t happen….but history and the facts on the ground (especially with the events in the Mid-east over the last year) don’t lend credibility for it.
I will say though that even if it is not a “stable democracy”….I will certainly settle for a country that fears attacking the US.

How long do we stay and what is victory?

We stay until we have eradicated the enemy and allowed the current government to handle it’s own security.Staying past that should be evaluated based on security and economic needs.This is also my definition of victory.

Baxter Greene on March 8, 2011 at 1:16 AM

..and please let me add that I appreciate this conversation so if I come off in the wrong way it is not intentionally.I respect your viewpoints and admit that I am in the minority in what I believe we should do.

Not a problem as I like arguing in any case. A habit I picked up from my brothers. You are one of the more polite posters. In fact more polite than I generally manage to be.

But I would like to believe that a ….I guess you could call it “modernized” Islamist would not hold the same ideological insanity that we see in so many right now.
An influx of women’s rights,modern culture,education,and social expansion could neuter the radial elements.

Well I alluded to this, but Kemal Ataturk in Turkey, Mohammed Zahir Shah in Afghanistan, and Reza Pahlavi in Iran DID modernize their respective Islamic states and had to do so at the point of a gun or with the esteem of a rebelutionary victory at their back.

It didn’t take. When these men died and as the western influence faded following post colonization, the modernization was thrown off. There was a time in Egypt and Afghanistan when women wore western clothes.

Islam is resurgent and we are seeing a reformation of Islam and Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood is their Martin Luther, and Osama bin Laden is their John Calvin, taking Islam back to the true meaning of the religious texts and fighting the corruption of the reigning states.

sharrukin on March 8, 2011 at 1:17 AM

Palin does not have it wrong and anybody who is even considering supporting her for President should understand that they will be supporting not only a continuation of the Afghanistan war…but most certainly an escalation of it.

This is why I would NEVER support Sarah Palin for President. I’ll just have to vote Constitution Party AGAIN…

RightXBrigade on March 8, 2011 at 1:23 AM

sharrukin on March 8, 2011 at 12:56 AM

There are certainly other factors that might happen in the future that could change this…but I believe your assessment is dead on and leads to some serious “come to Jesus moments” for the west in the future…..

…I hope to be able to continue this with you later….have a long day tomorrow.

Baxter Greene on March 8, 2011 at 1:23 AM

We stay until we have eradicated the enemy and allowed the current government to handle it’s own security.Staying past that should be evaluated based on security and economic needs.This is also my definition of victory.

I think there may be something of a tautology here.

We first need to define who the enemy is, because terrorism isn’t an enemy, its a tactic.

If, as I have suggested, terrorists to use their modern name, or Ghazi warriors to go medieval, are just a part of Muslim society that actively participates in Jihad, then we can never win. Or at least not until Islam itself is no longer present in those nations. Given that we are currently defending a Sharia based constitutional state we may be attempting the impossible.

sharrukin on March 8, 2011 at 1:25 AM

…I hope to be able to continue this with you later….have a long day tomorrow.

Baxter Greene on March 8, 2011 at 1:23 AM

Night and nice conversation.

sharrukin on March 8, 2011 at 1:26 AM

There is no way in any known universe for Afghanistan to become a truly representative democracy and stay that way for at least 100 years. And it’s people LIKE IT THAT WAY. They are Muslims. For Muslims democracy is a “vote once to get rid of it” affair. For them the Caliphate is the ideal. For them Sharia law is the ideal. Without utterly discrediting Islam itself it’s impossible to change Afghanistan in any basic way.

You deal with the likes of the Taliban with very sudden unannounced numbers of bombs designed to take out as many of them as possible just to get the message to them, don’t mess with Americans.

Pakistan is the nation we must seriously deal with within the next few years. It is rapidly and rabidly going “Islamist”, that is to say basic Qur’an Islamic. And they have nuclear weapons already. They are and remain a problem. If the citified Muslims in Pakistan want their nice semi-secular lives then let THEM deal with their radicals as they wish and need to. It is NOT OUR JOB any more than “rebuilding Afghanistan” is our job. They bloody well broke THEMSELVES.

{^_^}

herself on March 8, 2011 at 11:34 AM