A word from the anti-war front

posted at 10:30 am on June 23, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

So the president came out with his Exit, Stage Afghanistan plan last night. (Full text here.) I should begin with the first of two confessions. I did not watch the speech when it was given. It’s been a fairly brutal work schedule this week and I was overdue on owing some family time, so I wound up watching How to Train Your Dragon while Mr. Obama was speaking. (A great film in case you haven’t seen it, by the way. And not just for the kids.) I did, however, keep sneaking peeks at Vodkapundit’s drunkblogging of the broadcast during the flick and began catching some of the responses while getting ready for bed, finally watching and reading it with coffee this morning.

By now, everyone who cares a whit about such things has seen the numbers. 10,000 troops leaving this summer and the rest of the twenty something thousand “surge troops” coming home in time for the next election by the end of next summer. I wish I could say that I didn’t see that one coming.

The President had, in my opinion, three possible decisions to choose from. Two of them could arguably have been termed “military decisions,” the type of tough calls a Commander in Chief will have to make from time to time.

First, he could have gone the Nixonian route of declaring victory and going home. It would have involved pulling virtually all of the surge troops out this summer, followed by a huge chunk of the initial force next year. The support functions could leave first, consolidating everyone else into the most secure bases possible, with the shooters leaving last. This would have effectively declared an end to the war, after which Afghanistan would implode and fall back into the chaos which characterized it when we arrived.

Such a decision would have enraged Republicans and conservatives, but they weren’t exactly going to be throwing rose petals at his feet in any event. His anti-war base would have been immensely cheered up and he could march toward the next election as the president who kept his word and brought our boys home. In addition, he could talk about all the money we have been spending on this war and how we could now use it to get the debt under control. (Of course, the military still exists and costs money, so trillions of dollars would not suddenly appear by magic. But some good estimates show that we could realize a savings of up to $100B per year, and every little bit helps.)

Or, second, he could have informed the American people that the war in Afghanistan was still worth fighting and could still be “won.” (Whatever that means now.) To that end, he could have announced a draw down in the range of a couple thousand troops this year, with “more to come” in the following years as conditions on the ground permitted. This would have at least offered a fig leaf to his promise to “begin bringing the troops home” on schedule while still effectively maintaining the status quo in the region and the implosion of the country could be left in the lap of whoever takes the office after him.

This would have given him breathing room to claim that the limited reductions were reducing the strain on service members’ families who have faced multiple deployments. He could have also made the false claim that we’d be saving money by not spending as much on the war as we wrestle with debt problems at home.

President Obama, however, chose a third route, and it is one that I could only characterize as a “political decision,” rather than a military one. He will bring the surge troops home in dribs and drabs, increasing the difficulty of hanging on to whatever fragile gains we might claim to have made for those left behind. In the process, he will still leave more than twice the number of troops in country than the number which were there when he “inherited” the war from his predecessor by the time of the next election the critical, target date of summer, 2012. This, of course, will allow Afghanistan to undergo a slow, crumbling collapse, rather than the sudden implosion of the first two plans above.

Unfortunately for the president, the “political decision” was, quite possibly, the one with the worst political consequences. The New York Times was already ripping him a new one for not pulling out fast enough before he finished speaking. As I was preparing for bed, I flipped on the upstairs TV which was still on MSNBC from when I’d watched Scarborough that morning. Ed Schultz was on… normally an event which sends me screaming for the remote before I have to gouge my eyes out with a spork. But this time I left it on because Ed was enraged. “That’s not enough!” he bellowed. “That’s not going to satisfy his base at all.”

Coming in strangely on the other side of the fence, the Washington Post editorial board was savaging Obama for “sabotaging his own Afghanistan strategy.” And, of course, the Republicans piled on like a rugby scrum, even as his own party was in an uproar over the decision.

As to the promised second confession, for the few of you who might not know it, I was generally considered part of the anti-war front. I opposed the Iraq war from beginning to the possibly approaching end. I supported the initial invasion of Afghanistan, but only for the purpose of getting the people who attacked us a decade ago. I’m still an isolationist at heart and I’ve never had any interest in building a new, flowering democracy in Afghanistan. (So much for landing that big interview with John McCain, I guess.) And while I understand the concerns of my more hawkish colleagues, particularly regarding our “ally” Pakistan and the general turmoil in the region, I’m still not sold on the potential gains to be made. Andrew Malcolm points out a few of the disturbing facts on this front for us.

Only 12% of people in our most important regional ally, Pakistan, now have a positive view of the United States. And only 8% express confidence in the American leader to do the right thing, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

This could have something to do with deadly U.S. drone raids on Pakistan and the assassination of Osama bin Laden there in a commando incursion; a whopping 14% of Pakistanis think the latter was a good thing.

I suppose, in my heart, I wish Barack Obama had chosen the path of declaring victory and going home and simply accepting the political consequences of his decision. I don’t see a bright future for our continued military presence in that region. I wanted us to defeat AQ. And now, OBL is resting at the bottom of the sea and there are supposedly only a few dozen of the real enemy left in country. We won.

But, had President Obama gone the other route, I could have at least given him grudging props for his consistency and making a tough call, challenging the loudest voices in his own party. I wouldn’t have liked it, but I could have respected it.

But this decision he made, I’m afraid, satisfies nobody. I know I’m not feeling any better about our position in Afghanistan and Pakistan this morning than I was yesterday.

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President NitWit…

PatriotRider on June 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM

But this decision he made, I’m afraid, satisfies nobody. I know I’m not feeling any better about our position in Afghanistan and Pakistan this morning than I was yesterday.

I bet MO approves. Huntsman too.

Remarkable leadership.

BobMbx on June 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM

spork

Ahhhh….brings back memories of the good ol’ days here at HA when we had to use code words to escape the virtual Predator ban drones.

Anyone remember that, the talk of grabbing our sporks, heading for D.C., and starting a “Rancid”? I miss those days.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM

He does not want to bring them home any faster and then have a lot of pissed off unemployed military personnel walking around with nothing to do…

PatriotRider on June 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Anyone remember that, the talk of grabbing our sporks, heading for D.C., and starting a “Rancid”? I miss those days.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Does anyone remember “the Bastinos”?

BobMbx on June 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM

The incredible shrinking presidency…

Rational Thought on June 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM

I’m still an isolationist at heart

I see this as a decision to choose 14.4 dial up.

Kudos for stating your case, and standing on your own ground, but I just can’t go there. The thought makes every
bone in my body shake.

As for Barry this is all triangulation. The idea of what is best for America have never once crossed his mind.

Limerick on June 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Some would have America retreat from our responsibility as an anchor of global security, and embrace an isolation that ignores the very real threats that we face. Others would have America over-extend ourselves, confronting every evil that can be found abroad.

We must chart a more centered course.

His latest oratorical exercise in false choices sums it up nicely. At some point, one would think the independents would catch on to the shallowness of his rhetoric.

Drained Brain on June 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Does anyone remember “the Bastinos”?
BobMbx on June 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM

I confess that I do not, though I know LibTired (now known as mega independent?) would remember sporks.

Brings a tear to my eye…..when I think of how much time I’ve spent ignoring the rest of my life to stare at the HA screen and constantly refresh.

I’m a junkie. I need an intervention.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

OT:

President Karl Marx just announced the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Reserves…

More Chicago Way vote buying…

PatriotRider on June 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

sorry OT…..WHOOT! Wilders acquitted!

Limerick on June 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM

But this decision he made, I’m afraid, satisfies nobody. I know I’m not feeling any better about our position in Afghanistan and Pakistan this morning than I was yesterday.

There is no winning in Afghanistan, where the majority of the “Tribes” are illiterate. Afghanistan is nothing more than a collection of tribes. Nation building requires that there is a Nation to build from. Pakistan has never been our ally. They have always played both ends against the middle. I am very happy that the C.I.A. is rolling up AF/PAK…..they have been bleeding us dry in blood and treasure. The Afghanistan Government such as it is “Corrupt” is funded with foreign aid. They will collapse back into civil war, it’s what they do – the tribes fight each other. IT’s NOT OUR FIGHT. The Taliban takes over – what does that mean? The Taliban is made up of Pashtuns, who have wanted their own antonymous region for sometime. Again civil war, and the Pakistanis will exploit the civil war, like they have before so their nemesis India, can’t gain any support on their eastern flank.

I don’t really care if Obama’s decision helps him politically or not. The rest of Al Qeada needs to be hunted down and stamped out. I think General Patraeus being moved to head the C.I.A., is a no brainier. The next step is the counter terrorism program. People need to remember the results of “Mission Creep”. Al Qeada is the focus. The Taliban/Pashtuns will dominate Afghanistan, and bring their brand of order to the tribes-barbaric. We gave Afghanistan 10 years to step up and form a real government. They weren’t interested. We need to take the hint, they just aren’t that into us ;)

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Good evening. Nearly 10 years ago, America suffered the worst attack on our shores since Pearl Harbor. This mass murder was planned by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network in Afghanistan

It was not a mass murder. It was a terror attack.

faraway on June 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Bring all the troops home- from Afghanistan, Iraq and whatever other shitholes they are in right now.
Let China “own” the Middle East in return for debt forgiveness while we develop our own energy resources.
So many problems solved.

justltl on June 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

He does not want to bring them home any faster and then have a lot of pissed off unemployed military personnel walking around with nothing to do…

PatriotRider on June 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM
///
Hey PatriotRider,you and my husband are on the same page:),he said exactly the same thing and I’m sure Rush will echo that too.

ohiobabe on June 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

It was not a mass murder. It was a terror attack.

faraway on June 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

It was both

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I could offer a very simple solution that would allow us to bring home all of our troops abroad from across the globe. Compared to the cost in American lives and money we no longer have it would be extremely cheap also.

BadMojo on June 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Would bombing a place to dust and then leaving constitute isolationism, if so then sign me up. We get attacked, you lose something very important in your country, that’s the deal.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM

justltl on June 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

A big part of me wants to agree with you.

jake-the-goose on June 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

This war was won and over years ago. Nation building in Afghanistan is a fools errand. The “army” or “police” or whatever we’re training are illiterate tribesmen. We have to give them an elementary school education in their own language before training them in weaponry and tactics while hoping their loyalty remains to the national government rather than their tribe, or worse. Our troops have done a magnificent job doing what troops do–defeat an enemy. Bring them home, mission accomplished! No need to have them bleed for an impossible goal. Obama is using those troops for his political aims, hopefully his base will continue to hold it against him.

cartooner on June 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

I started to watch Nightline last night (I just wanted to see the segment on New Age charlatan James Ray’s convictions in the sweat lodge deaths case), and of course the first segment was a slobbering adoration of Dear Liar for his magnificent decision. After a couple of minutes of listening to the Obama luuuuuuv, I had to turn the volume down.

Ward Cleaver on June 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

justltl on June 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

A big part of me wants to agree with you.

jake-the-goose on June 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I do agree with that.

cartooner on June 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM

For my part, I’m as hawkish as the next guy, and twice as hawkish as the next 20 guys. I’m a big fan of not only taking military action but taking it in scales and mindsets that are roughly equivalent to WW2 – if and when we decide to take military action, the goal should be the utter destruction and devastation of the enemy and their surroundings, to the point where they’ve completely lost the will to do anything but surrender abjectly. And absent being able to get them to that point, we simply destroy them until they’re gone.

And then we come home.

However, if we’re not going to do that – and we’re not anymore, apparently, I’d rather we simply bring everyone home and let the rest of the world go straight to hell at each others’ hands.

The military lives lost are simply not worth it if we’re simply going to meander about and lose more. I don’t want to say they died needlessly – but at some point, if we’re simply not going to be serious and ‘win’ (you know, actual ‘victory’ and coming home), then more military lives *will* be lost, and they all *will* have been in vain.

I’m not a military person or a veteran (and I have the deepest respect for those who are – thank you, and thank God for you), but it seems to me that military folks would not really want us to lose *more* military personnel in vain simply because we’ve already previously lost some military personnel in vain. And I would think that those who have already been lost would want us to bring the rest home safely rather than lose any more *if* we’re just not going to conduct the war seriously with an eye towards *actual* victory.

Hope that makes sense. I’ve been a supporter of the actions in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning, and continue to be, but as time goes by and our leaders seem to grow ever more unserious about it, it sickens me more every day that we have people in harm’s way with no apparent idea of what victory looks like for them. Our leaders don’t seem to have much regard for the safety of our forces or the success of their mission so much as concern for how to best use our military as an expendable political pawn.

Midas on June 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Let China “own” the Middle East
justltl on June 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I am all for giving them Pakistan. Pakistan has been found to be the hub for a lot of the terror plots in U.S. and England. Let the Paks play that game with the Communist Chinese, and see what their response is to Pakistani double dealing. Communist China doesn’t observe niceties like human rights. I don’t think their response to Pakistani terrorist enabling, would be the same as ours. I see the Pakis wishing for the old days of surgical strikes by unmanned drones. It would be enjoyable to watch the Communist Chinese “pacify” Pakistan.

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Limerick on June 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Just saw that – fantastic!! Maybe there’s still hope for them.

Eren on June 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Midas on June 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

That’s cool. I’m a vet and I have exactly the same mindset as you seem to have: If we go in then take off the handcuffs and destroy the enemy however possible. If that means using FAE bombs and heavy artillery to reduce a strongpoint in a town, then so be it.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Everything this man and his bots do to benefit himself backfires,this will too.

ohiobabe on June 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Ahhhh….brings back memories of the good ol’ days here at HA when we had to use code words to escape the virtual Predator ban drones.

Anyone remember that, the talk of grabbing our sporks, heading for D.C., and starting a “Rancid”? I miss those days.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Yeah, I remember. The virtual Predator drone took out some good people. Remeber Holger? Yeah, he had no idea what hit him.

darwin on June 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM

When the troop withdrawals start, every military death thereafter will be laid directly at Obama’s feet, and countless references to “the helicopter on the roof” will be made. This man can’t do anything right, and does not belong in the Presidency.

RebeccaH on June 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM

It was not a mass murder. It was a terror attack.
faraway on June 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

It was both
Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

It was an attack on the sovereign soil of the United States, resulting in the deaths of thousands of our citizens. To indicate murder is to indicate prosecution in our justice system. We are at war gentlemen.

Mr_Magoo on June 23, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Anticipating that Obama would once again “punt” and/or do something obviously stupid, counterproductive, and gutless, I got on Hulu and watched an old “A-Team” episode.

I think any one of the Hannibal, B.A., or Murdock A-Team characters would make a better president than the one we’ve got….who is more like the feckless and phony “Face” character.

So I missed being disappointed that the Resident* had no guiding principles and no strategy for success.

(* NOT a typo)

landlines on June 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

The nation building was all for naught. Worse, whatever we built there will be in the hands of the Taliban. It was always going to end up that way as long as we were unwilling to eradicate the Taliban and anyone who aids them. The only subject for which Obama doesn’t get failing marks is in his allowing the military to take care of business against the terrorists in that region, but I don’t think he can tout that during a presidential campaign while he’s ending our ability to continue those actions.

Buddahpundit on June 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Midas on June 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM
That’s cool. I’m a vet and I have exactly the same mindset as you seem to have: If we go in then take off the handcuffs and destroy the enemy however possible. If that means using FAE bombs and heavy artillery to reduce a strongpoint in a town, then so be it.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I was about to post that we should just carpetbomb, use artillery, etc. or whatever else is necessary to ensure that the Taliban will not survive. We could turn every Taliban town into a sheet of glass and then leave.

There is a choice: Do we kill the enemy? Yes, of course, but this leads to a tougher choice, which collateral damages do you prefer? You can kill American troops or Afghan Civlilians. I personally value the US military personel higher than the Afghan civilians.

jeffn21 on June 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Would bombing a place to dust and then leaving constitute isolationism, if so then sign me up. We get attacked, you lose something very important in your country, that’s the deal.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Amen. We were attacked. They started it. We should end it with some very painful lessons for them.

I am very much a hawk and I oppose isolationism. Instead of explaining why I think isolationism is not a conservative view and is a weak and unrealistic position to hold in this day and age.

You can read my thoughts on this blog article I wrote.

Conservative Samizdat on June 23, 2011 at 11:18 AM

It was not a mass murder. It was a terror attack.
faraway on June 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

It was both
Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

It was an attack on the sovereign soil of the United States, resulting in the deaths of thousands of our citizens. To indicate murder is to indicate prosecution in our justice system. We are at war gentlemen.

Mr_Magoo

Some call it a tragedy – you know, like an earthquake or a tornado.

Drained Brain on June 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

cartooner on June 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

+1

Well said.

ornery_independent on June 23, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Ed Schultz was on… normally an event which sends me screaming for the remote before I have to gouge my eyes out with a spork.

ROFL!!!

Seems to me, Obama listened to no one on this, except himself. I suspect it as a symptom of being told one to many times of how he’s the smartest person in the room, thee most intelligent president ever. You say that often enough to , or about a person, and that person comes to believe it. Advisors are just window dressing now. It’s all Obama now , because he is the smartest person ever. Millions of Dems say so. *sigh*

capejasmine on June 23, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Does anyone remember “the Bastinos”?

BobMbx on June 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Yes, in fact I was the one who accidentally coined the phrase when I misspelled “Bastion” in a comment.

I was kind of hoping that one was long forgotten. :-)

UltimateBob on June 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM

What was the Code Pink response??

Khun Joe on June 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Giving the Chinese the Middle East and its environs:

-Our troop’s blood is not spilled.
-Our treasury is not used to save the Middle East from itself.
-Our debt to China goes away
-The Chinese have a massive supply of the oil they crave
-The price of oil drops
-The USA exploits our own abundant resources, while seriously attempting to develop real real alternative ones such as fusion
-The US economy booms which helps China
-The Chinese economy booms which helps the US
-The Middle East becomes nothing more than a filling station, which helps everyone
-Under the thumb of the benevolent Chinese, the Jihadists and their supporters gnash their teeth and weep for the good old days of US “hegemony”

justltl on June 23, 2011 at 11:31 AM

I wanted us to defeat AQ. And now, OBL is resting at the bottom of the sea and there are supposedly only a few dozen of the real enemy left in country. We won.

And this is a very short-sighted view, I think. Our war was not just with OBL or even Afghanistan, but with jihadist Muslims waging war around the world against… anything not the right kind of Muslim. This current conflict is just the latest phase in a 1,400-year old war and it would continue even if we were to just declare victory and go home. I prefer to be on the offensive against the enemy, rather than passively waiting for them or just lobbing missiles from over the horizon*, and I would rather Obama had taken your “option 2,” Jazz, but that would require a real commander-in-chief, not a socialist Chicago hack pol.

One place (among several) where I do agree with you, however, is that this was a decision made for cheap electoral politics, not national interest. Unfortunately, I think that also all we can expect from the current crew.

*(Not saying that you do, I just had in mind the Lefty default position.)

irishspy on June 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

As for Barry this is all triangulation about the money. The idea of what is best for America have never once crossed his mind.

Limerick on June 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Somewhere in the back of his itty-bitty brain, he’s probably already made plans on how to spend the billions of $$$ to support his libtard base.

That is Bammy’s idea of what’s best for America!

GrannyDee on June 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Remeber Holger? Yeah, he had no idea what hit him.
darwin on June 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Remember him well. He and I were picked out by AP for special attention because of our vocal desires for a Red Dawn scenario to come true so we could run around and shoot Russian zombies. Holger got nailed by a drone for his troubles, I escaped with minor injuries, such are the vagaries of war.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Thanks for the comments to “Thelma (CSD) and Louise (MJB)” in my defense the other day, Bish.

Even when we “leave” Afghanistan in 2014, we’ll still be paying the tab.

kingsjester on June 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I never watch JJ’s “dyn-o-mite” speeches as they universally make me want to punch my TV, and those things are expensive.

He’s a moron of the first order and is following the John Kerry Vietnam Template to a “T.”

Kerry on TV this morning praising him, when you have mental midgets of this minitude in your corner, you should truly re-examine your thinking.

PJ Emeritus on June 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

What is fascinating is that I doubt that Obama has even bothered to look at the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force to see exactly what Congress wanted done. Treat that baby as a checklist, go line by line, and when every item is crossed off… leave.

But that would be taking the power of Congress seriously and the responsibility of being a President seriously… no, that is far, far, far too complex for Obama. Congress did want specific items achieved, and once they are done you can walk away from the place.

Instead Obama rails against an American Empire all the while creating an Imperial Government at home.

ajacksonian on June 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Overruling his lawyers. Overruling his generals. Whatta guy.

petefrt on June 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Midas on June 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

jeffn21 on June 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM

All valid and worthy views. Isolationism doesn’t mean ignoring the evil players when they act up. Interventionism doesn’t mean acting in every case where someone pokes us in the eye either.

But statements must be made. Consequences suffered by entire peoples who support the homicide and mayhem that our enemies support (homicide bombings of civilians and police academies, planes used as missiles in city buildings, beheadings of innocents as infidels merely to sow fear in enemies and in their own constituents).

Kipling had it right in “The Hundred Head”. When our Men are attacked and killed, retribution (not justice nor revenge but a simple splat for tat) must be visited a hundredfold upon those who perpetrate the crimes. When 3000 Americans and resident aliens were killed on 9-11 should our response have been to kill only the 30 or 40 humans who planned and perpetrated the crimes? Our admittedly warlike response was too meek by a factor of ten. We only did our best to kill truly evil people instead of the mildly evil who supported them wholeheartedly.

We chose to make war halfheartedly and place American soldiers in harms’ way to possibly limit the killing of innocent, but Islamist sympathetic Muslims. That was noble, but it has run its course now, and they have not changed their attitudes towards Americans at all. To prevent future mistakes, the new policy should be to carpet bomb, nuke, obliterate, and render completely devoid of Life any section of a country, or country where mass homicide and destructive attacks originate. Pakistan and Afghanistan render zero value to human civilization at present.

The Pashtuns want their own autonomous region? Feel free to turn it to glass and say have at it. I do not care how many “innocent” but Islamist sympathetic Muslims die in this response. The more the better. Because once that first statement is made, they will forever rethink the cost to their own lives, families, and religions of EVER supporting homicide bombings of Jews, Americans, Christians, Infidels, or South Side Snake Handlers again. Muslims know only one way, the sword. Let them perish by it when they wield it against innocent Christian and secular nations in their typically warlike and barbaric manner. I will not choose to go backwards to the 7th century for the rest of the world.

And I don’t give two farts over being banned for those sentiments. As usual, if you won’t discuss it now, before the nuclear device from Iran explodes in New York Harbor, then you are blindly accepting the consequences of a knee jerk national reaction under the most high pressure and ragingly vengeful time in the world’s history. Guess what the demand will be when the chemical weapon is used in the subways, or the nuclear plant is sabotaged to release fission products to the surrounding countryside by Muslim terrorists? The response will be to nuke them and forget about it.

Wouldn’t you rather have discussed it and thought about the consequences before that happens? If you are Allah and Ed, I guess the answer is no.

Subsunk

Subsunk on June 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM

kingsjester on June 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM

No problem, those two have become pet projects of mine. I mean to drive them insane.

Bishop on June 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I wanted us to defeat AQ. And now, OBL is resting at the bottom of the sea and there are supposedly only a few dozen of the real enemy left in country. We won.

I disagree.

The Taliban will regain control and new terrorist camps will be formed, more savvy than the last group due to the experiences of this war.

ButterflyDragon on June 23, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Subsunk on June 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM

This is from 2003, but I fear it is still true. The Islamists will eventually force someone to write 10 to the 9th in that right hand column.

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2003/09/three-conjectures-pew-poll-finds-40-of.html

Aviator on June 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Aviator on June 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM

That is exactly the premise for my post. Wretchard was visionary then and is visionary still today. I agreed with what he wrote then and I still do today.

And it was my job to be prepared for just such a war from 1980 to 2000. I am not so sure we are ready for it today……

Subsunk

Subsunk on June 23, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Overruling his lawyers. Overruling his generals. Whatta guy.
petefrt on June 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Such are the burdens you take on when you choose to be “gutsy” …

ya2daup on June 23, 2011 at 12:13 PM

You either declare war and fight all-out, sparing nothing, or you do not declare war at all. Anything in-between is getting people dead to no good end. War cannot be fought with a dimmer switch to be turned up and turned down… it must be fought to victory against those enemies who declare themselves against you and if you are unwilling to do that, then do not declare war and accept the consequences.

Do or do not, there is no middle ground in war unless you like the ravages of war as seen throughout history where it is not fought to a defined end. One of those we were very lucky, as a civilization, to have come to a mutually agreed-upon end for a perpetual peace on the grounds that started it.

That was the 30 Years War that ended in Westphalia.

We have walked away from that because we do not enforce it upon ourselves.

Now we will get old fashioned war with new fashioned weapons and we may get lucky and only see 20% of the world’s population dead from the next version of the 30 Years War.

What’s a couple billion dead, right?

If we are lucky.

Too bad we no longer what it means to be civilized. I’m not expecting such a rosy outlook as a 30 Years War scaled up… perhaps the end of the Bronze Age with its sudden collapse of trade between Nations… yes that starts to sound a lot closer to what is coming if we don’t finally remember what it takes to be civilized.

Being civilized isn’t about being ‘nice’. It is about doing the right thing no matter how costly or distasteful. It means defining your enemies and then countering them at every turn and prepared to use everything you have to do so. You can feel bad about it afterwards and help clean up the mess… or you will be a part of the mess on the streets. That is your choice to make. Best make it soon.

ajacksonian on June 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

The return of weak-horse America.

wright on June 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

ajacksonian on June 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Amen, Brother. Amen.

Subsunk

Subsunk on June 23, 2011 at 12:40 PM

If we’re not there to win, then get the troops out!

And tell Afghanistan leaders, “it’s your country, defend it. If you harbor terrorists who attack us again, we won’t be back – we’ll just turn your country into a glass parking lot.”

GarandFan on June 23, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Only 12% of people in our most important regional ally, Pakistan, now have a positive view of the United States. And only 8% express confidence in the American leader to do the right thing, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

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They do know the messiah himself is in charge now… Don’t they? Hm… Go figure, I thought Bush was the root cause of anti-Americanism around the world. Guess not. One thing the Obama presentcy has done is exposed so many of the lies used by the left to gain power…
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The ones about the pro-American right being hated, and the anti-American left being loved around the world is very hard to miss actually.
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RalphyBoy on June 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM

They don’t fear us. Who cares if they don’t like us.

Vince on June 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM

It was not a mass murder. It was a terror attack.
faraway on June 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

It was both
Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

It was an act of WAR, just like Pearl Harbor.

IowaWoman on June 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

The Pakistani Intelligence service (ISI) helped create the Taliban as a deniable proxy, for use against India. The conquest of Afghanistan by the Taliban was partially (some Pashtuns live in Afghanistan) a conquest by Pakistan. The reason we should care is because the Taliban are Islamist and gladly provided AQ with a protected rear area to train and organize in. If it weren’t for the prospect of Pak’s nukes getting loose, we should have simple bombed the Taliban flat, and the the chips fall where they might in Pakistan. Most of the Pakistani’s hate us because we’re not Muslim and we’re prosperous. The combination is an affront to their religion and their self-esteem. The faction that doesn’t hate outright are the secular, urban Paks, and the Islamists hate them, too.

LarryD on June 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM

We’ll pull out of Afghanistan and be back in 10-20 years to do it all over again. Until then, we’ll subject the Afghan population to Taliban rule, women will be genitally mutilated, under a Burka, and unable to attend a school. AQ will reconstitute their forces and funds and figure out another way to kill 3000 of our citizens on our territory, probably with the Pakistani nukes they’ll get their hands on. We’ll fight that war, if we have the money to do it, with white gloves on like we did this one. Or we just won’t fight back. This government, both sides of the aisle, is turning me into a pessimist.

TulsAmerican on June 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM

“A white man will ride a horse until it drops, then walk. An indian comes along, gets that pony on it’s feet and rides it another 15 miles. Then eats it.”
– The Searchers

mojo on June 23, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Iraq

deepdiver on June 23, 2011 at 4:51 PM

darnit… Iraq and Afghanistan were tactical victories and strategic nightmares. We were never going to “win”,however that is defined this week, in Afghanistan. Afghanistan for 1000 years has been easy to occupy but impossible to defeat (with a few very brutal exceptions that would be war crimes in the modern world).

Underlying everything else in Afghanistan is the fact that “bombing them back to the stone age” is, for 90% of the tribal population, only bombing them back to last Tuesday at 3 o’ clock.

deepdiver on June 23, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Bomb from afar.

But do it to utterly intimidate the jihadis and future Muslim warrior wannabes.

Screw suicidal ROE’s and IED-fodder deployments.

Use B1′s, B2′s, cruise missile, predator drones, Warthogs, attack choppers, et al.

But the hell with trying to civilize those who won’t fight to civilize themselves.

Islam is an ideological expansionistic-imperialistic-terroristic malignancy, and until the Koran is fought with withering critiques of its fallacious origins, the true cause of the war is not being addressed.

Until the Source of jihadis is countered and neutered, it is the Conflict truly endless.

profitsbeard on June 23, 2011 at 5:09 PM

The Taliban will regain control and new terrorist camps will be formed, more savvy than the last group due to the experiences of this war.

ButterflyDragon on June 23, 2011 at 12:08 PM

You know there are more C.I.A. in the AF/PAK area then probably in the history of our country. C.I.A. and other para military assets, getting rotated through there on a regular basis, you know that right? The whole point of the C.I.A. is to fight small wars so they don’t turn into big wars. We didn’t have a lot of intelligence assets in the region prior to 9/11. That’s been remedied after 10 years, and with the appointment of Patraeus to head the C.I.A. I don’t see a draw down in our intelligence – and counter intelligence activity in the region. Al Qeada is on it’s knees, it doesn’t take a large standing army to finish them off. General David Patraeus “Afghanistan is called the graveyards of empires” What’s the pay off for wining a pile of rocks from a bunch of cave men? The Flintstones- Taliban, are not going to attack us, they just want left alone to cultivate their poppy fields.

I don’t understand why people are not happy, that our folks get to come home and, away for the bung hole of the world. They did their job many times over, let Hamid Karzai nurse his own ugly baby.

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
—The White Man’s Burden, Rudyard Kipling

When Johnny comes marching home again Hooray Hooray :)

Love My Folks In Uniform.

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 6:37 PM

You do know how the CIA does those operations, don’t you? They use LOCALS to do the dirty work for them! If the locals hate you, and you, as the CIA, are the only American they see, how far counterintelligence-wise do you think you are likely to get at fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban without US troops for safe haven and other intel support(comms, photos, ELINT, etc….)?

Only as far as the raghead can throw his camel, that’s how far…..

Without our guys there on scene to support CIA, al Qaeda WILL come back, the Taliban WILL make Afghanistan impossible for the CIA to work in, and 9-11 WILL happen again with chemical weapons or Pakistani or Iranian stolen/lent nukes.

I’m not for keeping our guys there. But don’t be deluded into thinking that leaving means we can still do whatever we want in that area without killing a metric butt ton of “innocent” Muslims as a consequence of each and every action we take. Just accept that hundreds of thousands of Afghanis and Pakistanis will have to die violently for us to have any effect whatsoever in that part of the world.

And then beat the ever lovin’ snot out of any liberal, European, or Muslim worldwide who complains about the casualties. Welcome to the United States of China as a PR strategy….. We are asking for it.

Subsunk

Subsunk on June 23, 2011 at 7:29 PM

profitsbeard on June 23, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Kindred souls…..

Subsunk

Subsunk on June 23, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Subsunk on June 23, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Subsunk he’s drawing down the surge troops, he’s not removing all our troops from Afghanistan – which he doubled from the number Bush put in. I have to think that the Bush folks were much smarter about how much effort to really put into Afghanistan the size of the foot print comes with a high price tag of blood and treasure. Afghanistan is like sinking in quicksand if you struggle you sink faster. Afghanistan isn’t the only place to stage in the region there are man “Stans” that would like our American green backs. Then there is our ally India. Drawing down surge troops, is not an all or nothing proposition.

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

typo there are many “Stans”

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Subsunk on June 23, 2011 at 7:29 PM

And there is an election coming up. I don’t think the timing is a coincidence, and if I had to guess who is advising Obama on all of these moves, it’s probably Daley.

I think it’s probably true if a population can’t evolve it will become extinct. How that extinction happens, depends on the depth of the threat, their existence poses to the rest of us. There is a reason they call them dead enders. If we don’t have the stomach to go through there with a machete, than we need to come home. Karzai’s presidency is not the best case scenario for Afghanistan in it’s present incarnation, I don’t think he’s any better than the chest beating Mullah Omar. He just dresses snappier LOL! Afghanistan the country only exist in a British cartographer’s imagination. It’s just a bunch of hunters, and gathers.

Al Qeada was OBL’s vehicle to achieve world domination, OBL was nothing more than a cold war relic. I don’t think there are that many “Cold War Relics” left in that part of the world. The average life span is 40 years old. OBL’s money kept him alive longer than most in the region, he was 54 years old, when we capped his A$$.

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 8:07 PM

The Soviet’s invasion of Afghanistan birthed Osama Bin Laden, (This occurred during the cold war period) and we put their misbegotten spawn to bed in the north sea. Basically that’s what we have been doing for sometime now, in the conflicts we are involved in, cleaning up after the cold war, taking out the despots.

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Half measures produce no results? Bush had around 45,000 troops in Afcrapistan at the end of his Presidency. Obama escalated that number to 100,000. Even if Obama cuts that escalated number to 70,000 troops, he will still have more than 1 and 1/2 times the number of troops in Afcrapstan that Bush had.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Afcrapstan HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 8:51 PM

I gonna want to steal that Hal

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Feel free, Dr.

Afcrapistan, or Afcrapstan.

BTW, Ralph Peters calls it a Mullah’s Hemorrhoid. Who wants to be the last man to die for a Mullah’s Hemorrhoid?

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Jazz, with all due respect; “Whatever winning looks like?”

It looks like actual victory! The Taliban defeated. The people not living in fear of being dragged back to the 7th century…

Let me tell you what it doesn’t look like. It doesn’t look like “bringing about a responsible end to the fighting”. It doesn’t look like declaring victory and leaving; just to have the Taliban move right back in and kill everyone who assisted US troops. It doesn’t look like what happened in Vietnam in the mid-70s…

Let me explain something in case you’re not seeing it. The Pakis are de-facto vassals of China. And utilizing them, the Chinese think they’re doing the same thing to us that we did to the Soviets in the 1980s. I’m sure that at some level the Chinese have told the Pakis that they can “have” Afghanistan, as long as the Chinese get the sole access to all of the sweet, sweer, mineral wealth in the northern part of the AF; mineral wealth the Chinese covet. I’m sure there’s also some tacit agreement to “stand” with the Pakis against the Indians.

Wake up man. If we bug out it’s a win-win for China. They get the raw materials they covet and the strategic counterbalance they also want against the Indians; who they have real border disputes with as well, in case you hadn’t noticed. Hell, the Pakis may have more nuclear warheads than China! So the Chinese effectively more than double their arsenal, vis-a-vis Asian target, for nothing!

Not giving the Chinese the easy victory they want is motivation enough for seeing the job through; not to mention the strategic positioning of SFs right in “Indian Country” so as to keep tabs on Iran as well-and to keep all those folks honest.

We need to convince the Afghanis that it’s in their interests to move closer to India as well as the US. That way we have counterbalances against Pakistan and China.

I can tell you this, isolationism is certainly not the answer; it can’t be in today’s world.

I really can’t belive this isn’t obvious to you Jazz. Didn’t you live through the cold war?

RocketmanBob on June 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

It looks like actual victory! The Taliban defeated. The people not living in fear of being dragged back to the 7th century…

Petraeus has been honoring Islam, not trying to do away with it, or even ‘reform’ it, even calling the evil 7th century book of filth, THE HOLY QUR’AN. He has also called for celebrating Ramadan. He has also had money paid to ‘Tribal Elders’ who use it to buy little girls for wife number 3 or 4, and to buy little boys.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 9:26 PM

RocketmanBob on June 23, 2011 at 9:16 PM

But drawing down the surge troops is not going to end our involvement in Mullah’s Hemorrhoid, Thanks Hal :) All that’s going to happen is the can get’s kicked down the road to the next guy, just like Bush kicked the can down to Obama. Obama is going to kick the can down to whoever comes next. It’s one big game of kick the can. We will end up with troops there, just like we still have in South troops in Korea to offset the North Korean threat another Chinese proxy.

The life expectancy is not high in these countries 40ish, it’s going to take generations, not years to bring the Afghans into the 21st century, and they really are not all that interested in making that trip.

Nation Building in Afcrapistan “You shouldn’t try to teach a pig to sing, it’s a waste of your time, and it annoys the pig.”

Dr Evil on June 23, 2011 at 9:28 PM