Rasmussen: Majority want an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan

posted at 2:30 pm on March 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

More than ten years after going to war against Islamic extremists in Afghanistan, and more than ten years after deposing the Taliban, Americans may have finally had enough of the Afghanistan war.  In a new poll released today by Rasmussen, a majority of likely voters contacted on Thursday and Friday want an immediate withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan, and not coincidentally, the exact same majority now find it impossible to “win” a war there:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters support the complete pullout of U.S. forces from what has become America’s longest-running war. Just 31% are opposed, while 16% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats and 57% of voters not affiliated with either major political party favor an immediate withdrawal. Republicans are opposed but by a narrow 47% to 42% margin.

Most recently, in November, 40% of all voters said U.S. troops should be brought home from Afghanistan immediately, while 19% more said a firm timetable should be set to bring them all home within a year.  Just last month, 67% agreed with President Obama’s decision to end the U.S. combat military mission in Afghanistan by the middle of next year.  But things have worsened for U.S. forces there since then following a Koran-burning incident and a massacre of Afghani civilians by a U.S. Army sergeant.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters are now more worried that the United States will remain in Afghanistan too long rather than it will withdraw forces too quickly.  That’s up from 54% in December. Unchanged from the earlier survey are the 30% who are more fearful that the United States will withdraw from Afghanistan too quickly.

How many voters think that victory can be won in Afghanistan?  Only 24% — and only 36% of Republicans.  In fact, the internals of this poll are as consistent as any you’re likely to ever see.  I could write about all of the demos that don’t have majority support for an immediate withdrawal of all troops, as the question specifically asks, but it’s easier to note which demos don’t have majority support for that position:

  • 40-49YOs – Favor immediate withdrawal 48/33
  • Republicans: 42/47
  • Conservatives: 45/40
  • Unsure of ideology: 24/39
  • $75-100K income: 47/38
  • $100K+: 46/38
  • Union members: 46/35
  • Tea Party members: 41/47

Most of these have pluralities favoring immediate and total withdrawal, so that narrow plurality of Republicans opposed to the idea are very isolated on this point.  Complicating the problem is the fact that only 29% of voters think of Afghanistan as a “vital national security interest” any more; literally no demographics in this poll think otherwise, majority or plurality.  If Afghanistan is not a vital national security interest any longer, then most people would draw the rational conclusion that the reward hardly matches the risks and the costs of continuing the effort.

That’s not to say that the case can’t be made, though.  Marc Thiessen reminds us at the Washington Post what an immediate and total withdrawal would mean:

In the wake of the recent events in Afghanistan, sentiment is growing to speed the U.S. military exit. Half of the American people now want to get out faster, and Obama administration officials are reportedly debating doing just that. Which raises a critical question: What would happen if we pulled out of Afghanistan? Here are the top five disastrous consequences of a precipitous American withdrawal:

1. The drone war against al-Qaeda in Pakistan would likely cease. Eighty-three percent of Americans support targeted drone strikes against al-Qaeda leaders hiding in the tribal regions of Pakistan. Those strikes are dependent on forward bases in Afghanistan near the Pakistani border. The U.S. no longer operates drones from inside Pakistan. We cannot effectively conduct targeted strikes from Navy ships because Pakistan’s tribal regions are more than a thousand of miles from the sea. Bagram airbase near Kabul is also too far away for anything other than dropping bombs from F-15s. So if we want to continue the drone war against al-Qaeda, we must have a U.S. military presence not just in Afghanistan but in the Pashtun heartland — and we can’t have that presence if the Pashtun heartland is on fire. The Afghan government is not likely to allow us to keep bases in this area if we were doing nothing to stabilize the country. And if the region falls to the Taliban, we will lose access to these areas completely. Loss of these bases would also mean the loss of the intelligence networks on both sides of the border enabled by the U.S. military presence — and thus much of the targeting information we depend on. As a result, direct strikes in Pakistan could effectively cease, the pressure on the terrorists would be lifted, and al-Qaeda would be free to reconstitute.

2.The risk that Pakistan (and its nuclear arsenal) falls to the extremists grows. With the pressure from the United States lifted, al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban would be free to ramp up their efforts to destabilize Pakistan. In a worst-case scenario, they could topple the government and take control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. In a “best-case” scenario, those within the Pakistani government who supported cooperating with the United States will be weakened, while those who have long argued for supporting the Islamists and terrorists against the United States will be strengthened. Either way, Pakistan becomes a facilitator of terror.

Read it all, and when you’re done, Theissen also has four more points to keep in mind at The American Enterprise, with this conclusion:

4. We’d have to go back and start all over again. If Afghanistan did fall apart, the Taliban regained lost territory (or, worse yet, returned to power), and al Qaeda made a comeback in the country where they planned the 9/11 attacks, does anyone imagine for a moment that America would be able to sit back and allow this to happen? We would eventually have to go back and drive the Taliban and al Qaeda out all over again. We would expend more American lives and treasure—all to restore military gains that we had already paid for with American lives and treasure.

Bottom line: all these consequences are preventable. But preventing them requires leadership from the commander in chief. The president needs to start standing with his military commanders on the ground and give them the time and resources to implement their war plan. And he needs to use his bully pulpit to rally the American people, by explaining our strategy for success and the consequences failure. Today he is doing neither.

That all began with the announcement of the withdrawal timeline in 2009, a mistake of large proportion not just in regards to the message it sent the enemy, but the message it sent American voters, too.  Obama never used the word “victory” in explaining his Af-Pak policy, which has given people the (accurate) perception that his goal was to do as much damage as he could to the Taliban and al-Qaeda while managing toward an exit in 2014.  That’s not a recipe for maintaining popular support for the effort, but for eroding it rapidly — and these are the consequences.

Under those conditions, though, we’re doomed to fail on Thiessen’s points anyway.  If that is all Obama is willing to do, then immediate withdrawal does make more sense.  And if popular support has dropped this much, Obama may accelerate the withdrawal if he believes he can’t win another term in an election focused on the economy, although at this point he can’t possibly withdraw from Afghanistan before November unless he makes it a rout.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Get out now, we are getting nowhere.

8thAirForce on March 19, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Bring the boys home.
Do it
Do it now
Do it right now.

Old Fritz on March 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

No way in this world the US or any other country will EVER change any rop type country in their views on anyone who is not ‘them’! I would love to see all our military out and not one single dime given this or other sub-human country!
L

letget on March 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

The locals want nothing more than to kill our troops, we cannot fight to save a country from itself – the cost is too high and the chance of success too low. They deserve their fate but if they ever attempt to base such evil that threatens our shores again… kill it with fire, all of it.

Ukiah on March 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

If we are going to stay in it, let’s win it.

If we are going to handcuff our military with unreasonable rules of engagement, let’s get out now.

If we are going to try to “nation-build” a modern democracy in a sectarian, hate-filled, insane, divided country that is irrevocably mired in the 7th century, let’s get out now.

HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Bring them home now! Not tomorrow, not next year, but NOW!!!

Asianeyes704 on March 19, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Ocommie just went o-Shiite !! Imagine if it is President Romney closing that AFghan deal down. No credit for O. Maybe he can just start yanking them out next month. His election depends on it.

FlaMurph on March 19, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I’ve been told by Ron Paul they only hate us because we’re bombing them. Therefore, if we leave now everything will be fine.

Living4Him5534 on March 19, 2012 at 2:39 PM

We should stay until the job is done. The only way we should leave is through Pakistan.

V7_Sport on March 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I daresay that if Obama were to bring all the troops home THIS SUMMER, then it could improve his re-election chances considerably.

Old Fritz on March 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM

If we are going to stay in it, let’s win it.
If we are going to handcuff our military with unreasonable rules of engagement, let’s get out now.
If we are going to try to “nation-build” a modern democracy in a sectarian, hate-filled, insane, divided country that is irrevocably mired in the 7th century, let’s get out now.
HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

I’m glad someone typed it all out for me so I can just add “ditto”.

whatcat on March 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM

That all began with the announcement of the withdrawal timeline in 2009, a mistake of large proportion not just in regards to the message it sent the enemy, but the message it sent American voters, too.

My question is (and I don’t the honest answer to it): Were we making substantive progress toward a stable Afghanistan before Obama became the Clown-in-Chief? Karzai is a huge problem but he’s been around since we originally deposed the Taliban.

Bitter Clinger on March 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Afghanistan was nothing but a platform for the killing of al qaida savages – including the head cockroach.

I wish that it had been done at Tora Bora – but, with Osama Bin Hidin gone … U.S. forces should be gone, too.

It’s just another rathole … and it’ll always be just another rathole.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

If there is a case to be made for Afghanistan, Obama hasn’t made it. This belongs to him. His war. His failure to trust his generals. His lack of decisiveness. His complete and utter failure.

Dee2008 on March 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

If we leave, and get hit again, we better come back ready to turn the whole place into glass.

Sekhmet on March 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I don’t get it. I really don’t. Are these people’s bitter reaction a response to coming to terms with the fact Afghan people don’t like America and Americans and that their politicians don’t either? Was it a closely guarded secret or something?

Or was everyone brainwashed into stupidity by nation-building proponents (including Army generals) with such a resounding success that made them ignore reality for 10 years?

Masih ad-Dajjal on March 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

About eleven years too late, but at least people are waking up.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The majority are imbeciles who continue to jeopardize my loved one without a second thought. Goes back to the old “ignorance is bliss.” How lovely for THEM.

tuffy on March 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Gee, it’s almost like Ron Paul was right all along, and that rather than nation-building and fighting wars of occupation, we should focus on the targeted killing of terrorists. Go figure.

Inkblots on March 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM

The only way it makes any sense to want to stay in Afcrapistan is if one hates the troops so much that they want them to die or lose limbs for nothing. This is now logically incontestable.

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Bottom line: all these consequences are preventable. But preventing them requires leadership from the commander in chief.

After we pull out and leave every Afghan that helped us to be slaughtered, let’s not be so surprised when future indigenous populations we try to liberate don’t throw flowers and cheers our way.

Nation building has been a failure, and since the required leadership referenced in the article is and will be absent, maybe it’s time to go.

I am sickened, however, as to what’s going to happen to those who helped us.

MessesWithTexas on March 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I don’t get it. I really don’t. Are these people’s bitter reaction a response to coming to terms with the fact Afghan people don’t like America and Americans and that their politicians don’t either? Was it a closely guarded secret or something?

Or was everyone brainwashed into stupidity by nation-building proponents (including Army generals) with such a resounding success that made them ignore reality for 10 years?

Masih ad-Dajjal on March 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I really, really, REALLY, wish I knew the answer to this question. Or rather, I really, really, REALLY wish that occam’s razor doesn’t applie here, i.e., that Americans were all ginned up on wanting revenge and once that emotional burst went out they suddenly stopped caring. That it was never about nation building for most voters, that it was always about “lets punish someone until we’re suck of punishing them!” And I am afraid that this is the true explanation for the sudden shift in afghanistan support.

In which case, bravo conservative talk radio. Thanks!

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM

It’s completely absurd that we’ve been in this country for the last 11 years. Our goal from the start should have been to kill and destroy nearly everything, not occupy land and start building schools and digging wells for a stone age people. Part of the consequences to harboring terrorists ought to be that you rebuild (or more accurately when it comes to Afghanistan, build for the first time) your own country.

soladoras on March 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM

The “Bush wars™” have to end.

We cannot afford it.

liberal4life on March 19, 2012 at 2:49 PM

My question is (and I don’t the honest answer to it): Were we making substantive progress toward a stable Afghanistan before Obama became the Clown-in-Chief?

The war in Afghanistan started January, 2009? You didn’t know that? Whoo boy, that’s embarassing.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Declare Victory and leave now!

Socmodfiscon on March 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM

No clear mission , soldiers hands tied by rules of engagement, lose lose proposition. Let Karzai have it or do it right. We’re bailing out a tanker with a teacup.

ldbgcoleman on March 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM

If we are going to try to “nation-build” a modern democracy in a sectarian, hate-filled, insane, divided country that is irrevocably mired in the 7th century, let’s get out now.

HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Exactly. They don’t want a modern democracy. That’s baffling, but they’ve made their wishes pretty clear. Are there going to be consequences to our leaving? Will the Taliban and AQ be emboldened? Will Pakistan be at risk? Yes, yes, and yes. But it’s also pretty unclear that staying under the current conditions will have a better outcome. Until and unless we are politically ready to address the core issue – radical Islam – we can’t win.

Laura Curtis on March 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

The majority are imbeciles who continue to jeopardize my loved one without a second thought. Goes back to the old “ignorance is bliss.” How lovely for THEM.

tuffy on March 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Well, a couple of things:

1. your loved one volunteered

2. it is the interventionists and their foreign policy who jeopardize our troops, not those who are opposed

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

As soon as Obama was elected I stated to get out…that we would have dead soldiers, our finest, lying in the streets dying for no cause, because this administration will look at war (any war) as how it can help them politically, and not from an American strategic view.
I was vilified for my stand but I still stand by it, under Obama we have lost some of out finest, and minimal only because we have such great military leaders…but any “way” is doomed under this president.
Better to pull out, lose face, and save lives than to continue down a path led by a anti-military liberal.

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

If we are going to stay in it, let’s win it.
If we are going to handcuff our military with unreasonable rules of engagement, let’s get out now.
If we are going to try to “nation-build” a modern democracy in a sectarian, hate-filled, insane, divided country that is irrevocably mired in the 7th century, let’s get out now.
HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Now we know you live in a fantasy land were only Democrats are political and Republicans are just interested in doing the right thing. So, I’m curious. Before January, 2009 do you honestly believe that we were following that plan under pure-hearted Bush?

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Can anybody enlighten me as to the who’s, how’s, where’s and when’s that a Stoneage people were ever drug into civilization, by the use of another country’s military force?

OhEssYouCowboys on March 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

As soon as Obama was elected I stated to get out…that we would have dead soldiers, our finest, lying in the streets dying for no cause, because this administration will look at war (any war) as how it can help them politically, and not from an American strategic view.

So the soldiers who died in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2009, don’t count for you? Cold blooded.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

The “Bush wars™” Obama Administration have has to end.

We cannot afford it.

liberal4life on March 19, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Fixed

Bitter Clinger on March 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

The troops should’ve been pulled out once Bin Laden was killed.

Our country should let it be known to the Taliban that if another attack on the U.S. happens using Afghanistan as a launching pad, we will drop a nuke on them.

RedRobin145 on March 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

1. your loved one volunteered

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Pal, you volunteer to be led professionally, not by some rabid liberal anti-military politician…how rude and very naive of you to make that statement.

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Finally a genuinely bipartisan issue.

Call time already – this is going nowhere and you can blame the politicians for that.

CorporatePiggy on March 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Americans may have finally had enough of the Afghanistan war.

Americans have had enough of Operation Enduring Insanity and all the lies from presidents, generals and COINdinista/Islamic Democracy Project anti-American nitwits.

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 2:55 PM

“Obama never used the word “victory” in explaining his Af-Pak policy,…”

I wonder why…?

… Oh, wait!

Obama: “Victory” is not our “Goal” in Afghanstan.

Seven Percent Solution on March 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM

“We’ve had it with you, Karzai” –the U.S. American people

The “Bush wars™” have to end.

We cannot afford it.

liberal4life on March 19, 2012 at 2:49 PM

“Wars” is plural, not an “it”.

You are beyond stupid.

Schadenfreude on March 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

So the soldiers who died in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2009, don’t count for you? Cold blooded.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

They died for their generals and Bush’s and Obama’s hubris and you want still more to die for the same thing. Cold blooded.

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

So the soldiers who died in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2009, don’t count for you? Cold blooded.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

You idiot, how dare you put words into my post that never were there…you are a freakin fool.
Now read my post again…I stated as soon as he was elected I knew all of our efforts would have been in vain…he isn’t a military leader by any stretch of any imagination, those soldiers lives were only an inconvenience to his political career.
Next time idiot, try to read and comprehend, and don’t put your words into someone else’s post…idiot.
You liberals throw away a military life like PETA kills dogs…you blabber about life’s sacredness, than throw it away for a few votes…disgusting perverted animals…and btw, did I mention you are an idiot?

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

All we needed to do was keep these Afghan barbarians pinned down like GWB had been doing all along. Obama smeared a working Iraq strategy while emphasizing Afghanistan as a cheap political gimmick so as to make himself not look like just a code pink anti-war hippie.

He turned a somewhat optimistic situation in Iraq into a failure. He didn’t give his generals the troop levels they requested in Afghanistan, and declared the retreat date before they even got there. A lot of good men got killed and are getting killed because of it.

Gee, it’s almost like Americans elected a rabble-rousing street organizer to the presidency.

The Count on March 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Emotional response to the fact soldiers and contractors there are being routinely shot, stoned and molotoved by “allies” who were trained using US capital is very understandable. But why is the lashing against being in A-stan?

They should demand a stop to all parts of the nation building experiment, demand to use fortified locations inside the country as a base for drone and occasional SF operations, and most importantly – demand loose ROE. There are several US bases in Pakistan, which is no friendlier than Afghanistan.

Masih ad-Dajjal on March 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Call time already – this is going nowhere and you can blame the politicians for that.

CorporatePiggy on March 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Exactly…and blame them for the huge sacrifice and loss of lives that they so arrogantly throw away.

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

At a minimum, decimate the Haqqani network and imprison Zawahiri before leaving.

Christien on March 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

They died for their generals and Bush’s and Obama’s hubris and you want still more to die for the same thing. Cold blooded.

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Not at all, they shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

The good war according to dear leader

He will not man up Ed, guaranteed

cmsinaz on March 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

As soon as Obama was elected I stated to get out…that we would have dead soldiers, our finest, lying in the streets dying for no cause, because this administration will look at war (any war) as how it can help them politically, and not from an American strategic view.
I was vilified for my stand but I still stand by it, under Obama we have lost some of out finest, and minimal only because we have such great military leaders…but any “way” is doomed under this president.
Better to pull out, lose face, and save lives than to continue down a path led by a anti-military liberal.

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Wars under Bush = good.
Wars under Obama = bad. Even when they’re wars started by Bush!

cjw79 on March 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Osama Bin laden is dead. Time to come home.

This Bush war has blown a huge hole in the economy.
The neo-con foreign policy has failed.

It is now more evident than ever before that it is impossible to create Alabama in Kabul.

liberal4life on March 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

He turned a somewhat optimistic situation in Iraq into a failure.

You mean by following the Bush withdrawal plan to a tee?

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Today’s army generals have the smallest minds and the selfishest souls and the cowardliest hearts that God makes.

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 3:04 PM

We had stopped fighting in a sane way years ago.

We did not learn from the past, did not exercise good judgment and didn’t set out what the actual goals to victory were.

Pull out and let everyone know the next time things need to be addressed there, it will be with a glassy plain over parts of the region. With a smiley face on the ordnance just to make everyone feel better about it.

ajacksonian on March 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Now we know you live in a fantasy land were only Democrats are political and Republicans are just interested in doing the right thing. So, I’m curious. Before January, 2009 do you honestly believe that we were following that plan under pure-hearted Bush?

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Is there a point to your question, or are you simply saying, “Bush was just as incompetent as this chuckle***k Obama”?

HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Oh and talk about a total waste of trillions in debt to the Chinese. Financing wars that were total failures. Thanks neoconservatives!!! These newly anti-war conservatives make me sick. Three years ago the suggestion that Afghanistan was a lost nation building cause was met with screams of “WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA AND THE TROOPS!! THE TROOPS! YOU HATE THE TROOPS!”

Now its, yeah, guess you all were right. We should’ve withdrawn a long time ago. You all should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. Of course, that would imply that neocons have hearts and souls.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

“We’ve had it with you, Karzai” –the U.S. American people

The “Bush wars™” have to end.

We cannot afford it.

liberal4life on March 19, 2012 at 2:49 PM
“Wars” is plural, not an “it”.

You are beyond stupid.

Schadenfreude on March 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

…It just drools…that’s why I like it here…reminds us daily how stupid these people are!

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Is there a point to your question, or are you simply saying, “Bush was just as incompetent as this chuckle***k Obama”?

HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

I’m saying that you and your lot are everything that’s wrong with this country. You sacrificed thousands of lives and trillions of dollars going on nothing but pure, blind, partisan loyalty to Bush and an ego boosting cowboyist belief that on the sheer force of American awesome-ness a whole region of the world would change overnight. And now you suddenly get wise to to the crap that adults have been saying for years. You = suck.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Good article. And true.

Masih ad-Dajjal on March 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

The majority are imbeciles who continue to jeopardize my loved one without a second thought. Goes back to the old “ignorance is bliss.” How lovely for THEM.

tuffy on March 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I agree Tuffy. Don’t pay any attention to Dante, it’s an unashamed parasite.

V7_Sport on March 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Pal, you volunteer to be led professionally, not by some rabid liberal anti-military politician…how rude and very naive of you to make that statement.

right2bright on March 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

My good man, do try to think, for your own sake.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

We’d have to go back and start all over again. If Afghanistan did fall apart, the Taliban regained lost territory (or, worse yet, returned to power), and al Qaeda made a comeback in the country where they planned the 9/11 attacks, does anyone imagine for a moment that America would be able to sit back and allow this to happen? We would eventually have to go back and drive the Taliban and al Qaeda out all over again. We would expend more American lives and treasure—all to restore military gains that we had already paid for with American lives and treasure.

— Mark Theissen

I’m sorry, Mark. The problem we have to deal with is that Afghans are still ignorant savages who believe their Koran is more important than the lives of 16 women and children. (How else do you explain the lack of rioting over the murder by our sergeant, but the correspondent wildly uncontrollable [except, yes, I know, it is all staged and whipped up by the Taliban and by Karzai himself] rioting over the supposed burning of some Muslim books by US troops after terrorists deface them. Their mullahs even admit that people can be compensated by blood money, but the most backwards holy book in existence demands blood and only blood, even if it is Muslims who die for its defiling….

[Notice also that the lack of rioting means the Taliban WERE intimidated by SGT Bales' acts, or they'd be out rioting and demonstrating otherwise. It is stupid to think this murder made any more terrorists than were already in the game. Showing we didn't care any more about killing their wives and kids has an effect, even on savages. Now they don't know if they can count on us to restrain ourselves... Something we shouldn't have been doing for the last 10 yrs. Restraining ourselves from killing more of them.... has as much to do with the course of this war as burning any Korans or killing any innocents.]

The problem we have to deal with is that our troops are held back by rules of engagement that prevent actually hurting our enemies, and gives aid and succor to them by plastering our reluctance to actually win this thing in the press after some ignorant savages behead a few Afghan and Pakistani cops and soldiers, and then failing to show that we are more determined than they are.

The problem we have to deal with is our Commander in Chief has no desire to win this war and only uses the troops to win political points. He doesn’t intend for them to win, and he leaves them in hostile territory with the admonition to keep their heads down and don’t torque anybody off by killing someone, bad guys included…. The CinC hasn’t made any case to the country about why winning is important, and he hasn’t reversed 10 year of Dhimmicrats claiming “we can’t win” and “quagmire” in Afghanistan by insisting the country and his own party get behind a winning posture. He is content to let our guys get shot at, and doesn’t care if they ever win and bring peace there. How else to explain his decisions to give the commanders less than they asked for during the surge, and to immediately publish a withdrawal schedule for our enemies? He doesn’t want them to win. He wants them to sit there, take as few casualties as possible, and then pull out to give him some kind of political victory. He cares nothing for the lives of Men who die waiting on him to sh*t or get off the pot……

The problem we have to deal with is that Pakistan will never let us get to the clowns in charge of al Qaeda and the Taliban. They are going to return because we don’t have the balls to stop them. And the American people themselves are to blame. Either you are in it to win, or you quit. We have decided we won’t win, so pick up the marbles and go home. It can’t be reversed or salvaged short of all out war on the savages and their supporters. Since we won’t do that, best to come home NOW, TODAY, and husband our money, our nukes and bombs until they are needed. [And they ARE going to be needed within 10 years....... Iran WILL get nukes. Pakistan will lose some of theirs when their government falls, as it will no matter how much money we send them, since they insist Islam is more important than anything else. We WILL be attacked someday by Muslims. Our only choice is to refuse entry to anyone and everyone from Southwest Asia onto ANY US soil.... No commerce, immigration, scholarship... Nothing.]

I’m not a quitter. But given these facts in our country today of the lack of Leadership, and the failure to let our troops strike fear into the Taliban, this is going nowhere but to the grave for more American soldiers who arent going to be saving any Afghan people’s lives any more.

Get out now, and let Karzai reap the whirlwind he has sown. He will be dead, probably beheaded, inside of 5 years. Save the Afghan and Pakistani aid (over 4 or 5 $Billion a year) until they all starve or make some other terrorist attack on us. Then wipe THEM off the face of the Earth, for good, this time.

Subsunk

Subsunk on March 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Yahweh, Mr. Pentagon
Would never okay the way you do your thing
Ding ding ding, ding, ding, ding
And you’ll get yours, Mr. Pentagon
Coddlin’ and even sidin’ with that Islam stuff like you do
Boo hoo hoo, boo hoo hoo

Where have you gone, General George S. Patton?
Our nation turns its longing eyes to you
What’s that you say, Mr. Pentagon?
You have banished ‘ol Blood and Guts far away
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

Coo coo ca-choo, Mr. Pentagon
Mohammad appreciates you more than you will know
Woo woo woo, woo woo woo
Allah so uses you, yes, Mr. Pentagon
He may grant a short reprieve to infidels who their country and humanity betray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

Cheshire Cat on March 19, 2012 at 3:14 PM

You mean by following the Bush withdrawal plan to a tee?
libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

He promised a full withdrawal within a year, got elected and terrorists celebrated. He realized his idea was stupid and followed the status of forces agreement. Then, due to some political trouble, decided to leave no one behind and chaos ensued. What a military tactician, that Obama.

The Count on March 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I’m saying that you and your lot are everything that’s wrong with this country. You sacrificed thousands of lives and trillions of dollars going on nothing but pure, blind, partisan loyalty to Bush and an ego boosting cowboyist belief that on the sheer force of American awesome-ness a whole region of the world would change overnight. And now you suddenly get wise to to the crap that adults have been saying for years. You = suck.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Actually, you have no idea what I have been saying for years. However, the fact that you “have no idea” of what is going on has not slowed down your pointless, baseless, ad hominem, hate-filled, spittle-flecked attacks; so, fact and reason are unlikely to have any effect on you. I.e., proceed.

BTW, to the extent that you concede that Obama is a chuckle***k, I agree.

HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

You seem to have conveniently forgotten that your hero Hussein Louie more than doubled the number of troops in Afcrapistan over what he inherited from Bush and that more Americans have been killed in Afcrapistan during his 3 years there than during Bush’s 7 there.

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Obama’s a lousy CIC. He’s created a clusterphuck. Bring the troops home.

BuckeyeSam on March 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Wars under Bush = good.
Wars under Obama = bad. Even when they’re wars started by Bush!

cjw79 on March 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Hate to burst your bubble, but our Afghan Adventure was approved by all members of Congress (that includes all Democrats) save 1.

And the Iraq Adventure was also approved by Congress. Including many Democrats who have never renounced that vote or apologized for doing so.

Our current Secretary of State voted for the 2002 Iraq Resolution. She said at the time she based it not on what Bust told her, but what her husband’s intel people told her.

Need another shovel?

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM

We can’t win there whilst Pakistan still stands. Should have hit them both on 9/12/01 and let them pick up the pieces.

As it is now, come home and work on protecting economic and cultural supremecy. Export American culture and hope it rots them out.

antisense on March 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

BTW, to the extent that you concede that Obama is a chuckle***k, I agree.

HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

A shot to that. I need plenty of booze to deal with this poll. The realization that public opinion on something as vitally important, deadly, emotionally devastating and costly as INVADING AND OCCUPYING ANOTHER COUNTRY, can shift as fast as an American Idol poll is one of the saddest things I’ve read in a long time. I didn’t think I could feel lower than the poll showing a majority of liberals supporting Obama’s expansion of warrantless surveillance and indefinite detension rules. But nope, here’s a lower place.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Afghanistan is the good war. – Barack Obama the Nitwit

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Obama did say that LBJ was one of the greatest presidents.

VorDaj on March 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Don’t think that is its point. The fact there is a story on HA about this means it is acceptable even in Republican circles to question why we are still there. When our whole strategy is thrown off by the burning of a book.. we got nothing.

Before any doubt was purely out of hatred for troops and wanting to use the war for political victory. Now? What does this majority really think? I do not think it is hatred for troops. They just see no end in sight, no goals, no hope to civilize savages.

Either win or leave, that is all. We cannot tolerate 11 more years there for no reason.

antisense on March 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Now we know you live in a fantasy land were only Democrats are political and Republicans are just interested in doing the right thing. So, I’m curious. Before January, 2009 do you honestly believe that we were following that plan under pure-hearted Bush?

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Let’s dispense here and now with the lie that we never should have been in Afghanistan. Are you even old enough to remember 9-11-2001? Do you remember the mood of the country at the end of Sept 2001? No force on Earth thought conquering Afghanistan was immoral or incorrect at that time. It was the right thing to do, and remains the right thing today, unless your solution would have been to nuke Afghanistan till it glowed….in which case, you have merely cut through the intervening 20 years and arrived at the final option as a first act (liberals are all about annihilating enemies in the good war without first giving them a chance to rehabilitate themselves…..).

It is only after 10 years of Dhimmicrats and the liberal press incessantly claiming the war was lost and no good could ever come of destroying al Qaeda, that Bush was a warmonger, and Obama was a saint, that it has finally come to this. If the CinC had doubled down when asked to support the Afghan surge, no one would be asking to leave now. If he had unconditionally committed to winning the war, and used the resources he INHERITED to do so, NO ONE would be wanting to leave until a stable Afghan government had been established. The press surely wouldn’t cross him after kissing his ass for so long.

Even in the face of all the IslamoFascist rhetoric coming out of Pakistan and Iran, if he had LED instead of just abdicated the strategy to win, he’d be at least honored by Republicans for supporting the troops and for looking after our best foreign interests. Hell, he gave more support to the illegal “police action” in Libya than he has to Afghanistan….

But he didn’t. And he won’t support winning because he would have given the generals what they asked for, and kept his mouth shut about the timetable… That means he is the reason we aren’t winning. He has doomed us to a course of responding to only attacks on our assets at home with massive retaliation at a future date. He has doomed hundreds of thousands of Americans to death in the future, and millions, if not billions of Muslims to the same fate in the nuclear exchanges which WILL occur down the road. It can all be laid here in the graveyard of Afghanistan where he chose to quit supporting Victory, and bought into appeasement of forces that now think they can attack forever because we won’t stay with it until we win…

The answer is, yes, we were following a plan for Victory under Bush. And if we had remained dedicated to Victory, we would have prevailed because the explanation that it is hundreds now, or millions of lives later would have been made and listened to. You don’t stop fighting tyranny unless you intend to be enslaved. Mr. Obama has made his choice, and his party’s choice, instead of what was best for the American people. And that has made all the difference in our opinion of the war, and the possibility of Victory.

Subsunk

Subsunk on March 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

This Bush war has blown a huge hole in the economy.
The neo-con foreign policy has failed.

It is now more evident than ever before that it is impossible to create Alabama in Kabul.

liberal4life on March 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Every time you use that N word we just laugh at you even more.

BTW, the “Bush War” in Afghanistan was approved by every single Democrat in Congress except one.

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

It’s completely absurd that we’ve been in this country for the last 11 years. Our goal from the start should have been to kill and destroy nearly everything, not occupy land and start building schools and digging wells for a stone age people. Part of the consequences to harboring terrorists ought to be that you rebuild (or more accurately when it comes to Afghanistan, build for the first time) your own country.

soladoras on March 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM

To an extent I sympathize with your sentiment but the fact is that the Soviets used the tactics that you suggest and still failed and we would not be achieving our goals there anyway doing that.

lexhamfox on March 19, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I need plenty of booze to deal with this poll.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

What’s so funny is that 99% of you folks on the Addled Left say Rasmussen’s polling is a joke.

Except when you agree with their conclusions, that is.

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Just about four years ago I set out on Obama’s Afghanistan road
Seekin’ my fame and glory, lookin’ to turn the Mullah’s Hemorrhoid into a pot of gold
Well, things got bad, and things got worse, I guess you will know the tune
Oh ! lord, stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again

Flew in yet again on a big plane, I hope I’ll be in one piece flyin out when I go.
I was yet again just passin’ through, must now be yet another 3 tours or more.
Running out of time and patience [Not to complain but whatever the hell happened to my youth?!"], looks like they took still more of my friends.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.

The Hope and Change man in the White House said yet again I was on my way.
Somewhere I lost his connection, he ran out of words to say.
I came into Kabul, yet another one year stand, looks like the plans fell through yet again
Oh ! lord, stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.

Mmmm…
If I only had a woman ["Hey Jack, do you remember what a woman is?"], for evry Obama tour Ive done.
And evry time Ive had to fight while cheered on by CINO’s, Obama sat back home empowering Islam and power drunk.
You know, Id like to catch the next plane back to where Im from.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on March 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

This Bush war obama administration has blown a huge hole in the economy.

The neo-con foreign policy obama has failed.

liberal4life on March 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Fixed it up for you bub.

8thAirForce on March 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

This Bush war has blown a huge hole in the economy.
The neo-con foreign policy has failed.

It is now more evident than ever before that it is impossible to create Alabama in Kabul.

liberal4life on March 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Afghanistan is America’s war… trying to pass it off as one politician’s war or another is pathetic. What is neocon about the policies in Afghanistan? Do you know that Afghanistan and Iraq are completely different countries, situations, and wars?

lexhamfox on March 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Gee, it’s almost like Ron Paul was right all along, and that rather than nation-building and fighting wars of occupation, we should focus on the targeted killing of terrorists. Go figure.

Inkblots on March 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM

You mean dear doctor was in favor of the targeted killing of terrorists before we took out bin Laden? Then he was against it? I can’t keep your Paultard talking points straight anymore.

JannyMae on March 19, 2012 at 3:44 PM

I didn’t think I could feel lower than the poll showing a majority of liberals supporting Obama’s expansion of warrantless surveillance and indefinite detension rules. But nope, here’s a lower place.

libfreeordie on March 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I hate to break it to you, but Obama has not yet begun to break your heart.

You hate his unauthorized wars, escalation in Afghanistan, warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, cronyism, massive deficits, conspiracy to commit murder (Operation Fast & Furious), nanny-statism, economic micromanagement and mismanagement, etc.?

These are just the tip of the iceberg.

HeatSeeker2011 on March 19, 2012 at 3:48 PM

No force on Earth thought conquering Afghanistan was immoral or incorrect at that time. It was the right thing to do, and remains the right thing today, unless your solution would have been to nuke Afghanistan till it glowed….in which case, you have merely cut through the intervening 20 years and arrived at the final option as a first act (liberals are all about annihilating enemies in the good war without first giving them a chance to rehabilitate themselves…..).

Subsunk on March 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Actually, you’re wrong. There was great support for eliminating al qaeda and removing the Taliban, and that wasn’t questioned, but plenty believed that “conquering” Afghanistan was immoral and incorrect, and it still is.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Every time you use that N word we just laugh at you even more.

BTW, the “Bush War” in Afghanistan was approved by every single Democrat in Congress except one.

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Then you laugh out of ignorance. Open a book and learn.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Going home does not end the war. Declaring peace unilaterally will not work with a group like Al Queda that seeks our destruction and is tasting victory. We were not in Afghanistan when the Taliban allowed Al Queda to start the war on 9/11 but the war was on anyway. When the Taliban come back and bring back Al Queda to reestablish their training camps and safe havens for their war planners, the war will once again come back to US soil.
It is better to fight them there on our terms than here on theirs. We need to let the people and army of Afghanistan know that we will stay long enough to let them develop the ability to defend themselves with supplemental air power and logistics as well as weapons and funding. Right now, our allies are cutting deals with the Taliban they think will be the victors precisely because we keep saying we will be leaving and cutting funding for the Afghan army.

KW64 on March 19, 2012 at 4:01 PM

You mean dear doctor was in favor of the targeted killing of terrorists before we took out bin Laden? Then he was against it? I can’t keep your Paultard talking points straight anymore.

JannyMae on March 19, 2012 at 3:44 PM

He’s always been in favor of targeted killing of terrorists. Go look up the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 he sponsored. His objection to the bin Laden killing was one of process, not of goal. He thought it either should have been done secretly or in cooperation with Pakistan. By announcing we did it, and without Pakistani involvement, we further hurt our already rocky relationship with Pakistan. Basically, Obama undermined regional security to score some domestic political points.

Inkblots on March 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Does America have any long-term goals any more? Debt reduction? Reduced government spending? Entitlement reform? Equal opportunity? World hunger? Eradicating disease? Who in America can focus long enough on any of that to get anything done. Fair warning, change the channel now if you’re so texted and twittered that you can’t even stand a paragraph 2.

Without fail, Uncle Sam will get another swift kick his privates delivered by a very screwed up and envious world. People will be pissed and demand the U.S. deliver justice. Sam will get up, drunkenly veer from one short-term goal to another, punch a few morons standing around and then pass out again. That’s pretty much worked since the cold war ended (a previous long-term goal). But at least while the old drunk’s asleep we have time to get to the really important things like thinkng about ourselves. And the cycle repeats.

rhombus on March 19, 2012 at 4:11 PM

He’s always been in favor of targeted killing of terrorists. Go look up the Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 he sponsored. His objection to the bin Laden killing was one of process, not of goal. He thought it either should have been done secretly or in cooperation with Pakistan. By announcing we did it, and without Pakistani involvement, we further hurt our already rocky relationship with Pakistan. Basically, Obama undermined regional security to score some domestic political points.

Inkblots on March 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM

What an incredible distortion of what he actually said. He made the incredibly stupid assumption that the Pakistanis would have cooperated with us. He hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about, and neither do you.

JannyMae on March 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM

What an incredible distortion of what he actually said. He made the incredibly stupid assumption that the Pakistanis would have cooperated with us. He hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about, and neither do you.

JannyMae on March 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Inkblots didn’t distort anything.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Can’t we do an indescriminate carpet bombing campaign on our way out? Immediate just seems too rash… I want them to remember to never attack our nation again. What is our message? Attack us and we will come on over and modernize your nation?

astonerii on March 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

What an incredible distortion of what he actually said. He made the incredibly stupid assumption that the Pakistanis would have cooperated with us. He hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about, and neither do you.

JannyMae on March 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Indeed Pakistan hides the Taliban. To fight them we would have to go into Pakistan. For now we can not win. Especially as we have bought into the idiotic argument that there are civilians that are off limits in war. There are NOT. Civilians are the primary target. They feed, arm, clothe and replace the soldiers without them the war ends as they force it to. Civilians must suffer so much they force their government to surrender.

Steveangell on March 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I want them to remember to never attack our nation again.

astonerii on March 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Afghanistan didn’t attack us.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Every time you use that N word we just laugh at you even more.

BTW, the “Bush War” in Afghanistan was approved by every single Democrat in Congress except one.

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Then you laugh out of ignorance. Open a book and learn.

Ron Paul on March 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Fixed.

F-

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

plenty of us Paulites believed that “conquering” Afghanistan was immoral and incorrect, and it still is.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Afghanistan didn’t attack us.

Ron Paul on March 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

You also claimed with a Straight Face last week that Iraq was the only country in the world that would never cooperate with al Qaeda.

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM

You also claimed with a Straight Face last week that Iraq was the only country in the world that would never cooperate with al Qaeda.

Del Dolemonte on March 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM

I never said that at all. I said that Iraq did not attack us on 9/11. So why are you lying?

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Actually, you’re wrong. There was great support for eliminating al qaeda and removing the Taliban, and that wasn’t questioned, but plenty believed that “conquering” Afghanistan was immoral and incorrect, and it still is.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Sooo… nuke them till they glow, Dr. Paul! I understand your foreign policy now. Wait until it is absolutely too late to do anything except kill them all, and then do so and forget about it.

Understand all. You betcha’. We’ll be waiting for my very own crazy Congressman to do just that when elected…… Out.

Subsunk

Subsunk on March 19, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Sooo… nuke them till they glow, Dr. Paul! I understand your foreign policy now. Wait until it is absolutely too late to do anything except kill them all, and then do so and forget about it.

Subsunk on March 19, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Clearly you don’t.

Dante on March 19, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Gee, it’s almost like Ron Paul was right all along, and that rather than nation-building and fighting wars of occupation, we should focus on the targeted killing of terrorists. Go figure.

Inkblots on March 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM

It’s very telling that one of the few politicians with an ounce of sense on the issue is “out on the fringe” to most of the public and almost all of Washington DC.

Neither the Republicans nor Democrats have any credibility left on the subject of war, particularly the latter party. After over a decade of meaningless conflict, all we’ve gotten in return are a false sense of security and a long line of coffins.

MelonCollie on March 19, 2012 at 5:52 PM

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