Green Room

Frank Rich: You People Will Cause The Already Failed Afghan Surge To Fail

posted at 4:49 pm on August 22, 2010 by

I haven’t posted about Count Frankula in a while.  Frank Rich’s latest column, How Fox Betrayed Petraeus, is stuffed full of Rich’s usual “people who don’t agree with me are crazy and dangerous” filling.

Frank’s point apparently is that opposition to the Cordoba mosque and Islamic center being built in the planned location has undercut General David Petraeus’s surge strategy in Afghanistan, and doomed the war to failure (emphasis mine):

Here’s what’s been lost in all the screaming. The prime movers in the campaign against the “ground zero mosque” just happen to be among the last cheerleaders for America’s nine-year war in Afghanistan. The wrecking ball they’re wielding is not merely pounding Park51, as the project is known, but is demolishing America’s already frail support for that war, which is dedicated to nation-building in a nation whose most conspicuous asset besides opium is actual mosques.

It is, of course, interesting that Rich now claims that opposition to the Cordoba mosque is what will cause the surge to fail and the war to be lost. 

Because in October 2009, Rich predicted that an Iraq-style surge (which Rich also opposed) would not work in Afghanistan and the war would be lost:

Afghanistan is not Iraq. It is poorer, even larger and more populous, more fragmented and less historically susceptible to foreign intervention. Even if the countries were interchangeable, the wars are not. No one-size surge fits all. President Bush sent the additional troops to Iraq only after Sunni leaders in Anbar Province soured on Al Qaeda and reached out for American support. There is no equivalent “Anbar Awakening” in Afghanistan.

And again in December 2009, Rich declared the nascent surge a failure and the war already lost after Obama announced his new Afghanistan policy (emphasis mine):

AFTER the dramatic three-month buildup, you’d think that Barack Obama’s speech announcing his policy for Afghanistan would be the most significant news story of the moment. History may take a different view. When we look back at this turning point in America’s longest war, we may discover that a relatively trivial White House incident, the gate-crashing by a couple of fame-seeking bozos, was the more telling omen of what was to come.

Obama’s speech, for all its thoughtfulness and sporadic eloquence, was a failure at its central mission. On its own terms, as both policy and rhetoric, it didn’t make the case for escalating our involvement in Afghanistan. It’s doubtful that the president’s words moved the needle of public opinion wildly in any direction for a country that has tuned out Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq alike while panicking about where the next job is coming from…

What he’s ended up with is a too-clever-by-half pushmi-pullyu holding action that lacks both a credible exit strategy and the commitment of its two most essential partners, a legitimate Afghan government and the American people. Obama’s failure illuminated the limits of even his great powers of reason.

On July 31, just three weeks ago, Rich even wrote a column titled Kiss This War Goodbye, arguing that the leak of tens of thousands of classified files by WikiLeak’s was a Pentagon Papers-like turning point in Afghanistan, signaling that the war was lost.

So if I understand Rich’s current column correctly, the surge which Rich declared in October 2009 could not work in Afghanistan, which Rich declared had failed by December 2009, and the war that Rich kissed-off just three weeks ago, really would have worked out for us if not for the wingnuts who object to the location of the Cordoba mosque and Islamic Center.

Am I crazy and dangerous for pointing out Rich’s intellectual laziness and predictability?

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To be fair Frank Rich’s only purpose appears to be penning “The War is Lost” columns. You can’t really blame him for not stepping outside his element.

BKennedy on August 22, 2010 at 7:19 PM

The only crazy one is Rich.

chemman on August 22, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Your mistake is reading Frank Rich in the first place.

Franky needs to go back to reviewing the make up and costume designers for the theater, he’s way out of his element when he ventures off Broadway.

NoDonkey on August 23, 2010 at 5:40 AM

Your mistake is reading Frank Rich in the first place.


Seconded. Frank Rich has no need to be taken seriously, herein or elsewhere.

IntheNet on August 23, 2010 at 8:37 AM

Democrats, with each passing day, resemble pretzels.

tarpon on August 23, 2010 at 8:52 AM

My impression oh Rich’s column was that it was written for his New Yorky Lib friends who will be sure to let him know they approve by letting stay at the coll kids’ table a bit longer.

SurferDoc on August 23, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Next week the reason will be that BarryO’s golf slice got worse.

Robert17 on August 23, 2010 at 7:44 PM