A.k.a. home of the “real” war on terror, the good fight that the left had been spoilin’ to win before Bush went and distracted them with that “fake” war that’s killed ten times as many troops. “You don’t hear people saying, ‘We need to get out of Afghanistan,'” declares Russ Feingold, followed immediately by a bunch of people saying we need to get out of Afghanistan.
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), a senior defense authorizer, wants the U.S. out of Afghanistan immediately, calling operations there “futile” in trying to effect political change in a country with a tangled history…
“There is no useful purpose for our troops there,” Abercrombie stated in a recent interview. “The military should withdraw now,” he said, though he stressed that the U.S. could keep “isolated pockets” of special operators.
Instead of using the military to effect political change, the U.S. should have a complete diplomatic re-engagement in the region, “with an understanding that our role there should change,” Abercrombie added…
Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq, said that it is time for the U.S. military to start leaving Afghanistan and the Middle East altogether.
“We are not securing America by being there,” she pressed. “The longer we are there, the more plots start growing in our country.”…
Meanwhile, several anti-war members, including Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), stress that any troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is inextricably linked to the military’s first leaving Iraq.
“I’d like to get out of Iraq first and look at Afghanistan and if it does not work … we should be impatient,” Woolsey said, adding that she is not prepared to give a timeline for withdrawal. “There was a reason [for being] there, but now we really need to reassess what we are accomplishing. It depends on what our mission is in Afghanistan; if our mission is to find Osama bin Laden, that is one thing.”
It’ll be darkly amusing watching the Democratic leadership try to be Afghan hawks and Iraq doves simultaneously, on the one hand demanding a troop presence in Kabul to prop up the fledgling Afghan government while on the other demanding withdrawal from Baghdad so that we don’t have to prop up the fledgling Iraqi government. The difference, you see, is that Iraq’s in a hopeless civil war whereas the suicide bombs and guerrilla raids in Afghanistan by Taliban Afghans and Pakistanis is … a minor rebellion? Let’s call it an insurgency. Actually, the real difference is that Al Qaeda’s leadership is in Afghanistan, not in Iraq … although it’s actually not in Afghanistan at all, but in Pakistan, and of course top AQ leaders have been seen, and even caught, in Iraq. Maybe the difference is that Iraq has become a magnet for jihadis from around the region whereas Afghanistan is still basically a closed theater. Or maybe not.
It seems there’s still quite a lot of nuance to be parsed here. They’ll figure it out.
Murtha says he’s not ready to throw in the towel yet because we still have “a chance” of winning but he’s going to revisit the issue in September when they take up the next war supplemental. A sneak preview from the mind that brought us the Okinawa redeployment plan: “We should have never gone to Iraq, because we would have been out of Afghanistan [by now].” QED.