Saturday, April 10, 2010

Afghanistan Lost

Do I sound like Harry Reid? The Nevada Senator referred to the Iraq war as lost during the debate on President Bush's surge in Iraq. Unlike Harry Reid and his exercise in wishful thinking, I have no desire to see the U.S. fail in Afghanistan. I believe failure there would mean someday we would have to return and pacify that country all over again. Also, unlike Harry Reid I do not wish the Obama Administration take the wrong course in this war. I have made my thoughts plain as to what I felt was the right way: an increased force size backed by a larger U.S. Army with no timetable so our enemies could not plan around our thrust. Also, unlike Harry Reid, I believe we have chosen to lose this war, not been defeated on the battlefield.

It's been a little over two weeks since current President Obama visited Afghanistan in drive-thru fashion. Following, the usual Obama lecture and a few pictures, he was gone. Sadly the few photos and the brief discussion of this vital issue quickly disappeared in the next issue du jour and then the next.. First, came a phony off shore drilling proposal, followed by an appeasement arms control deal with Russia and finally, a Potemkin village dressed up as nuclear security summit. These were calculated gimmicks all. Transitory fluff aimed at obscuring a train wreck in progress.

Bill Clinton and Dick Morris pioneered the issue of the day mode of operation back in the nineties. The big difference is that the Clinton issues were minor and at worst, guilty of the usual left wing condescension and time wasting. School uniforms springs to mind. With Obama, the ante has been upped. Minor distractions no longer suffice. If the issues that distract America from a war she will lose, be large and complex, then so much the better. It does not matter in Obama's mind that America has stripped itself of missile defense or that foreign energy dependence is disguised or that banter about Chile replaces confronting Iran. All that matters is that a war that will be lost in two years time is given a quick push to the side. Then we're off to the next propaganda item.

Make no mistake this war is not being lost by the troops. Even now, U.S. troops and allies have made large strides in controlling former hot spots, but this is for naught. President Obama has declared that the United States will give up, turn tail and run and leave our Afghan allies twisting in the wind in two years. It's no wonder that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is talking about joining the Taliban. In two years, Kabul will be back under Taliban control. Obama will try to time the withdrawal near the 2012 election. This may work politically, but after the election, Mullah Omar and his pal Usama Bin Laden will be back in their old haunts. This will obviously be a large complex problem for Obama's second term (provided he lies well enough to get one) but he won't really care. He'll never face the voters again.

Am I too cynical?(perish the thought!) Take the example of sainted FDR and the Invasion of North Africa in 1942 during World War II. Lagging in the polls, FDR urged the generals to invade before the November Congressional elections. The generals informed the Democratic president that they weren't ready to invade. Lacking a positive event to spin, FDR and the Democrats watched as the Republicans made hefty gains in the Congressional elections. Trading lives for spin isn't new, but usually those who do have done so tend to have been Nazis or Communists, i.e. the political extremists.

Nowadays, Obama is often called a Communist/Marxist for his economic policies. By touting "social justice" and telling people what's "fair" he seeks to level society swiping from one class and giving to another, creating a group dependent on his stolen handouts. This fairly straightforward communist money grab has been widely commented on. Obama has reacted like a brazen hussy caught in a cat house by in effect saying "Who me a commie?" I'll let others fry the chief executives fish regarding the "share the wealth" con. My concern here is for the men and women who fight a war in Afghanistan that Obama has already thrown in the towel. Coincidentally or not, here too Obama is following a communist game plan. Remember who the last invader of Afghanistan was?

In his book, The Great Gamble, Gregory Feifer details the savage, insipid attempt by the communist Soviet Union to subdue Afghanistan. At first, there wasn't much resistance when the Soviets first invaded in 1979, but soon there was a fierce guerrilla war raging in the hills and mountains of Afghanistan. Gradually, the Soviets began to make headway. By the mid eighties, the Soviet trained Afghan Army was actually effective when used in tandem with Soviet forces. Fighting had become even more intense, yet the Soviets were "gaining the upper hand in the war." Then Soviet leader Gorbachev ordered the military to wrap up the war in one to two years. In December 1986, Gorbachev met with Najibullah, the Afghan communist leader to tell him that the Soviets would completely withdraw in two years time. In February 1989, a little more than two years later, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan. The mujahedin quickly began to fight amongst themselves which led to almost complete anarchy. Out of this chaos, rose the Taliban, who subsequently rolled out the welcome mat for Bin Laden. For the record, in 1996, Najibullah was caught by the Taliban in Kabul castrated then beheaded.

It has been said history repeats itself, just not in the same way. In this instance, it seems once the U.S. and other coalition forces pullout, history will take the same path. For now, we are in the pullout stage. Obama may try to stiffen the spine of Hamid Karzai with talk, but Karzai better have his plane tickets for Geneva ready. It's beyond sad the sacrifice that U.S. servicemen and women have made and are being asked to make for a war already categorized as lost. As horrible as the waste our troops and treasure, it's even worse for the Afghans. They get played with this hoax of hope and soon the night of the Taliban will return. Hell is returning to Afghanistan. What is right next door to this future hell hole? That's right, tottering unstable nuclear armed Pakistan. The sheer stupidity, senseless waste and nauseous political grandstanding by the Obama Administration boggles the mind.

Afghanistan never was and probably never will be an easy place to fight a war, but sometimes preventing things like another 9/11 are not easy. Sometimes, it requires decades of time, thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Some people don't want hard answers, but the answers life gives are in accord only to themselves.

Can Karzai survive on his own? Let's let Najibullah answer that one. Perhaps the dead can provide a view that will be illuminating. After a departing Russian Communist general gave him a pep talk, the Afghan Communist had a curt response. "There used to be 100,000 Soviet troops here," Najibullah replied defiantly. "And together with our army they couldn't neutralize the enemy. Now your forces have gone. What can we hope for?"

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