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September 01, 2009

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matt

so what we'll be left with is the first narcotics superpower combined with a Taliban thugocracy that will foster extremism.

There was a plan in place, and it seems it's being chucked right out the window. McChrystal & petraeus have been working on this for a year, and now our political class is going to do another Paris Peace Accords. maybe they'll bring back Kissinger so they can blame someone else while they're at it.

These people in Washington disgust me, including the "Republicans".

clarice

I'm waiting for Kerry to engage in secret talks with the Taliban.

peter

Love the "Curly Joe Besser" referenced by Patterico at LUN.

bishop

Are we sure he read Steve Coll's book,
because he seems hell bent on bringing back about the fall of Kabul in 1996, not to say 1841.

Soylent Red

By this time in 2012 we will be out or on the way out of Afghanistan, and it will not be a victors, despite what some may claim. Mark my words.

In order to do Afghanistan right you would need a pretty fair amount of moral and political will. It's going to take a long time, a lot of money, it's going to generate casualties, and there isn't much to point to as a compelling reason (if you're practicing realpolitik, that is) other than it is the just and proper thing to do for a country who contributed greatly to the fall of the USSR.

Obama doesn't have that kind of moral and political will, and has never really believed in the principle of fighting in Afghanistan in the first place. So why would he waste his time and political capital on something so beneath him as building a stable, peaceful and relatively less oppressive Afghanistan?

Moreover, an ignoble loss in Afghanistan will help Obama prove that violent action is futile, which is what he really believes. Any time from that point on that a case could be made for intervention or some general kicking of asses, Obama can say, "Well that approach didn't work in Afghanistan. Better that you should trust in my groovy and soothing baritone negotiation skillz."

A loss also signals the decline of the U.S., another distinctly Barry-ish end. "Just one nation among many. Couldn't do what other countries tried as well. Must not be any better than anyone else." And so on.

The fact that we are setting up Afghanistan to be sold, yet again, down the river to brutal 7th century animals aside, a loss perpetuates a lot of the same leftist anti-war mythology and victimhood that Vietnam did. These f*ckers are never so happy as when the US is laid low.

Neo

I can see Will's point to a limit.

Given that Afghanistan is more like a "VietNam redux" than Iraq could ever have been, and the eventual softening of what Biden called that "spine of steel", what's the point of staying when President Pantywaist is going to pull out later anyway ?

Of course, this will solidify the perception that the Democrats lost Viet Nam and now Afghanistan, while the Republicans got the job done in Iraq.

My recommendation to Obama ... get Iraq screwed up as quickly as possible, so you can then blame the Republicans for both, and throw in Viet Nam to boot.

Hey, hey, B-H-O, how many boys did you kill today !

fdcol63

Nuke Waziristan!

bishop

This would be just a debating point, if the consequences were not so severe. This was why electing Obama was a horrible gamble, there was some chance that McCain would have been marginally better.

ben

David Brooks has got his wobbly finger out again and is testing the wind direction...

"Amazingly, some liberals are now lashing out at Obama because the entire country doesn’t agree with The Huffington Post. Some now argue that the administration should just ignore the ignorant masses and ram health care through using reconciliation, the legislative maneuver that would reduce the need for moderate votes."

The Man

It's a good thing Obama was running the war in Af from December 2001 to December 2008. And it's an even better thing that nothing that happened during that period of time caused the local population to distrust US intentions in Af, or allowed AQ to relocate from their TB caves.

Christ on a stick - it would be refreshing if once, just once, a wingnut took some responsibility for the shitty situation Bush put the US in in Afghanistan. But that is far too much to ask, I suppose.

Mike Myers

Ah "The Man". It would be nice if you lefties manned up a bit and backed away from the "It's all Bush's fault" mantra. You folks will still be whining that in 2035.

BB Key

OT

Two Dim Bulbs Are Not Bright

Washington Times exclusive:

Gonzales agrees with Holder on CIA investigations

PeterUK

The Man?

Take a deep breath and say "Obama is president now,"Hope and Change"" Then get your arse into gear and do something.

matt

The Man;

I will not say what I am thinking, but you are probably the most ill informed idiot I have perhaps ever had the displeasure of reading. You know nothing about the ground situation except what you read in the papers and are ready to skip out the moment some sheepherder with an AK takes a potshot.

We have sustained very few casualties to date and were effectively keeping the Taliban bottled up until recently. The situation is in flux with the Pakistanis finally taking action. That is one cause of the increased activity.

We haven't devoted the resources necessary, but at least they are not blowing up the schools and medical facilities like in Iraq. Give Petraeus what he needs and the job will get done, and no, it will not take 1-2 years. We'll be lucky if it takes 10. But the American need for instant gratification will lose this war. Afghanistan was on hold until Obama came into office for a reason.

LUN

bishop

i saw BB, how many times do you have to ram your head against the wall, until the
'word maudlin is subtly obscure' I mean that
makes any kind of sense

megapotamus

bishop, that is some ringing endorsement of McCain! But it is about as much as you can say for him. Barack's bellicosity for Afghanistan and then, ahem... Pakistan was, like nearly all his positions, strictly reactive. No pacifist he, no.

I ain't no wuss. I'll turn Pakghanistan into so much blastglass, I will.

And I might support such a policy, depending on the merits. But this crowd (and it is not just young Barry) doesn't do merits. They do dial groups and Lakoffisms. They are tactical merely. At this point I don't even think they can be called by any political demographic. They are bloody quadrophrenic. And in that, other than elections and revolutions, lies our escape. Barack can prosper now only as does Obamerica. Am I mad to hope that O might see that, jeez, all this kumbaya crapola is only getting us our asses kicked? The Higs commission, that body assigned by Obama to do the not-TOO-dirty work of interrogating Long Warriors; most folks see this as an institutionalization of anti-EIT sentiment, and so it is. But will even the hard Lefties populating the admin shirk from waterboarding the Zawahiri of tomorrow when they are the responsible parties? I think you will find that KSM would fare no better under Obama than under Bush. Isn't that what we have already seen with rendition etc? I endorse this new specialist team whose mission is to get intel out of these exploding savages. They will learn their craft and quickly.

Nick

No, we shouldn't blame Bush for invading Afghanistan and failing to capture bin Laden and destroy those al Qaeda in that nation.

Having failed to finish the job in Afghanistan, we shouldn't blame Bush for then pivoting and, without sufficient forces, planning, or preparation, invading Iraq, and then botching that job where at least "the US had better chances for something like a victory in Iraq". Of course we had to invade Iraq--at a cost of $3 to $5 trillion, because...it had hundreds of tons of biological and chemical weapons, a nuclear weapons program, unmanned aerial vehicles capable of reaching the U.S., was involved with al Qaeda and strongly implicated in the 9/11 attacks? In the end, it was seen as an opportunity to flex American might and set the tone for change in the Middle East--backfiring of course, because people are a bit more complex than Bush and his folks understood.

Since we can't blame Bush, on whom else are we to pin the blame? Ah, the Democrats of course. They never wanted us to win anyway.

fdcol63

We're seeing increased activity in Afghanistan now because:

1) The Surge in Iraq worked, and those Islamists who had been flocking to Iraq to fight in that front of the jihad decided to either stay in or go to Waziristan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

2) Pakistan's increased military action against the Taliban and insurgents, and the effectiveness of US drone strikes against Taliban leadership, which are now causing Islamists to move across the border into Afghanistan where they can exploit Afghan National and NATO's military weaknesses and use the civilian population as shields.

You drain one swamp, and the rats move into another. As they become more desperate, the scurry faster and faster, and take more chances. You just gotta keep hammering them and killing them until they're all gone.

hrtshpdbox

Since we can't blame Bush, on whom else are we to pin the blame?
I don't know, but I'm hoping that Obama will explain it to all the school children next Tuesday morning. Maybe a thusly illuminated youngster can then explain it to me.

PeterUK

Anyone heard from bin Laden recently. Hitler wasn't captured either,but the Wehrmacht was smashed beyond redemption.

In actual fact invading Iraq is far more sensible than invading Afghanistan.Blood for oil is better than blood for dust.

You seem to be operating in a time warp Nick. Here we are in 2009,with a new president,a Democrat super majority,and you are still whining.

Elliott

Afghanistan - Where There's A Will, There's Another Will

At first glance I thought the headline was going to be "Where there's a Will, there's a way out."

fdcol63

Unfortunately, Will doesn't have the will (to finish the job).

bgates

without sufficient forces, planning, or preparation

So much for the "fierce urgency of now". The AUMF was written and read before it was voted on, more than you assholes can manage with any legislation. We had enough forces to win in Iraq.

Of course we had to invade Iraq--at a cost of $3 to $5 trillion

And that's in 2004 dollars, when $3 to $5 trillion was a lot of money. Not like now, when $2 trillion annual deficits are shrugged off by assholes like Nick.

it had hundreds of tons of biological and chemical weapons
unaccounted for,
a nuclear weapons program
undisputed,
unmanned aerial vehicles
prohibited by the terms of the ceasefire. But I guess "smart diplomacy" would require no penalties for breaking the terms of that agreement.
was involved with al Qaeda
that's what Clinton told us
and strongly implicated in the 9/11 attacks?
There's more to foreign policy than 9/11, Nick.

set the tone for change in the Middle East

As a result of which the governments of Iraq and Lebanon and Libya are less hostile than they were before, and there was even a nascent opposition in Iran. Too bad our presidebt shares your interest in fellating dictators, or it might have gone somewhere.

people are a bit more complex than Bush and his folks understood.

You're not. You're an asshole.

Ah, the Democrats of course. They never wanted us to win anyway.

You have a point there.

Sue

Christ on a stick

Yeah, well, Buddha on a stick back at ya'. Or Mohamed on a stick back at ya'.

peter

You just gotta keep hammering them and killing them until they're all gone.


There are only about four billion to go! I agree with Will. Let's get the hell out, since we have no strategy, no exit plan , and no will to win.

Nick

"Between 2002 and 2008 the United States never provided the forces, money or leadership necessary to win, effectively wasting more than half a decade. Our country left a power vacuum in most of Afghanistan that the Taliban and other jihadist insurgents could exploit and occupy, and Washington did not respond when the U.S. Embassy team in Kabul requested more resources."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/30/AR2009083002252.html

But no, we can't blame Bush for not taking appropriate action between 2002 and 2008. After all, he wasn't in charge then.

Instead, let's accuse President Obama of playing politics instead, after being handed a losing war which Mr. Maquire appears to admit really never had much chance of success anyway. If Obama had to posture as a predicate to withdrawing from a losing situation, to minimize right wing caterwauling about lacking moral fiber and general manliness, then it's probably the best move that could be made under the circumstances.

Nick

people are a bit more complex than Bush and his folks understood.
-----------------
You're not. You're an asshole.

Posted by: bgates | September 01, 2009 at 03:09 PM
--------------------------------

Thanks for demonstrating my point.

StrawmanCometh

Buy up the Afghan poppy product and feed it to our geezers (I'm almost there).
Solves many problems.

PeterUK

Septnick,

Your prose is still shit.

Ignatz

--really never had much chance of success anyway--

Which is it?
It was winnable had Bush only done the right thing, or it never had a chance of success anyway?
If it's the former, then you need to stop whining about Bush because Barry only needs to do the right thing now and we'll win.
If it's the latter, then you need to stop whining about Bush because it didn't matter what he or anyone else did.

Jane

Instead, let's accuse President Obama of playing politics instead, after being handed a losing war which Mr. Maquire appears to admit really never had much chance of success anyway.

Then why did he call it the "good war"? Oh right, that was to placate all the people who voted for him but have now moved to the "strongly disapprove" column.

bgates

Thanks for demonstrating my point.

It needed no demonstration. Everybody already knows you're an asshole.

gmax

Nick

Glad you mentioned that I have been meaning to ask a big brained type like you that very question.

Why haven't we caught Bin Laden? Its easy right? Bush just screwed it up, right? OK douchebag, why hasn't he been caught. Seems like a bit of flaw in your logic to me, but go ahead give the spinarama a go.

bishop

The real problem is that these people in charge and those covering them, like I'm willing to guess, Rajiv Chandrevsaran (sic)
really think there is something noble about
the Taliban, or their cousins in the Anbar region. The quagmire line, that Steyn often
cites, has a kernel of truth, but mostly exaggerated, it serves like the same purpose
of those mythical 300,000 troops to suppress
the Balkans as a bar to inaction.

bgates

If Obama had to posture as a predicate to withdrawing from a losing situation, to minimize right wing caterwauling.

This is a contention that Obama is sending American servicemen to their deaths for no higher purpose than keeping Bill Kristol from writing mean things about him.

And it's coming from an Obama supporter.

What an asshole.

Neo

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs looks so much like Peter from the “Family Guy”

Am I right or am I right ?

Captain Hate

Neo, Laura Ingraham regularly calls him the Family Guy on her radio show. She also calls David Gergen the Cat in the Hat.

Richard Aubrey

It was a dead cert that the left would, after insisting Astan is the right war--to discredit Iraq but continue to seem interested in US' interests--start telling us to dump Astan as soon as it was no longer useful in getting us out of Iraq befor we won.
And it happened.

Dave (in MA)
peter:

Love the "Curly Joe Besser" referenced by Patterico

Harumph.

People shouldn't try to use cultural references that are beyond their area of expertise.
Joe Besser was "Joe".
"Curly Joe" was played by Joe DeRita.

If Ø is Curly Jøe, I suppose that makes McCain Emil Sitka?

Rob Crawford

It was a dead cert that the left would, after insisting Astan is the right war--to discredit Iraq but continue to seem interested in US' interests--start telling us to dump Astan as soon as it was no longer useful in getting us out of Iraq befor we won.

People forget that the lefties were against Afghanistan until the invasion of Iraq. They were doing all the regular things -- making up accusations of war crimes, finding ways to blame the US for everything, whining about "another Vietnam" -- until they had something they hated more. Then all the same rhetoric shifted to Iraq.

Captain Hate

Of course we had to invade Iraq--at a cost of $3 to $5 trillion,

Even notice that now that Bammers is putting up some *really* big deficit numbers, that the trolls's lies expand accordingly. Nick hasn't been here in a while; is Tuesday internet day at the halfway house?

matt

my post last night was on exactly this. Right vs left vs Islamic terrorism.

The Left will only be happy when they see that last helicopter taking off from the U.S. embassy.

royf

Rob Crawford

Remember the "brutal Afghan winter" and the "quagmire" we were facing when the Northern Alliance was waiting while we bombed the carp out of the Taliban. The left is a bunch of sick warped people.

The Cheshire Sunspots ::grin:: again.  The Watts Effect, in fact.

I'm actually somewhat optimistic about prospects, provided that Gates and his likes can continue to effectively present the military's side of affairs. With the Pakistanis finally getting serious about radical Islam from the south and East, and with us supplying better pressure from the north, and with both sides raining predators on identified leaders there may be some progress. A key matter is continued Saudi support of the madrassahs, and of course, the large population of radicalized Muslims from the years and widespread locations of madrassah teaching.

Of course, Obama hasn't the desire or will to accomplish this, but the serendipitous occurence of the left's long time use of Afghanistan as a club against Bush, and his natural desire not to 'lose a war' just after Bush has 'won a war' combined with the military's own desire to sustain their gains and to complete a victory may auger a good result after all. We can but hope, and depend upon the good will and action of our best and our brightest, most of them Brassoed.
=================================

matt

the onliest issue, though is that the libs have begun heading for the exits on Afghanistan. They never wanted to own it and it was simply an excuse for rhetoric.

These people change their stories every day and confuse themselves into the most convoluted circles of illogic.

So we are faced with George Will's inane op/ed being used as a fig leaf for what Nancy and Harry wanted all along.

Obama will simply speechify away the contradictions and they'll all have canapes and cocktails in Georgetown while the Taliban reopen the national stadium for stonings again. Unless there is very strong pushback.

The Furies, me boys, the Furies.

It will be women, matt, and the military around whom we'll rally for victory in Afghanistan. Remember how even before 9/11 made al Qaeda very famous, the Taliban were criticized for their downtrodding of women? It'll be those forces combined with the natural desire for democracy, just like in Iraq, that will win the way over there, and it may well be heralded with Talibanic excesses, just as the Anbar Awakening was initiated by al Qaeda brutality. Remember, it was an Afghani grandmother, who on the first day she'd ever voted, who rose at dawn, said her prayers for those about to die, and marched miles overland to the pollbooth.
=============================

Terry Gain

It took 5.5 years to win the war in Iraq. Unfortunately, the public gave up after 3.5 years.

There are several key difference between Afghanistan and Iraq. Firstly, Iraq was strategically much more important than Afstan and not just because of oil. The strategic importance of winning became a necessity once al Qaeda entered Iraq in earnest in 2005 and announced it was going to establish a new Caliphate. ( This development went largely unreported, however it was the presence of al Qaeda that gave strength to the insurgency and prolonged the war. I started reading MNF-Iraq daily once the Surge began. What was being reported on a daily basis was the targeting of al Qaeda by the Surge. When al Qaeda was defeated, peace broke out).

The second major difference is that whereas Iraqis stood up, Afghans are not. With a larger population and an 18 month head start, Afghan security forces are now less than 200,000 while Iraqis exceed 750,000.

The war in Afghanistan will likely take 25 years. There is clearly no willpower in America to fight a war which will take that long.

Support for the war could perhaps be engendered if creative measures could be found to fund it. I would suggest that every member of Congress be assigned a civilian tax monitor who would have the power to open the mail of their Congressman and frisk every lobbyist entering their offices.

Original MikeS

I don't have a lot of faith in Obama's strategy which is, as near as I can figure, "Uh wee wee uh uh."

Afghanistan is likely to suffer from bands of militants imposing their will on unprotected population centers for a considerable time. Without a long term strategy to protect or avenge those population centers...

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