Obama and his minions used to bleat this mantra during the campaign: “Iraq bad; Afghanistan good!” Like the Soviet pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the mantra is repeated simply because Dear Leader had first mouthed it.
The lefties who pushed Obama into an office he was manifestly unqualified for did not know, nor care, about our national security. Were they in favor of actually winning the war in Afghanistan? No. Does anyone truly know what would constitute “victory” in that war? Again, no.
Our expedition to Iraq may have seemed rudderless, but there were three specific war aims: remove Saddam’s regime (done); uncover weapons of mass destruction (bad intel); establish a democratic Arab state (maybe). One might argue as to how successful that last one is, but at least the Iraqis have held elections and are, for the most part, having a free political debate. Yes, with violence at times, but Iraq today is freer than any other Arab state.
In Afghanistan, our ostensible war aims were to remove the Taliban and destroy al-Qaeda. Oh, and build a viable state where none had been before. Eight years on, and none of these have come to fruition. But, as General McChrystal hopefully reminds us, this conflict will be won if we can just win the Afghanis’ “hearts and minds.”
Uh huh. George Will is direct in his column today: Time to Get Out of Afghanistan. Will reminds us that Afghanistan is not a true nation; never has been; never will be. He does not need to mention that Britain failed at the peak of their imperial power; the Soviet Union failed. And rest assured that neither empire was squeamish about the use of torture or overwhelming force, with no regard for collateral damage.
Will’s concluding paragraph is well worth noting:
Genius, said de Gaulle, recalling Bismarck’s decision to halt German forces short of Paris in 1870, sometimes consists of knowing when to stop. Genius is not required to recognize that in Afghanistan, when means now, before more American valor, such as Allen’s, is squandered