The Shameful Liberal About-Face on Afghanistan
How many times have we heard over the past six and-a-half years that the Iraq war was a “war of choice” that was distracting us from the real “war of necessity” in Afghanistan? And how many times have we heard that Bush isn’t serious about actually fighting terrorism because bin Laden hasn’t yet been captured?
The answer is quite a few. After Democrats voted in respectable numbers to authorize the war in Iraq because it was politically convenient at the time, they set about the daunting task of betraying their own votes and, in the process, their country. Ostensibly, they trotted out the “Bush lied about WMDs” canard ad nauseum to cover their pusillanimity. As they are wont to do, when that didn’t work, they defaulted to their factory setting by claiming that it wasn’t that they didn’t want to fight a war; they just wanted to focus on the war we weren’t quite as focused on at the moment. That would be Afghanistan, for those of you playing along at home.
While liberals acted like the war on terror would come to a swift conclusion if only we captured bin Laden, American service members were busy cleaning up after eight years of Clinton foreign policy failures. Liberals pretended that they would be sufficiently bellicose for the just the right war–that war being Afghanistan–if only we would concentrate on it. Now that the Commander-in-Chief has ostensibly made Afghanistan his focal point in the war on terror overseas contingency operations, liberals have once again defaulted to their factory setting, this time by claiming that the real problem isn’t the Taliban and is in Pakistan–or “Pock-is-stahn”, if you will. I can’t decide which is more cowardly: claiming that you’re itching to go to war with the right opponent only to abandon your own professed convictions a scant nine months after your man is elected, or creating intellectual cover fire for your man’s dithering response to his commanders in the field as it pertains that very same war. Worse, to claim that you are now itching to fight in yet some other place where we aren’t focusing our attention is unconscionable. You can rest assured that if we did allow troops over the Pockistahn-y border in any appreciable numbers, liberals would start claiming that they wanted to pursue the real threat in India. It will someday come to the point where liberals will claim to want to invade Greenland because “that’s where the real war is”.
While we ponder committing forces to Antarctica to find bin Laden and thus end the war on terror, let me help clear some things up really quickly.
Yes, President Obama is my Commander-in-Chief. I won’t second-guess his decisions publicly. I’m prepared to do what I’m told. But what I can do, however, is call out his base for their manifest cowardice and intellectual dishonesty.
So we’re all on the same page here–you know, the page that concerns America’s best interest–al Qaida, like any military or paramilitary organization, has something of a chain of command. Yes, finding bin Laden would be helpful to us, disruptive to al Qaida operations, and would be a huge blow to terrorist morale, but there is someone ready and willing to take his place. Capturing him won’t effectively, in and of itself, end anything. Second, you don’t get to call Republicans the “party of no” when you have plenty of examples on hand of decisions that would make us stand up and say “yes”. Republican support for a decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan would be overwhelming.
Finally, it isn’t precisely kosher to hold a major press conference claiming to have effectively studied an issue to the point where you claim you are promulgating a new strategy with a new commander, only to claim a few short months later that you need to reevaluate that strategy and that commander’s recommendations as though you had never made such an announcement to begin with. If ChimpyMcBushitler had ever made such an egregious and quick reversal of his own position, it would have been proffered as manifest proof that he was a gaffe-prone, intellectually incurious dullard. Since it’s President Obama, we get treated to column after column by left-wing scribblers claiming that this is evidence of the president’s commitment to the troops, to patient deliberation, and of his grasp of the gravity of his situation.
Whatever decision the president makes, you can bet dollars to donuts that some intellectual lightweight on the left will pen swooning odes to the great gravitas of the One. Oh, and it will be Bush’s fault.