Monday, April 02, 2007

Turfing Out the War

Another one of those Orwellian-sounding project names has popped up recently. We've seen many of them from this White House; "No Child Left Behind" has amounted to a sustained assault on the educational system; The "Clear Skies Act", if passed, would have created such a thick layer of muck in the air that even an industrial chainsaw couldn't cut through it; And perhaps most obscene of all, the USA PATRIOT Act has recreated the Soviet Union's most egregious civil liberty abuses on American soil.

But perhaps none of them are as ironic as this one... "Afghanistan First". For there is no way that we have ever made Afghanistan our first priority at any point since this war began.

See the soldiers in this picture? Sure, they may, at first blush, look like any other soldiers carrying out combat operations in a war zone. Know what's different about these?

They're Canadians.

Now don't get me wrong--- I'm quite happy that our neighbors to the north felt so strongly about an attack on our soil that they wanted to help out.

But this is our job, and our fight.

There has never been a time since the attacks on September 11, 2001 that Afghanistan has been the first priority of this government. Our entire battle plan was based on the idea of the use of proxies to fight the war. It kept the body count low so that the American public wasn't weary of war before the White House got the fight it actually wanted in Iraq.

Where did it leave us?

The men responsible for making sure that al Qaeda didn't escape through the Tora Bora mountain range into Pakistan didn't care in the least whether or not we met any of our objectives; They wanted their country back from the Taliban, and they didn't really care whether or not we arrested the few people that put any money into the Afghan economy or not. With as little as people earned in Afghanistan (At the time of the war, the average annual income was around $80), it would have been cheaper for al Qaeda members to buy safe passage than bullets.

And as soon as we spent the perfunctory sixty days playing "Osama Whack-a-Mole", we started focusing our attention on a nation that had nothing to do with the attacks on us in any way, had no weapons of mass destruction, and had about as cozy a relationship with al Qaeda as we had.

Now, that war of choice is a drain on our resources. We've got so many boots on the ground in Iraq that we can't devote adequate resources to the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan. The lead in Afghanistan is increasingly being taken by Canadian and British troops so that we can continue to pump over half of our active duty military and our waning reserves into the Mess-O-Potamia we made.

It's time to put an end to the war in Iraq, if for no other reason than there are possible future crises on the horizon, and it might be nice if we're in a position to deal with them. And while we're at it, we'd be able to actually quit turfing out our war efforts to our allies, some of whom have problems of their own.

7 comments:

Tman said...

Freedonian,


Why do you think that "this is our fight"?

You do realize that we aren't the only western country in the crosshairs of the jihadists, right?

This is hardly our fight alone at all. London bombers, Spains train bombers, the bali nightclub attack, various Indonesian horror stories of muslim fanatics atrocities, the list goes on and on. And there are several battlefields. It's amazing how when I argue with you, you like to get preachy and condescending about your knowledge of world politics, yet you remain so incredibly ignorant about this war and even who is fighting it.

Kind of makes you whole post seem pretty ridiculous.

Freedonian said...

Condescending? Moi? Would you feel better if I pretended to be some brain dead moron? "Jihadists... Islamofascists... Bush rules!" Feel better now?

It became their fight through us. If you'll check your timelines, you'll find that their involvement in our "War On Terror", which quickly gave way to "War On Nations That Hadn't Attacked Us But Had the Same Skin Color" predated all those attacks you talked about. And Canada has been fortunate enough to not experience one at all.

I'm sure it does come across to you as condescending. Unlike you, I actually bother to learn about what the hell I'm talking about before spouting off at the mouth.

Then again... If you knew anything about foreign policy, you wouldn't be wearing the blue dress for Bushie, the guy whose Afghanistan plan failed so spectacularly that our idea of capturing al Qaeda consists of managing not to lose the guys that Pervez Musharraf hands us.

Tman said...

you'll find that their involvement in our "War On Terror", which quickly gave way to "War On Nations That Hadn't Attacked Us But Had the Same Skin Color" predated all those attacks you talked about.

Au contraire mon amis stupide! The "war on terror" is not entirely descriptive of the war in which we describe. If there was any western nation that was first to feel the wrath of Islamic terrorism, it would be the UK for their involvement post-WII in partitioning the middle east itself. But again, I am but a simple man, and stand so humbled next to the exquisite ignorance of yours.


Unlike you, I actually bother to learn about what the hell I'm talking about before spouting off at the mouth.


I think you should go back and read some more, because you are not only wrong, but ignorant as well.

If you knew anything about foreign policy, you wouldn't be wearing the blue dress for Bushie,

Such lovely debate tactics. I suppose this is what one is forced to resort to when one is completely out of their league in the argument.

Freedonian said...

Actually, if you check your history books, you'll find that those attacks happened not on British soil, but as part of an insurgency against an occupational force. Is the difference too subtle for you? If it is, then maybe this will help: Muslims were far from the only group to stage an attack against the occupying British. The Irgun, several members of which went on to become Israeli PMs, also staged attacks against the British.

Ironically, under the leadership of Menachem Begin, they even staged attacks against the British during WWII.

Don't like my pointing out that you wear the blue dress for Bush? Tough. I won't sugarcoat the tactics of a blind apologist.

This White House has been an abject failure in every way. Because of their failed strategies, al Qaeda lives to fight another day, NATO is facing a resurgent Taliban, and the minute we live Iraq, be it ten months or ten years, sheer hell breaks loose the next day.

Wake up.

Tman said...

Sooo, you proved yourself wrong. According to your own admission, Britain was the first to be attacked. What are you trying to say?

Freedonian said...

You don't know that an insurgent attack on an occupational force is more than a little different than going across the sea and attacking them at home, yet you still manage to remember how to breathe?

Tman said...

You don't know that an insurgent attack on an occupational force is more than a little different than going across the sea and attacking them at home, yet you still manage to remember how to breathe?

Amazing isn't it? Yes, sir freedonian, I am aware of the difference. I was making a point that the Islamic fundamentalists have started this fight a long time ago. You in fact agreed with me that yes, they had attacked the west. Just because that attack happened in the middle east doesn't mean it didn't happen.

You are simply either willfully ignorant or just plain stupid if you don't realize that this fight isn't only "our fight alone", in terms of the US.

Come see the point I raised on my blog today if you aren't afraid. I would love to hear your answer to Dr. Hamid.