I want to set this down today, before Pres Obama’s announcement of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.
As you know, since Unified Patriots has been online we have memorialized every fallen soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq in our By an Angel’s Kiss column. I think we are the only national site to do this this way.
So you know, we feel a great kinship with the men and women who have served there, some never to come home again. And we honor why they went in the first place, which was for a lot more than just doing a job
Because of them, today, one nation is free of tyranny, and has the makings of becoming a democracy, while the other, a much tougher nut to crack on the political freedom front, had been a launching pad for the 9-11 attacks ten years ago…
…and has remained a pocket, wishing to become a full three-piece suit again, of international terrorism, with easy access to possible nuclear weapons from a neighboring country that has always had strong pro-terror and jihadist elements inside its government, witness the safe-haven provided Osama bin Laden.
Last year I wrote about the potential in this Obama regime to turn a justifiable, high-grade military mission into a low-grade political one. I said then that the resulting deaths of our soldiers by shifting that mission would be death-by-cynicism…which is a form of murder.
Militarily we have turned the corner in Afghanistan. I’m not an expert military analyst, but I can follow events. The Taliban is avoiding US military confrontations and targeting NATO troops. Total casualties this month (June) for both US troops and coalition forces are down over half from June 2010, with only a week left in the month. Deaths by IED (Improvised Explosive Device, i.e., roadside bomb), the Taliban’s favorite weapon, are also on pace to be at least 50% below last year, and even below 2009. Taliban is becoming a less and less viable fighting force. That’s a fact.
(My source is iCasualties.org, who give daily reports of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t ask AP for war news, especially good war news.)
In April, the Taliban announced a major spring offensive, but only they last week announced they were planning to hunker down until US troops departed. This hunker down probably been forced on them, for we have been quite literally beating them to death. But the US State Department wants Karzai (who I don’t like one bit) to make nice with Taliban and hammer out a settlement. Maybe a beer summit will work.Â Even the Karzai government has expressed concern about the US pushing too hard, too fast, for a rapproachment with the Taliban. (You won’t find this news at AP either.)
Beltway talking heads have been discussing Obama’s drawdown announcement tonight for days, speculating that we could pull out as few as 10,000 troops and not impair the military mission or its current success path. And that is what he will likely do, in light of military success on the ground. Then suddenly, the UK Guardian, a leftie rag, says there is a deep split between Obama and the Defense Department, (which will be run by Leon Panetta, the Clinton OMB bean counter, very soon.)
The Guardian says Obama wants the entire 30,000 man surge out of there by next year, and will announce that tonight.
We’ll see, but they sayÂ our NATO allies are alarmed that the US might bug out, leaving them in the lurch. If we go, so will they. And everyone knows how ready the Afghan military forces are to defend Afghanistan alone.
We saw thisÂ once before, when the Russians bugged out, Afghanistan divided by three armies, which the Taliban slowly rolled over. The money that was there for them then will still be there next time.
In 1968 the United States military won of the greatest battles in America history, by repelling a nationwide assault in the Republic of Vietnam. It was called the Tet Offensive.
However, the American media, declared this great victory to be aÂ defeat, based on the simple fact that the quick end the White House had promised to the war had been snuffed out. That war, like our economy, was run out of Harvard…and it would be prolonged, just as Harvard has managed to prolong our recession. Indeed, the American president…you guessed it, a Democrat…surrendered, turning that war over to a Republican to extricate our troops under the most hostile of conditions both on the ground and at home. Result: Vietnam fell, as did the rest of the region, and over a million ordinary civilians died.
With that in mind, my analysis is this:
1) We are winning militarily. We should finish that job, and that job only, for there is a direct link to that war, in that place, and national security at home.
2) We should dismiss the political side of this effort altogether and treat Karzai as a corrupt capo, and make sure he doesn’t get in the way.
3) We should spend more effort telling the American people we are winning, and remind them of these stakes:
We either fight the Taliban in Afghanistan and kill them there, or we fight the people they train in New York, where they will be armed with God-knows-what to kill us…again.
4) If we pull out too soon, the chances we will have to go back increase exponentially, so there goes all the cost savings Panetta is charged with recouping.
If these things happen, all the men who have died not just in Afghanistan, but Iraq as well, may well have died in vain…
…just so one tiny man can get re-elected in 2012.
That, my friends, is the definition of “death by cynicism”. Moral men call it murder.