Jan 17 2009

Non-peace with dishonor

Category: Afghanistan,Islam,left,national security,Obamaharmonicminer @ 10:18 am

At Daily Kos, pressure on Obama’s left flank to declare defeat in Afghanistan and run. You have to read the whole thing to get a flavor of just how wrong headed they are.

An ad hoc group of bloggers has come together for the purpose of opposing a U.S.-led escalation in Afghanistan that is slated to double the number of American troops there.

Sure. Let’s let the Taliban take over Afghanistan again. Let’s go back to the situation that created the 9/11 attack, and supported its training and operational phases. After all, surely they’ve learned not to mess with the USA, don’t you think?

I wish we could send the entire Daily Kos crowd on a little vacation to Waziristan. Maybe a nice bus ride in the mountains, a chance to make new friends, show them that all Americans aren’t war-mongering degenerates, you know? We could equip them with satellite phones and live video feeds, just in case they need to call us or something.

On second thought, I’m hoping this is Obama’s left flank…. if he has one.

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Dec 24 2008

More than a bandaid

Category: Afghanistan,Islam,military,terrorismharmonicminer @ 10:21 am

In an article showing pictures of a medical clinic in Afghanistan, and signs with operating hours and lists of services provided by US military medical personnel, Michael Yon makes a very important point, rebutting charges of cynicism in putting up such signs with English translation, and offering lots of great observations about the overall situation. A key graph:

At a moment when much of the Islamic world is suspicious of the U.S., publicizing the positive changes that Western nations have provided is essential. The enemy advertises cutting off heads, or attacking innocent civilians in India, or blowing up a train in Spain. They smile when blowing up tourists in Bali, and dance as buildings fall. We smile when babies recover and the children of illiterate shepherds and subsistence farmers learn to read. You have to be willfully blind not to know the difference between the good guys and the bad guys in this place.

What would you guess is the literacy rate in Afghanistan? Click the link above, read the article, and try to reconnect your jaw to the rest of your face.  Understand that we are in this for the long haul, and if Obama will fight that war, and invest in that society, you’d better support that aspect his policy, whether or not you voted for him.

And whenever you get a chance, put a stake through the heart of moral equivalence argumentation.  Most of the time, we ARE the good guys in the world (which is what makes our occasional failures so remarkable, and so attention getting), and if we give that ambition up, we die, first by abdication, and later, by national assassination, which will be all we deserve.

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Nov 16 2008

The Iraq War is won: now, Obama and the Afghanistan war

Category: Afghanistanharmonicminer @ 9:50 am

Here is how it works: for the first two years of a presidency that inherits a war, you can keep calling it the war begun by your predecessor. After that, win, lose or draw, you own it. Nixon found this out when he took the Vietnam War from Johnson. Obama is going to have to disappoint many of his peace-nik supporters and put more force into the war, and fight it even more vigorously, or he is going to have to just pull out and blame the loss on Bush. What he can’t do is just sit there in the status quo.

If the Afghan war isn’t won, or clearly about to be, in the next two years, and he isn’t deep into pulling out, the “quagmire” will be his, and only die-hard supporters will buy that it’s still Bush’s war.  On the other hand, if he’s pulling out by then, even with a loss, he can probably salvage the good opinion of many of his supporters, those who don’t think much about the future of terrorist attacks on the USA, and are happy to lose any old way, as proof of American inferiority, which excites them.

NATO’s impatience with the Afghan war, and the failure of non-English speaking NATO members to really fight in it (as opposed to just providing logistical support, etc.), is probably not going to be curable by Obamian rhetorical style, regardless of cheering throngs on his grand tour of Europe.  Obama will discover the exact limits of being “well regarded by the world”, which does not produce much actual action, but merely a lessening in bilious criticism.

Does Obama have the stomach to WIN the war?  I don’t know.  I hope so.  Anything else is bound to kill LOTS more Americans, sooner or later.

Continue reading “The Iraq War is won: now, Obama and the Afghanistan war”


Jul 28 2008

Respect to our soldiers

Category: Afghanistan,election 2008,McCain,middle east,military,politics,terrorismharmonicminer @ 9:20 am

Soldiers recount deadly attack on Afghanistan outpost | Stars and Stripes

Walker and two other wounded soldiers distributed their ammo and grenades and passed messages.

The whole FOB was covered in dust and smoke, looking like something out of an old Western movie.

“I’ve never seen the enemy do anything like that,” said Walker, who was medically evacuated off the FOB in one of the first helicopters to arrive. “It’s usually three RPGs, some sporadic fire and then they’re gone … I don’t where they got all those RPGs. That was crazy.”

Two hours after the first shots were fired, Stafford made his way, with help, to the medevac helicopter that arrived.

“It was some of the bravest stuff I’ve ever seen in my life, and I will never see it again because those guys,” Stafford said, then paused. “Normal humans wouldn’t do that. You’re not supposed to do that, getting up and firing back when everything around you is popping and whizzing and trees, branches coming down and sandbags exploding and RPGs coming in over your head … It was a fistfight then, and those guys held ‘ em off.”

Stafford offered a guess as to why his fellow soldiers fought so hard.

“Just hardcoreness I guess,” he said. “Just guys kicking ass, basically. Just making sure that we look scary enough that you don’t want to come in and try to get us.”

You need to click the link at the top, and read this whole thing. And you need to show respect to our fighting men. These men are not victims, they are heroes who choose to serve us, and they deserve the best we can give them, including the leadership we elect for them.

hat tip: blackfive

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