Monday, September 14, 2009

Have we got a deal for you!

Each day it seems that we get more bad news, more ominous rumblings from Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is clearly alive and well, and would like nothing more than for the U.S. and NATO to move out of Afghanistan so he and his terrorist organization could move back in. While Osama is alive, he must be pretty hampered operationally by hiding in the mountains. Exhibit A for that is that we have not been attacked on American soil since 9/11. That stability and safety is in danger now. Liberals love to say that we are less safe after 8 years of Bush but the truth is that the American people have been spared a terror attacks for eight years now, and keeping Americans safe is one of the primary responsibilities of the President of the United States. That security is under assault now because of one war where the will of the American people is wavering: Afghanistan.

Remember when Democrats complained that because of the Iraq War, Bush had “taken his eye off the ball” in Afghanistan?

Who has their eye on the ball in Afghanistan today?

Where are those Democrats now? Oh that’s right, now they are not worried about taking our eyes off the ball, now they want to take our ball and go home. Having failed in Iraq to revisit the policy of cut and run that led to our retreat from Vietnam, they now seek to assuage their taste for nostalgia in Afghanistan. There is nothing so satisfying, nothing so sweet to the Western Left as a perceived humiliation for America. This is especially true in America itself where liberal self-loathing finds a wide audience in the very country that makes it easy for them to espouse their suicidal geopolitical worldview.

Abandoning Afghanistan is not as easy or without cost as many talking heads would have us believe. The resulting instability in that region cannot do anything but cause harm to us and to our allies. I would rather see a constant state of unrest in Afghanistan than see an abandoned struggle lead to a victorious Osama bin Laden triumphantly returning to Kabul and setting up an invigorated terror base. Can you imagine him crowing about having driven the American infidel invaders from Afghanistan? How much would that increase their recruiting? A man on the run in the mountains of Afghanistan/Pakistan is an impotent symbol. A man who can rightly claim to have driven the sole remaining superpower from Afghanistan, a man who can claim to have defeated not one but two of the mightiest militaries in the modern world becomes a leader in fact, not just in theory. With a permanent base of operations and an emboldened Al-Qaeda, how long would it be before Pakistan and her arsenal of nuclear weapons fell to radical Islam? You think Islamic terrorism is scary now, imagine what it would be like with the Pakistani economy and armed forces behind it. You think terror is bad now, imagine a war between India and Pakistan that goes nuclear or the Pakistan puppet government run by Al-Qaeda providing nuclear weapons to jihadists around the world.

Meanwhile, President Obama is…selling insurance. I love the image of President Obama with a cheap suit going door to door trying to sell insurance to skeptical housewives. I don’t love the idea of the war in Afghanistan going by the wayside as he tilts the socialized medicine windmill in a Quixotic struggle to force a plan on Americans that they don’t want.

All joking aside, this preoccupation with a failed and unwanted policy is dangerous for America and the world. We are long overdue a surge in Afghanistan. It worked in Iraq and it can work in Afghanistan. In a great editorial today, Senators McCain, Lieberman and Graham make this statement:

More troops will not guarantee success in Afghanistan, but a failure to send them is a guarantee of failure.

That is about the truest thing you will ever hear out of the mouths of politicians. If President Obama gives in to the Woodstock nostalgia crowd in Washington and pulls out of Afghanistan now, the results will be far worse than our retreat from Vietnam. In Vietnam we saw one country fall into communism and the people of that nation have suffered since. The results of a retreat in Afghanistan very possible will result in smoldering American cities. This is one of those times that the President needs to be a leader, to abandon his ill-fated attempt to seize the health care system and grab hold of Afghanistan with both hands before it slips through our fingers and into the waiting arms of Osama bin laden.

Afghanistan and socialized medicine are the two pivot points of the Obama presidency. If he mishandles them, he will be a one term President and little more than a historical curiosity as the first black President. If he does the right thing, i.e. abandoning the unpopular socialized medicine plan and focusing on winning in Afghanistan, he can be more than just a historical footnote and be a leader in every sense of the word.
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