Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Politicking the War

So McChrystal is out and we're screwed, but Petraeus is in, and he's the hero who brought Iraq back from the brink when guys like Obama had lost all faith. How bitter the irony for the "Betrayus" set.

This feels like a wash but then again you're not reading words being written by an expert on the matter.

But there is something every citizen has a right to ask--is Afghanistan worth pursuing anymore? If we are mainly staying just to save face and not let the terrorists 'win' is it really worth the lives lost? And if we're only staying to fulfill a political campaign promise with intentions of leaving when the first opportunity arises, win or lose, shouldn't we pick up our toys and come home ASAP?

Imagine KSM sitting in court bragging about whose ass he kicked. Could we stand it? Or would the loss of leadership in the global struggle against terrorism be so irreparable as to threaten further lives down the line, making it a never-go-there choice? After all, the commander-in-chief has said as much.

Yet under the cover of the McChrystal thing Obama could certainly have made the case, at least to some people, for pivoting out right now. Things are not looking good, Karzai is an idiot, there are people besides him to blame and the major media will cover him on it.

But if we leave and the next 9/11 comes will any politico have the stones to go back and really finish the job? To coin a phrase, make no mistake, another big attack will come if we leave without some kind of victory. And if we leave AfPak is there any reason the mujahideen won't simply flood back to Iraq waving our paper tiger flag and take down that country as well?

Not to forget Iran who, like the terrorists, would also feel they defeated the United States if we were to draw-down without a win. Their nuke days are coming and without a massive US presence in the region Israel will feel compelled to act singularly to de-nuke them; yet without our forces the likelihood of a massive counter-attack leading to regional conflagration seems more sure. Then we'd have to return anyway.

In the past few months we've learned that the leader of Jund'allah is in the hands of the Mullahs; that Mullah Omar might be in captivity in Pakistan; that Osama might even be in Iran. Strange leverage situations might be in play, among other things not ready for the brutal honesty that Obama foolishly promised America. I'm left with hoping and praying General Petraeus can do some wonderful things again, but Afghanistan is not Iraq.

MORE 6/23/10

Obama's speech in the Rose Garden was perhaps one of his better ones on national security yet. He showed resolve, said all the right things, and honored the service of a great soldier whom he had very little choice but to fire. It would have been better had Biden stayed on the opposite lawn and played with his super soaker (his fidgeting was a distraction), but all in all, a decent speech.

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