President Obama has a major decision to make regarding the war strategy in
After two years of debating the issue on the campaign trail and 8 months in office, it is embarrassing and inexcusable for the President to state that he has not yet settled on a strategy.
Oddly, he seems to have simply put aside his announcement in March that he had decided on a new strategy: to implement an aggressive new counter-insurgency effort under the leadership of Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
Now, with McChrystal ready to request 30,000 to 40,000 additional troops to implement this strategy, the President seems to be having second thoughts. What exactly has changed since March?
Now, I will admit upfront that, after 8 years of war with little progress, I am not convinced that a major escalation in
That said, why does the idea of pulling back make me feel so uneasy?
Many questions come to mind:
In the end, would we be drawing down because it is the smart thing to do? Or, rather, would we be drawing down because we have lost the will to fight?
What exactly will happen if we pull out? In the long run, will our national security be compromised? Will we be less safe?
And, does anyone worry about what will happen to the Afghans? What would a reemergence of the Taliban mean for them?
With respect to this last question, D.B Grady, writing for the
…But assuming American defeat, assuming the surrender of Afghan internal affairs to the Afghan people, assuming that the neoconservative ideal followed Irving Kristol to the grave, what would
look like to the average Afghan villager? In southern Afghanistan , it would mean the return of Taliban rule. While much has been written about the Taliban's horrors, the New York Times best described it by listing the following as unclean and, therefore, forbidden: "pork, pig, pig oil, anything made from human hair, satellite dishes, cinematography, any equipment that produces the joy of music, pool tables, chess, masks, alcohol, tapes, computer, VCR's, televisions, anything that propagates sex and is full of music, wine, lobster, nail polish, firecrackers, statues, sewing catalogs, pictures, Christmas cards." Afghanistan
While Code Pink proudly marches against the
Afghanistancampaign, it's hard to imagine the women of so pleased with our withdrawal. The National Organization for Women called life under the Taliban "gender apartheid," and described a third world hell where women were forbidden from attending work or school, could not leave their homes without a male relative, and even then, only when fully covered in a burqa. NOW described a world where women "were beaten for showing a bit of ankle or wearing noisy shoes. They could not speak in public or to men who were not relatives. They were beaten, even killed, for minor violations of these rules." Afghanistan
After eight battle-hardened years out of power, it's hard to imagine the Taliban has lightened up, reformed, or drawn up its very own Vatican II. It is, however, quite easy to believe they've been taking names, and are quite ready to seek retribution against collaborators with the West.
When the Taliban returns, they're going to go medieval on some people, literally.
None of this will affect American life. The shopping malls will remain open, and the postal service will continue delivering the mail. George Will is right:
doesn't matter. Not to our security or our coffers. It is a humanitarian operation and nation building at its most distilled, and the Afghanistan will never recoup the blood spilled or riches depleted. United States
But the 58% of Americans opposed to the war, opposed to a continued
presence there, should have a clear-eyed view of what that means. It means condemning thousands to death, and hundreds of thousands to worse. When the Taliban returns to U.S. and women are properly, in their view, denied any and all access to medical care and education, it should not be a surprise. It should not be a shocking revelation when homosexuals are stoned to death for the crime of existing. It's not an insidious Taliban secret to be later revealed; it is their modus operandi. The Kandahar will not have caused it, but it will have been a party to it. We will have known something terrible was about to happen, and we will have let it. That's a lesson we learned in United States , too...Source Vietnam