A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Here's the President's mealy mouthed "apology " for cutting and running in Afghanistan: "So, you know, I think that, have we achieved everything that some might have imagined us achieving in the best of scenarios? Probably not. You know, there's a human enterprise, and you know, you fall short of the ideal,"
Well, now. I suppose it just makes everything all right for those veterans permanently injured from that war, right?
Look. The war in Afghanistan was mismanaged almost from the beginning. I say "almost" because the public intent of the invasion of Afghanistan was to destroy the Taliban and a disrupt AL-Qaeda (in Afghanistan) so they could no longer train and mount attacks on the US from Afghan soil. Personally, I was OK with that. I felt it needed to be done.
BUT. Then it became something else entirely. It became a mission in "Nation Building" at which the US absolutely sucks!
As you may have gathered, if you regularly follow this scribe's ranting, I hate the idea of nation building -- especially when it is done by the US military whose mission should ALWAYS be to kill people and break things. And when they are NOT killing people and breaking things they ought to be training to kill people and break things so as to maintain their edge, to be sharp and leaning forward, ready to bring America's hammer down on any enemy, or would be enemy, at a moment's notice.
I do not think the war in Afghanistan has been prosecuted as aggressively as it should (or could) have been. I don’t think we used anywhere near the force we could have used and I have no love for “winning the hearts and minds” of an enemy, any enemy. I fault the Commanders-in-Chief(s) for that.
When a nation goes to war, the intent should be to bring as much "hell" down on the enemy as it is possible to deliver without Satan's active participation. You level the country, destroy the infrastructure, and kill as many of the enemy, and the enemies civilian population, as it requires until he loses the wherewithal and the motivation (the will) to continue the fight. You make him understand that the cost of warring against the United States is so very costly, it should NEVER, ever, be contemplated again. This should be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Dealing death to the enemy in such a manner will preserve the lives and limbs of American soldiers and will force\ the enemy to sacrifice the lives of HIS soldiers in great numbers.
After the war is CLEARLY won and a surrender is formally signed, THEN and ONLY then should ANY form of "nation RE-building" begin -- and even then -- it should be done with NGO's (non-government organizations)
If you've never seen the old movie entitled "The Mouse That Roared" by all means treat your self and enjoy it. But do not miss the lesson in the movie for America. A capsule synopsis: A tiny little nation, finding itself broke and on the skids to oblivion, hits upon the idea of declaring war on the US so the US will invade and do what we call today "nation building" and, of course, rebuild their country AND finance their government for decades to come. It will REALLY get you thinking about the possibility of that scenario playing out today -- especially in an Asian country where the people are starving because the country hasn't enough money to build nuclear bombs and missiles and feed its people, too.
But I digress.
Had the US invaded Afghanistan and totally destroyed it (we undeniably have the military capacity to do just that) and killed as many of the Taliban -- and members of AL-Qaeda -- as we could get our hands on, and turned the entire place into a smoldering ash heap, THEN it would be time to pull the troops out and come home.
But we didn't do that. We had something called "mission creep," and "mission change," and godawful rules of engagement, etc. The instant the mission began to change was the exact moment the US lost the war in Afghanistan!
The "Islamo-terrorists" will be singing the praises of THEIR victory in Afghanistan. Their propaganda will , of course, be that THEY drove the US military from the field proving the US is "beatable." And all their crowing and posturing and firing their weapons into the air WILL BE EFFECTIVE and their ranks will swell and their outreach into other vulnerable parts of the world will expand and there will be more killing, more war, more destruction, and yes, more terrorism on a global scale.
In remarks with Afghan president Hamid Karzai at the White House Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama asked: "Did we achieve our central goal?" I would answer by saying: I don't know. Did we? It might have helped had we known what the hell our central goal was/is in Afghanistan -- and had we employed maximum effort toward achieving that goal. But we DID NOT!
Afghanistan and Iraq are NOT Vietnam. We can't just walk away from THIS enemy. This enemy with which we are engaged does not simply want to occupy Afghanistan (and Iraq) as the North Vietnamese wanted to occupy South Vietnam. The enemy with which we are engaged today wants (and intends) to OCCUPY THE ENTIRE WORLD! They already hold vast portions of it even today. They are the largest religion on the planet! A tenant of their faith says America MUST die. They will not be swayed from their goal of overrunning America and setting up that worldwide caliphate. And… do not kid yourself… the ONLY thing standing in their way is AMERICA! They will keep coming as long as even one them draws breath! They are within our borders, even now, plotting death and destruction here in America.
The Islamo-terrorists are CERTAIN of their central goal. They KNOW what they want and they KNOW what to do to attain it. They are determined to do whatever it takes to reach their goal and win absolute victory -- and enslave the world.
So. This is the new normal, huh? America can't win a war. Embarrassingly, the US military's "loss" column is now longer than the "win" column (if one goes back only to the beginning of the 20th century.) But it IS clear that you don't win wars by running away as we did in Vietnam, Iraq, and now in Afghanistan.
EVERYONE KNOWS that within weeks or months (possibly even DAYS), Afghanistan will revert right back into the hands of the Taliban and AL-Qaeda negating whatever progress we THOUGHT we had made in that area.
So what do we say to the veterans who must contend with broken bodies and broken minds for the remainder of their lives? "Thanks for your service?" That seems so damned inadequate. And it is.
It is said that war is diplomacy by "other" means. Maybe so. But it seems to me that a responsible President, our military's Commander-in-Chief, ought to know, going into a war in which he/she is sending Americans into a struggle in which their very lives are at stake, what, exactly, the central goal actually IS, be able to articulate that goal to the American people, and commit America to a war in which we intend to do everything necessary to win. When America commits to a war it should be a war in which the rules of engagement are very simple -- to do whatever it takes to win absolute victory.
One final thing: The American people ought to demand that the constitution be followed when committing America to any war. There should be a formal declaration of war by the Congress of the United States. Otherwise -- no war.
Show me a "good loser" -- and I will show you a "loser!"
I am tired of "losing." But, hey! This is that "mediocrity" under a socialist/Marxist leader we warned so vehemently about. So -- get used to it. The US is going to lose a heck of a lot more than a war before the socialists/Marxists in charge of the US government are finished with us.
Naomi R. Wolf, American author and former political consultant, said: "The great dictators learn from one another what was essentially a blueprint for closing down an open society; and then it became clear to me that this blueprint is simple. It consists of ten steps. Ten clear steps. Then what became chillingly clear to me is that these ten steps are in place in America today." SOURCE: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1294790/quotes
What are the ten steps Ms. Wolf refers to: "1. Invoke an internal and external threat 2. Secret prisons where torture takes place 3. Develop a paramilitary force 4. Surveil ordinary citizens 5. Infiltrate citizens' groups 6. Detain and release ordinary citizens 7. Target key individuals 8. Restrict the press 9. Recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason 10. Subvert the rule of law.
Chilling? You bet!
Is it time, yet, for Americans to reclaim their birthright? If not now -- when?
© J. D. Longstreet