Republicans against war? I didn't know it was possible. But it's a trend. It also sounds pretty fishy to me. How in the world could George Will be perfectly fine with what we did in Iraq--perhaps the biggest blunder we've ever made--but be against the war in Afghanistan? George Will, a conservative columnist who appears weekly on This Week, concludes:
U.S. forces are being increased by 21,000, to 68,000, bringing the coalition total to 110,000. About 9,000 are from Britain, where support for the war is waning. Counterinsurgency theory concerning the time and the ratio of forces required to protect the population indicates that, nationwide, Afghanistan would need hundreds of thousands of coalition troops, perhaps for a decade or more. That is inconceivable.Tony Blankley, who regularly appears as the right on Left, Right and Center on NPR, is also against the war:
So, instead, forces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent Special Forces units, concentrating on the porous 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters.
Genius, said de Gaulle, recalling Bismarck's decision to halt German forces short of Paris in 1870, sometimes consists of knowing when to stop. Genius is not required to recognize that in Afghanistan, when means now, before more American valor, such as Allen's, is squandered.
Today President Barack Obama is on the cusp of a fateful policy decision. He has argued consistently that the war in Afghanistan is necessary to deny al-Qaida a base of terrorist operations and to stop the Taliban insurrection from destabilizing nuclear Pakistan. But serious doubts are being raised by many policy experts and an emerging majority of the American and British publics as to whether we have a strategy and the material to succeed. Even the optimists believe that a successful counterinsurgency in Afghanistan (and needed as much in Pakistan) will require several years of sustained commitment, with substantially more men and materiel and a shrewder strategy (probably requiring modern nation building of a traditional tribal society). Rasmussen ReportsFrankly, I wish we would get out. I don't think any war is "winnable." (A new poll says 57% are opposed to the war) But when conservatives come out against war, something strange is going on. Something really strange. The media needs to explore this. It seems that both of these conservative writers don't like the new commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, much. McChrystal seems to be fueling the conservatives opposition to the war. Neither writer, however, comes right out and says that. Neither makes a good argument either. Both columns are weak on argument. I suggest you read them and see for yourself. George Will even starts with a bleeding lead:
"Yesterday," reads the e-mail from Allen, a Marine in Afghanistan, "I gave blood because a Marine, while out on patrol, stepped on a [mine's] pressure plate and lost both legs." Then "another Marine with a bullet wound to the head was brought in. Both Marines died this morning."Since when do conservatives care that soldiers die? There is something up. This is very, very odd. Blankley starts out with Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam????:
"I'm sorry about the drama," writes Allen, an enthusiastic infantryman willing to die "so that each of you may grow old." He says: "I put everything in God's hands." And: "Semper Fi!"
Allen and others of America's finest are also in Washington's hands. This city should keep faith with them by rapidly reversing the trajectory of America's involvement in Afghanistan, where, says the Dutch commander of coalition forces in a southern province, walking through the region is "like walking through the Old Testament." WaPo
On May 27, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson had telephone conversations about Vietnam with McGeorge Bundy, his national security adviser, and Sen. Richard Russell, chairman of the Armed Services Committee. First, to Bundy, he said: "It just worries the hell out of me. I don't see what we can ever hope to get out of there. ... I don't think that we can fight them 10,000 miles away from home and ever get anywhere. ... I don't think it's worth fighting for, and I don't think we can get out. It's just the biggest damn mess I ever saw. ... What the hell is Vietnam worth to me? ... What is it worth to this country?"