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Ed Driscoll

Afghanistan: “A Political Strategy, Not A Serious Foreign Policy”

September 22nd, 2009 - 12:28 pm

Last year, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) had his now semi-famous Kinsley-esque gaffe regarding the 2006 midterm elections:

“I’ll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we…the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn’t say it, but we implied it. That if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody was a good student of Government would know that wasn’t true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts…and people ate it up.”

Video here:

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This year, leftwing blog Hullabaloo has a similar admission regarding one sector of the War On Man-Caused Disasters:

Escalation is a bad idea. The Democrats backed themselves into defending the idea of Afghanistan being The Good War because they felt they needed to prove their macho bonafides they called for withdrawal from Iraq. Nobody asked too many questions sat the time, including me. But none of us should forget that it was a political strategy, not a serious foreign policy.

There have been many campaign promises “adjusted” since the election. There is no reason that the administration should feel any more bound to what they said about this than all the other committments [sic] it has blithely turned aside in the interest of “pragmatism.”

Jim Geraghty responds:

The average Democrat doesn’t like fighting wars. They don’t like using military force. They don’t just dislike collateral damage and civilian casualties and flag-draped coffins; they cringe at the concept of combat with citizens of another country, even when the president has declared:

Al Qaeda and its allies — the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks — are in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the United States homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan.  And if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban — or allows al Qaeda to go unchallenged — that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.

That’s not the last president; that’s the current president, an entire six months ago.

Notice this only applies to the use of military force and violence overseas; as we’ve seen, these same folks have a very different reaction when they hear about a town-hall protester having his finger bitten off. The base of the Democratic party is fundamentally pacifist and isolationist and has extraordinary, although not complete, leverage over this White House. They want the rest of the world to go away so we can focus on creating the perfect health-care system.

Ahh, but inverse-Clausewitzian maneuvers are always acceptable from the left.

Quoting Hullabaloo’s statement that “none of us should forget that it was a political strategy, not a serious foreign policy”, Ace of Spades writes:

You claimed to support a war in which American soldiers were fighting and dying, leaving friends and limbs on the battlefield, as a cynical political strategy?

You… um… voiced support of a real serious-as-death war to cadge votes out of a duped public?

We won’t forget, champ. And we won’t let you forget, either.

Again we see a leftist projecting his pathological darkness on to others. They accused Bush of fighting wars for this very reason. And now, when it’s safe to say so (they think), they concede: We supported a war for the reason we accused Bush of doing so for 8 years.

One American general sounds like he’s getting tired of being a pawn in an increasingly politicized war. But these days, what isn’t?

Update: Howard Portnoy links to this Time magazine cover story from July 2008, titled, “Afghanistan: The Right War” and quotes prominent Democrats from that period:

Time-the_right_war“Our bill calls for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq so that we can focus more fully on the real war on terror, which is in Afghanistan.”

So said Nancy Pelosi on March 8 of 2007. Soon after, both houses of Congress passed a bill for ending the war in Iraq, arguing that it was a distraction from the “real fight.”

The opinion implicit in that resolution — that Iraq was a war of choice and, hence, the “wrong” war, while Afghanistan was a war of necessity, thus the “right” war — was echoed by the three leading Democrat candidates for the presidency at the time, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards. Howard Dean, leader of the Democrat Party, argued that “we don’t have enough troops in Afghanistan. That’s where the real war on terror is.”

Words. Just words.