Mark Steyn documents “That Seventies Show, Afghan Edition:”
A few weeks back, I wrote:
At this point, Americans sigh wearily and shrug, “Afghanistan, the graveyard of empire,” or sneer, “If they want to live in a seventh-century s***hole, f*** ‘em.” But neither assertion is true. Do five minutes’ googling, and you’ll find images from the Sixties and early Seventies of women in skirts above the knee listening to the latest Beatles releases in Kabul record stores.
Dangerous Minds has now assembled a collection of these photographs – not just Kabul coeds and teenyboppers but scientific researchers, too – from the Seventies, Sixties and Fifties, and they’re well worth taking a look at, if only to understand the totality of our failure there.
“America and its allies have the best tanks, planes, and guns …but no will and no strategy,” Mark writes at the conclusion of his post. “And so the tanks, planes and guns count for naught. Our enemies have nothing but will. The consequences of this distinction extend well beyond Afghanistan.”
And speaking of America with no will, here’s a double-barreled reminder of how true that is. At the Washington Post, in an article titled, “How in Good Conscience?”, Charles Krauthammer looks at the horrific implications of Robert Gates’ new memoirs:
By early 2011, writes former defense secretary Robert Gates, he had concluded that President Obama “doesn’t believe in his own [Afghanistan] strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his.”
Not his? America is at war and he’s America’s commander in chief. For the soldier being shot at in the field, it makes no difference under whose administration the fighting began. In fact, three out of four Americans killed in Afghanistan have died under Barack Obama’s command. That’s ownership enough.
“If he wasn’t committed to the mission, if he didn’t care about winning, why did Obama throw these soldiers into battle in the first place,” Krauthammer asks.
And as Andrew McCarthy writes today in his PJM column:
Let’s start by observing that it would have been inconceivable during, say, World War II, for the U.S. government to permit imprisoned German or Japanese enemy combatants (of which there were thousands) to enable publication of ideological propaganda from American detention facilities. It would have been nearly as inconceivable for American lawyers to argue that alien enemy combatants had a “right” to communicate with the outside world this way, or for American news outlets to publish enemy propaganda under the guise of “news” reporting. The two latter institutions have changed for the worse, and the government (very much including the courts) is bending to accommodate, rather than resisting, the Lawyer Left and the media.
The result is that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed gets to write manifestos to the Muslim world, published in the Huffington Post and the UK Guardian.
What could wrong?