Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Surge in Afghanistan

We note on this day that thousands of Marines have deployed on a special mission in Afghanistan; note the purpose and the method in the story and what it may have to do with Bush’s policy shift in Iraq and its (so far) happy outcome. In all fairness, and along with his so-called bipartisanship, it might be good and prudent for President Obama to acknowledge and give credit to Bush. It might also be good to hear from Sen. Harry Reid how it was exactly that we lost the war in Iraq. I look forward to hearing from both men.

Discussions - 8 Comments

" it might be good and prudent for President Obama to acknowledge and give credit to Bush." .

Don't hold your breath.

Indeed. You are waiting for Godot, professor. Unless you're speaking tongue-in-cheek.

Yea, the GOP generally fights by the Marquess of Queensberry rules, while getting kicked in the groin by the liberals. Saps...don't expect any credit where due.

In all fairness, why would Obama thank Bush for putting him in the position of having to send troops into Afghanistan at all? He is exasperating his political base by not bringing the troops home 1975-Cambodia-style. However, I am grateful that he is ignoring those guys and doing what is right. Don't we really hope this works?

I have a current student whose brother is in Helmand province and another whose best friend is headed there in the surge. These are two more to pray for. This one's son, that one's daughter, "Do you remember Annie?" she's there, too. My son, the Marine second lieutenant training at Quantico has volunteered for the infantry, and expects, no, he hopes, to go to Afghanistan in the fall. My corpsman son in Okinawa now does medical unit logistics, sending other corpsmen and equipment over to serve the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. He writes to me about friends going over as well as the people who come back, heroes, even when we in America do not hear about them. He also writes about friends who are not coming back.

Which is to say that some of us are watching Obama's policies with more than political interest. Peter, is your son in the surge or still on Okinawa?

Kate, do you know what units those deploying in the fall are with?

Much was at stake in Iraq both before and after the 2003 invasion. It is also a relatively advanced, urban nation. But what is at stake now in Afghanistan? The notion that we can create a peaceful, democratic state in this region is laughable. Our goal should be to prevent al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities. This does not require us to pacify the country. It simply requires us to be able to disrupt al Qaeda operations there. And we need to do this all over the globe, not just in Afghanistan.

So what Obama is trying to do there, vindicate his campaign position that Iraq was the wrong war and that the right war was being mismanaged?

Andrew, no. I don't know anything real or sure about that.

C, that's what I read, that Afghanistan is impossible. Yet, how do we achieve even that limited goal you mention in regards to Al Qaeda without dealing with the Taliban who harbors them? Just wondering.

@ C: Laughable? Isn't that a sort of nineteenth century notion -- that the Middle East is constrained in its political life due to A, B, and C?

Why is it, that so many doubt democracy? Were we or were we not serious when we held that it "has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

If the Afghans must rely on accident and force, why?

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