Can a Conservative be opposed to the War in Afghanistan?
We now fight a war for which it is obvious our Commander-in-Chief has no heart. He said during his campaign last year that the real war should be in Afghanistan and not Iraq. But now it is very clear that he hasn't the intestinal fortitude to fight this war. A narcissistic president who wants to be loved and accepted by everyone just can't give himself to conflict.
When trying to justify the war in Afghanistan one must determine just how important the country is. Does the country have a great influence on its neighbors? In the region? Is the country a real threat to regional stability? Does the country have natural resources that need to be protected? Is the country strategically located geographically?
Our motivation for going into Iraq was to remove a dictator who threatened his own people and neighboring countries. Iraq is located on the Persian Gulf, a chief waterway that provides a means to transport a resource (oil) the world must have. We were justified in capturing Saddam Hussein and executing him.
Our motivation for going into Afghanistan was to punish a country that harbored the terrorists who attacked us. We overthrew the Taliban government and Al Qaeda fled the country. What is our purpose in Afghanistan now? Does Afghanistan have any strategic value? It is landlocked and has no access to any important waterway. Instability in Afghanistan does not necessarily threaten the region. Does Afghanistan have any natural resources necessary to keep the world's industries operating? No resources unless you count opium.
There is a common argument that if Afghanistan falls into the hands of the Taliban and Al Qaeda then Pakistan will be threatened and the region will become unstable. But, the Taliban and Al Qaeda ruled Afghanistan for decades and Pakistan was not destabilized.
Obama offered no real motivation for staying in Afghanistan in his speech to the West Point Cadets. The goal is to make it to June, 2011, when we will withdraw win, lose or draw. This is a wimpy way to fight a war. Should Obama not have said, "The goal is to establish a terror-free government and society in Afghanistan and we're not leaving unto we accomplish this task!" It seems Obama was telling our cadets, "I'm sending you to Afghanistan in hopes you can survive until June, 2011. Good luck!" Dumb!
Perhaps the only real reason for staying in Afghanistan is that to leave is to admit defeat. How can we maintain our credibility among our allies and in the eyes of our enemies if we leave with our tails between our legs. Failure and the loss of honor go hand in hand.
We went to Afghanistan to 'whup' the Taliban and punish al Qaeda. We accomplished that. Setting up a democratic government may be most difficult if not impossible. Afghanistan is no Iraq. The country is much larger. The mountains are rugged and endless. The literacy rate in Afghanistan is only 33%. Are these people even capable of understanding democracy or electing a democratic government?
If we withdraw now we will suffer hearing the jeers and cheers of our enemies. If we withdraw in June, 2011, we will suffer the folly of sacrificing even more lives in an effort that our Commander has no heart for. Obama should have offered 30,000 more troops only after defining a clear path to victory or he should have brought the troops home. He did the worst thing a leader can do during war, he sent troops into battle with no motivation and no hope of victory.