The defeat-and-retreat chorus that won control of Congress in last year’s midterms told America that we needed to withdraw from Iraq in order to fight “real terrorists” in Afghanistan.. They derided the Bush administration’s policy to fight terrorists in Iraq, claiming that the fighting there served as a distraction from the true war on terror being fought against the Taliban. They pledged to focus on the latter and destroy the terrorists that attacked America.
Well, that was then. This is now:
When they won control of Congress in November, Democrats pressed their case to withdraw troops from Iraq and refocus on Afghanistan, but some are growing impatient with U.S. operations in Afghanistan as well.
A few congressional Democrats go so far as suggesting that the Pentagon should pull out of Afghanistan now, while others say that troop withdrawal will be addressed after the military is out of Iraq.
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), a senior defense authorizer, wants the U.S. out of Afghanistan immediately, calling operations there “futile” in trying to effect political change in a country with a tangled history.
Unsurprisingly, John Murtha may lead this charge as well. The Hill quotes Murtha as saying that “we would have been out of Afghanistan” by now if we had not invaded Iraq. I’m not sure how Murtha figures this. Does he mean we would have invaded Pakistan had we not invaded Iraq? We had plenty of opportunity to do that between November 2001 and March 2003, but few would have supported that proposal, which would have lit the entirety of south Asia on fire.
The Taliban fled into Pakistan. The only way we would have beaten them is to cross the border and conduct war throughout Waziristan. Such an attack could very easily have led to a nuclear exchange with Pevez Musharraf. Is that what Murtha endorses now?
We could have kept a lot more troops in Afghanistan, but it wouldn’t have done much good. The NATO contingent should be larger than it is now, but it consists mostly of American forces now. The problems in Afghanistan have much more to do with tribal conflicts, and the mix is more diverse than Iraq.
The real story is that Democrats do not have the stomach to fight wars to victory. They will eventually start undermining the war in Afghanistan the way they have in Iraq, issuing defeatist analyses to prove that we’re losing, that America cannot defeat its enemies, and that we should admit defeat and retreat to Okinawa, or perhaps even further away this time. This time, the Democrats couldn’t even get past six months in power before their senior leadership started running up the white flag against the “real” terrorists.