Monday, September 28, 2009

Can't Follow Joe Pags

Joe Pags, filling in for Beck this morning, is going on a long rant about McCrystal's "new" strategy for Afghanistan.

First of all, Joe, you can't on the one hand complain that Obama's dragging his feet on sending him the troops the General thinks he needs to carry out his strategy ... you know, trust the generals, trust the people on the ground ... while at the same time trashing the General's strategy. If you don't believe in his strategy, maybe you should be dragging your feet on comitting troops to it as well.

This kind of argument -- shallow, not well-thought-out, looking for any angle to crucify political opponents on regardless of consistency is a big part of what gives war-sympathetic Conservatives a bad name. I have come to expect better of Glenn Beck ... but it apparently doesn't necessarily extend to guest hosts.

Joe argues that the object of war is to kill more of them than they kill of us.

I guess we won in Vietnam, then.

Certainly that's an object of a battle, but it is not really the goal of war. You didn't go to war to kill people ... you decided you had to kill people for some other purpose. Overthrow a dictator, kick an invader out. Stop a threat from developing. You deplete their resources until they cry uncle. And yes, the killing bit is a part of that strategy.

But McCrystal, and Bush -- and Obama -- are right when they say hey, wait a minute. The reason Al Queda had a field-day in Afghanistan was that it was a weakly governed country that was taken over by Islamic Fundamentalist Thugs, like Somalia. They provided a safe place for Al Queda to gather, train, and grow. Like mosquitoes in a swamp.

We can go kill all the mosquitoes in the swamp, but the swamp will still be there, and more mosquitoes will come breed there as soon as we're done. The goal was to drain the swamp. The swamp is not the bad guys... the swamp is why the bad guys are there. The surge in Iraq involved much more than killing the enemy, though there was plenty of that as well. And it worked -- even many progressives are admitting as much. And so it should be in Afghanistan. If there really are decent people there, and I believe there are ... they need to have their minds changed about who we are. Perhaps then they can stop defining themselves as the opposite of the monsters they think we are, and reject the monsters that offer them security in the form of brutal, oppressive, strong-man Sharia law -- and thus reject new mosquitoes that may invade their country for that purpose.

Once they see that we're really on THEIR side dispite what they've been instructed to believe ... things will go the other way.

On the other hand, if we just pull out, it means an Al Queda win, and fund-raising, support, and recruitment will soar.

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