After some of us began to ask which part of the war on terrorism Democrats support, Larry Kudlow put the question directly to Rep. Barney Frank on CNBC's "Kudlow & Company." Frank said: "What part of the war on terrorism do I support? I voted for war in Afghanistan."
On "60 Minutes" last Sunday night, aspiring House speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced the war in Iraq as not "part of the war on terror." The war on terror, she said "is the war in Afghanistan."
So that's it. The one part of the war on terror -- or "so-called war on terror," as New York Times so-called columnist Bob Herbert calls it -- Democrats even pretend to support is the war in Afghanistan.
Immediately after the attacks of 9/11, Democrats had no choice but to vote in favor of that war -- of any war. (Save one member of Congress -- guess which party? Answer: Rep. Barbara Lee, Democrat, of California.)
If Bush had gone to war with Iraq immediately after 9/11 and waited to attack Afghanistan, Democrats would now be pretending to support the Iraq war while pointlessly carping about Afghanistan. Afghanistan didn't attack us on 9/11! The Taliban didn't attack us! What's our exit strategy? How do you define "victory" in Afghanistan, anyway? It's a quagmire -- aahhhhh!
The beauty of Democrats' pretending to be hawks on Afghanistan is that most people can't remember what liberals said five minutes after they said it, much less five years later.
In fact, during the brief five weeks it took American forces to take Kabul and send the Taliban scurrying, liberals were not the flag-waving patriots they would have us believe.
In October 2001, Sen. Joe Biden gave a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations saying that America's air war in Afghanistan made the United States look like "this high-tech bully that thinks from the air we can do whatever we want to do."
Four weeks before U.S. troops completely vanquished the Taliban, Kim Jong Il's pal, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, said on CNN's "Capital Gang" that the Taliban would not soon be toppled. He cited his experience with the Taliban, saying: "I think they can hold on for a while. They were very resilient."
Howard Dean joined Michael Moore in arguing that Osama bin Laden was innocent until proved guilty.
Except for a few idiots like Biden, Richardson and Dean, most politicians -- who have to run for election -- duly voted in favor of the war in Afghanistan and let their mouthpieces in the media bash it for them. (Remember: A lot of them voted for war in Iraq, too.)
Democrats who would not have to face voters -- we call them "reporters" -- were calling Afghanistan a "quagmire" approximately six minutes after we invaded.
Thomas Ricks, the Washington Post reporter who currently has a book out saying the war in Iraq is not succeeding, also said the war in Afghanistan was not succeeding.
On Oct. 27, 2001, Ricks said this about Afghanistan -- not Iraq: "Although there is little evidence -- yet -- that the U.S. approach is succeeding, officials at the Pentagon and the White House said yesterday that they are sticking with their original strategy."
Our boys had taken Kabul before Ricks' article hit the recycling bin.
The media gave us gleeful reports on friendly fire incidents in Afghanistan, incessant body counts, numbers of civilian dead and polls showing that the rest of world hated us. Christiane Amanpour reported on CNN in February 2002 that "77 percent of those (Muslims) interviewed said the U.S. war in Afghanistan was morally unjustifiable." The Muslim world hates us -- because of the war Democrats claim to support.
In an Oct. 27, 2001, column titled "How to Lose a War," New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote that the Taliban "are proving Viet Cong-like in their intractability." He stated categorically that "we're losing that battle for Afghan hearts and minds" -- proving Rich to be as competent a military analyst as any longtime New York Times theater critic could reasonably be expected to be.
Say, when is the Times going to hire generals to review the latest Broadway offerings? I think more people would like to read Tommy Franks' review of "Rent" than Frank Rich's review of a war.
Times columnist Maureen Dowd, more macho than Rich, asked: "Are we quagmiring ourselves again?" Apparently so. She cited Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem's denial that we were getting bogged down in Afghanistan as "a sure sign we're getting bogged down."
In October 2001, on ABC News' "World News Tonight," anchor Peter Jennings asked Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan: "Do you believe that the United States is possibly facing a quagmire in Afghanistan?"
The first time liberals had a kind word for the war in Afghanistan was when they needed to pretend to support some war in order to attack the war in Iraq with greater vigor. To get them to support the Iraq war, all we have to do is attack Iran.
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