By contrast, there aren't a lot of sticks that can be used in a wasteland like Afghanistan, where the people live in caves and scratch out a living in the dirt. The only "carrot" we might be able to offer them would be actual carrots.
But Democrats couldn't care less about military strategy -- at least any "strategy" that doesn't involve allowing soldiers to date one another. To the extent you can get liberals to focus on national security at all, you will find they are rooting against their own country.
Liberals sneered at Bush's description of Iraq as the "central front of the war on terror" and a step toward the "democratization of the Middle East" -- as Mark Danner did in the Sept. 11, 2005, New York Times -- because sneering was all they could do. By design, Iraq was the central front in the war on terrorism.
Any fanatic who hated the Great Satan, owned an overnight bag and was not already working for The New York Times was lured across the border into Iraq ... to be met by the awesome force of the U.S. military. Bush chose the battlefield that made the best flytrap for Islamic crazies and also that was most amenable to regime change.
Now nearly all denizens of the Middle East want the U.S. to invade them, so they can live in democracy, too. As Thomas Friedman inadvertently admitted, Lebanese voters credit their recent free election, in which the voters threw out Hezbollah, to President Bush. (American liberals, naturally, gave the credit to Obama, who they also believe is responsible for the sun rising every morning.)
Brave Iranian students who protested the tyrant Ahmadinejad did so because of Iraq -- and then they stopped because of Obama's indifference. Sadly for them, America's foreign policy will now be based on a calculus of political correctness, not national security.
During the campaign, Obama prattled on about Iraq being a "war of choice" and Afghanistan a "war of necessity" for no more thoughtful reason than a desire to win standing ovations from treasonous liberals.
But lo and behold, those very liberals who were champing at the bit to fight in Afghanistan are suddenly full of objections to the war there, too. As Frank Rich points out: "Afghanistan is not Iraq. It is poorer, even larger and more populous, more fragmented and less historically susceptible to foreign intervention."
Now they notice.
Afghanistan is a brutal battlefield, largely invulnerable to modern warfare -- something the British and Russians learned. But as our military under Bush showed the world in 21 days, scimitar-wielding savages are no match for the voluntary civilian troops of a free people.
Bush removed the Taliban from power, captured or killed the lunatics and, for the next seven years, about the only news we heard out of Afghanistan were occasional announcements of parliamentary elections, new schools, water and electricity plants.
The difficult choice Obama faces in Afghanistan is entirely of his own making, not his generals' and certainly not Bush's. It was Obama's meaningless blather about Afghanistan being a "war of necessity" during the campaign that has moved the central front in the war on terrorism from Iraq -- a good battleground for the U.S. -- to Afghanistan -- a lousy battlefront for the U.S.
And it was Obama's idea to treat war as if it's an ordinary drug bust, reading suspects their Miranda rights and taking care not to put civilians in harm's way.
A Democrat is president and, once again, America finds itself in an "unwinnable war." I know Democrats will never learn, but I wish the voters would.
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