Most wars have a turning point that either signals the road to victory or the ditch of defeat. In Vietnam, the 1968 Tet Offensive by communist troops against South Vietnamese and American forces and their allies is regarded as the turning point in that conflict. Though communist forces suffered heavy losses, which would normally define defeat, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite and others in the U.S. media, portrayed the operation as an allied loss, thus encouraging not only the anti-war movement, but North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops who believed all they had to do was hang on until America grew tired of the war and quit.
Since the Obama administration appears to care more about not offending those Afghans who want to kill Americans and since it has announced the deadline for the withdrawal of surge-level troops in Afghanistan for later this year, despite the fact that they have stymied the efforts of Taliban insurgents to destabilize the country, maybe it's time to pull all U.S. forces out and leave our puppet, Hamid Karzai, to his fate.
The latest affront comes courtesy of the burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers on a military base near Kabul. Military officials maintain the Korans were being used by imprisoned jihadists to pass messages to other prisoners and were confiscated and destroyed. A spokesman for the NATO-led force said the troops, "...should have known to check with cultural advisers to determine how to dispose of religious material properly." For this unintended action, however, Karzai wants the soldiers to be put on trial and has asked NATO commanders to allow it. If they do, they will have disgraced their uniform.
Does writing in a Koran desecrate it? One might expect it would, but the outrage is over the burning, not the writing. More than 1,700 Americans have died in and around Afghanistan and more than 14,000 have been wounded since the United States invaded shortly after September 11, 2011. And this is the thanks we get? How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless puppet.
When do jihadists apologize for mass murder or religious persecution? Two years ago in Rasht, Iran, Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor who converted from Islam, was arrested on charges of apostasy. He has been sentenced to hang for his religious conversion. Anyone hear any apologies from "moderate" Muslims about that, much less attempts to shame the ayatollahs, or label them apostates?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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