Emmett Tyrrell

What is our president to do with this unwelcome ball? May I suggest a variant of the Tyrrell Doctrine? First formulated in my authoritative "After the Hangover, The Conservatives' Road to Recovery," the Tyrrell Doctrine took issue with the well-intentioned but in the end hopelessly quixotic idea of "Nation Building." The United States government has not a clue as to how we might transform, say, Iraq into a democracy, much less Afghanistan, which is very content as things stand now with its trusty loya jirga, its tribes and its warlords. Arguably, even I would be satisfied with these instruments of government if I lived there.

According to my Doctrine, when the United States Armed Forces are dispatched to a lawless country where obstreperous terrorists are endeavoring to do us mischief, it shall be sufficient to kill the malefactors, wreak a little chastening havoc and depart. Romans built well-paved roads and aqueducts, but they also wanted an empire. Americans only want peace and quiet and an opportunity to do business back in Peoria. We need no empire.

The way to adopt the Tyrrell Doctrine to President Karzai's demands is to bid him a dignified adieu, but with a caveat. If in the future members of his citizenry sally forth to threaten the hair of an American or an American ally, then they can expect our Air Force overhead and very shortly thereafter the sky to rain down on them the utmost violence. We shall dispatch terrorists in his midst whether he likes it or not. Then we depart. There will be no rebuilding. We have tried that sort of thing, and he in his rudeness proved it useless.

Get on with your election next spring, Karzai. You are welcome to your presidency for however long you can keep it.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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