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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Is Afghanistan Obama’s Viet Nam?

I have referred before to the Left’s glory in the American defeat in Viet Nam. To hear them tell it, it was a dirty imperialist war in league with a corrupt South Vietnamese government fought by baby killing, torturing murderers that led to our righteous defeat.

Forget for a moment about the enemy that long-ago war. On our side we had a reluctant president, Lyndon Johnson, who wanted to “manage” a war to a draw – not win it - who committed troops but pulled his punches and whose party was vehemently against the war in the first place.

If you are of a certain age, Obama’s war in Afghanistan, the Left’s vehemently anti-war rhetoric, the demonization of the Afghan government and Obama’s desire to avoid making victory a goal while increasing troop levels is a grainy image of a movie we’ve seen once before. Marx argued that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Viet Nam was a tragedy. Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about sending as many as a hundred thousand brave Americans to Afghanistan in a false display of resolve.

Another blogger who ties Afghanistan to Viet Nam is Scott Johnson at Powerline.

Obama’s words and actions prove that he’s not sending troops there to win. The strategy is to buy time and demonstrate that he’s not a wimp. Nina Easton claimed that Obama was showing courage by defying the radical Leftists of his party. In Washington circles risking the loss of a few points in a popularity poll is defined as courage. No Nina, courage is taking the bullets and bombs of an enemy that’s trying to kill you. All Obama risks is four more years before an early retirement with full presidential pension, his own presidential library and the opportunity to cash in on his fame with book deals, lecture fees and seats on boards of directors. It’s a Dan Rather form of “Courage.”

UPDATE: I got an e-mail from a prominent columnist agreeing with my assessment of the "courage" Obama is exhibiting. I shared a few more thoughts in my reply to him.

Sending 30,000 more troops for 18 months is a sure recipe for failure. McCrystal asked for many more troops (as many as 60,000 I believe although the 40,000 number which is most frequently cited would give him a good chance). But sending fewer and managing the war from Washington with a date certain for the beginning of withdrawal is the most blatant and cynical political move that I have ever witnessed. All it will accomplish is the death and dismemberment of more American servicemen all for the purpose of burnishing Obama's credentials. Rush Limbaugh calls Obama "cold" and this is as cold as it gets.

Republicans who support this move will live to regret it because in the end he will say not only that Bush put him in an impossible situation ("It's all Bush's fault") but that he was forced to sacrifice these soldiers because of the drumbeat for war on the Right. The Left will take out the Viet Nam playbook and tell of the atrocities committed by the Americans and the corruption of the Afghan government. The brave or foolish Afghans who supported us will be slaughtered and a book or two will be written about the "Afghan killing fields" without a mention of how this could have been avoided.

Rush should do an hour on this and repeat from time to time because it will happen like this as sure as the sun rises in the East. It's another "I told you so."

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