November 12, 2009
It's Time to Surrender in AfghanistanBy Michael Filozof
It's time to surrender in Afghanistan. Yep, that's right. Surrender.
Let's sign a document of surrender, apologize for our "aggression," withdraw the troops, and let Osama and the Taliban have a ticker-tape parade in the streets of Kabul before they force women back into their burkas, outlaw education for girls, and start executing homosexuals and Christians again.
It might sound a bit odd for me to make such an outrageous proposal. After all, I'm a hawkish, pro-military conservative, and I've been a lifelong adherent of the "nuke 'em 'til they glow" school of foreign policy. But I say we should surrender because the facts are plain: we have already surrendered in deed, if not in name.
On December 7, 1941, we were attacked by a fanatical, suicidal, non-democratic, non-Western enemy who had a disciplined, motivated, state-of-the art military. The attack killed some 2,000 uniformed military personnel on what was then a territorial outpost.
Our response was to conscript 12 million people into our armed forces, detain all members of the enemy's race for the duration of the war, defeat the enemy in less than four years by using nuclear weapons against his cities, and maintain a military presence in the enemy's nation for the next 65 years after his defeat.
On September 11, 2001, we were again attacked by a fanatical, suicidal, non-democratic, non-Western enemy. The enemy had no disciplined military. He employed only improvised and primitive methods of war. The Islamist militants killed 3,000 people, mostly civilians, in New York and Washington, the economic and political capitals of our nation. We identified stone-age Afghanistan as the origin of the attacks.
Our response was to send a few thousand volunteers to Afghanistan. Eight years later, we have failed to defeat Afghan militants that are largely illiterate and have no uniforms, no tanks, no ships, no aircraft, no satellites, and no armored vehicles. They are equipped only with Communist-designed rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and improvised explosives.
Our problem is not tactical inferiority, but a lack of political will and a surfeit of political correctness. Following the 9/11 attack, President Bush declared that "Islam is a religion of peace." Try to imagine for a moment that FDR held a press conference on Dec. 8, 1941, to declare that "Japan is a nation of peace." You can't.
At this point it's not even true that Afghanistan is the still the primary locus of Islamic terrorism. Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons for years. Pakistan -- already armed with nuclear weapons, and probably harboring Osama bin Laden -- could become unglued at any moment.
Yet our political pusillanimity has only gotten worse in the eight years since 9/11. Hardly a day goes by that we don't outdo ourselves in craven groveling and self-debasement before the enemy.
One of President Obama's first acts in office was to ban the phrase "war on terror" in favor of "overseas contingency operations" in government usage. He then traveled to Cairo, declared that he had "known Islam on three continents," and falsely claimed that Muslims had "enriched the United States" since its founding and that Islam has a "proud tradition of tolerance." (Perhaps he might ask the folks at Cantor Fitzgerald and United Airlines about Islamic "enrichment" and "tolerance.") He then apologized for American involvement in a coup against Iranian socialist Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 (a brilliant masterstroke of American foreign policy that kept both the Soviets and the Islamists out of Iran for 26 years), yet stood idly by while the Iranian theocrats rigged their own election this summer. It's now evident that Obama will not prevent the Islamic Revolutionary State from getting nuclear weapons. There will be no military action -- and no sanctions, either. Iran will get the bomb.
In October, only a week after Islamist militants stormed the headquarters of the Pakistani military, Secretary of State Clinton traveled to Pakistan. The radical Yale-educated feminist donned a headscarf in submission -- and the Islamist fanatics responded to her visit by killing hundreds in suicide attacks.
We have reached a point in Afghanistan that the Soviet Union reached in the 1980s: we no longer believe our own propaganda. The Soviets claimed that they lived in a workers' paradise and they were merely bringing the great benefits of communism to Afghanistan. But they knew it was a lie.
Similarly, we say that we're going to bring freedom and democracy to Afghanistan. Maybe we could, of course -- if we wanted to. But we don't. That would require remaking Afghan society the way we remade Japanese society. And President Obama campaigned on the promise of remaking America -- not Afghanistan.
This summer, the president stated that he's "not comfortable" using the term "victory" in Afghanistan. How can he possibly ask troops to risk life and limb in that country after saying that? His subsequent three-month indecision with regard to the Army's request for 40,000 more troops further betrays the fact that we're simply not committed to victory. One can scarcely comprehend FDR openly debating, in full view of Hitler and the world, a request for reinforcements during the Battle of the Bulge.
The assassination of thirteen American troops at Ft. Hood by a Muslim officer in the U.S. Army is the last straw. Despite the overwhelming evidence, our political and military leaders refuse to acknowledge that Maj. Hasan was motivated by militant Islamist ideology. President Obama believes that Hasan just "snapped" from the stress of military life. Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano told an Arab audience that she hopes the assassinations at Ft. Hood don't lead to reprisals against Muslims in the U.S.
And Gen. George Casey -- unbelievably -- actually said that if "diversity" in the military were to suffer, it would be an even greater tragedy than the Ft. Hood murders.
If political correctness makes us unwilling or unable to defeat militant Islam from within the officer corps of the U.S. Army at Ft. Hood, Texas, then it's perfectly evident that we're not going to defeat militant Islam in Afghanistan after eight years of trying.
The enemy has not defeated us in battle. They can't. But the Ft. Hood assassinations show that we've already surrendered. There's no sense putting our troops in harm's way in the field if we won't protect them in Texas.