Time to Get Out of Afghanistan

The Afghan mission is imploding, and the Obama administration is covering for Islamic jihadists.  Last week, Marine officials revealed that a Marine killed on February 1 in what the Pentagon called "combat operations" at the time was actually murdered by a jihadist in the Afghan army.  The cover-up of this latest jihad attack from a supposed ally is emblematic of a failed mission.  It is long past time to end the  mission in Afghanistan.

Hamid Karzai has said that he wants Afghan forces to take control of the nation's security in 2013, not 2014 as American officials are planning.  Karzai is a scoundrel, but he is right about this, albeit for the wrong reasons.  This mission is foredoomed.  There is no clearly defined goal, and in any case, any goal worth reaching is impossible to achieve.  There is no bringing democracy or humane values to a sharia state, and in any case, we already gave the Karzai regime a sharia constitution, so we aren't really even trying to do anything effective for women or non-Muslims or the freedom of speech or the freedom of conscience.  We're fighting against an enemy that the vice president of the United States says is not an enemy, and that our client president of Afghanistan threatens to join.  How long is this madness going to continue?

In ten years, American troops (through no fault of their own, although the same cannot be said of their superiors) have accomplished little or nothing in terms of establishing a stable and democratic government in Afghanistan.  This is true despite the loss of thousands of lives of noble and courageous American military personnel who deserved better from those in command, and the wanton waste of billions of dollars.  The Taliban is still a potent force -- so strong that both Karzai and Obama have made overtures to it.  The Taliban's claim of Islamic authenticity strongly resonates with the Afghan people and provides an ever-renewable wellspring of material, financial, and moral support for these vicious thugs as they bomb girls' schools, music stores, and other outcroppings of jahiliyya  --  the infidels' society of ignorance.

The Taliban are thoroughly repulsive and reprehensible, but Karzai's regime is little better.  Two American administrations have spoken about bringing democracy and freedom to Afghanistan, and yet neither has been able or willing to face the fact that the foremost obstacle to those goals is Islam, which respects neither.

George W. Bush oversaw the implementation of an Afghan constitution that enshrined Islamic law as the highest law of the land.  Yet Islamic law is nothing like the democratic principles that Bush had taken us into Afghanistan to defend (over here) and establish (over there).  Sharia institutionalizes the oppression of women and non-Muslims, extinguishes the freedom of speech, and denies the freedom of conscience.

Was that what we were fighting for?

Nonetheless, America continued to pour out her blood and treasure for this repressive state, with no clear objective or mission in view other than a never-defined "victory."  What would victory have looked like?  What could it possibly have looked like?  Has the Karzai regime ever allowed women to throw off their burqas and take their place in Afghan society as human beings equal in dignity to men?  Does the Karzai government, or any Afghan government that would follow it, ever intend to guarantee basic human rights to the tiny and ever-dwindling number of non-Muslims unfortunate enough to live within its borders?  Of course not. 

And no matter how long American troops stay in Afghanistan, no Afghan regime is ever going to do such things.

Two successive U.S. administrations have now pursued futile and disastrous policies in Afghanistan and elsewhere because they are wedded to the unexamined dogma that Islam is a "religion of peace" and that Muslims want Western-style free societies.  They have foolishly disregarded the nature of Islam as a political system as well as a religion, and never considered the likelihood that most Afghans would reject the idea of a secular government, free elections, and equality of rights for all people as a blasphemy against the way in which a proper Islamic society should be ordered.

With the withdrawal of the American troops, there will be many Taliban murders, many more jihads, many more women and non-Muslims victimized.  That is an abomination.  But we could have never ultimately have prevented it anyway.  America's misbegotten Afghan adventure shows the catastrophic human cost of our national unwillingness to face the unpleasant truths about Islam.  It costs us lives and money, and makes us even more vulnerable to jihad attacks than we already were.  It's time not just to bring the troops home from their foredoomed mission, but to begin a searching and encompassing re-evaluation of all our national policies regarding Islam and Islamic states.

But Barack Obama will never do that.  Instead, he continues to applaud the "Arab Spring" revolutions that are bringing more virulent, violent sharia states to the Middle East and North Africa.  One may be forgiven for wondering if he likes Afghanistan so much that he has decided to replicate it all over the Islamic world.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.

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