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Decrying the Afghanistan War

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Give the new Socialist government in Spain this much credit – they are trying to meet the U.S., Britain and its allies half-way. Although determined to pull his country’s troops out of Iraq in June, Jose Zapatero has doubled the amount of Spanish soldiers, from 125 to 250, to help keep the peace in Afghanistan.

As I read the news about Zapatero’s Afghanistan fig-leaf, I got to thinking about the run-down to the November presidential election. Anti-Bush zealots will be rolling out, among their many reasons to vote against Bush, the assertion that he threw us into two wars.

You know, if you want to dismiss the Iraq War as superfluous, unnecessary, imperialist, blood-for-oil, based-on-lies bullshit, more power to you. How anyone could not see the bright side that was the capture and arrest of Saddam Hussein and the complete smashing of the Ba’athist state, is beyond me. OK, the allegations against Saddam Hussein were based on erroneous information, but the supply and gathering of information is a human endeavor. I can delve more into this in another entry, but for now, I will allow that it’s understandable to be cynical about the Iraq war – especially if you simply go on just the gut instinct to question the Bush Administration’s motives and weed out the baser instincts of the terror-abetting, Islamo-fanatic, anti-American segments that were a significant part of the anti-war movement.

The Afghanistan war was different. We had just been attacked by a terror network with provable ties to the heads of state in Afghanistan, known as the Taliban. The Taliban repressed the people of their country and the first step in fighting a war on terror, and to express our displeasure over 9-11, was to attack that regime. It was a calculated war, motivated only by the desire to knock out a festering Islamofascist ulcer on the face of the Middle East.

It’s not just some liberals who piss and moan over the war in Afghanistan, however. Old-school conservatives such as Charley Reese, Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Chapman, Joseph Sobran and Samuel Francis see fit to include the war against the Taliban as a reason to dislike Bush. Whether the criticism is of a liberal or conservative nature is a moot point, however, as those who were doves on the Afghanistan war had their heads lodged comfortably up an orifice where the sun don’t shine.

For those who wish to complain that Bush dragged us into two wars, I ask: Did those lives that perished on 9-11 mean anything to you at all? Was that event not the excuse we needed to forcibly beat the Taliban out of power? Is there no excuse for war whatsoever? Are you doomed to be a dove no matter what the circumstances?

It’s really odd how everybody, except for perhaps some of the old-school conservatives mentioned, didn’t have anything to say about war against Serbia, opposition to which all met the same criteria as the Don’t-attack-Iraq brigade.

Those who decry the Afghanistan war are beyond hope.

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  • Doc

    Take off the GOP hairshirt buddy…even Michael Moore supported the Afghanistan campaign. Which is why many of us liberals are mad about how it’s being handled now because they had to trot into Iraq so shortly after.

    Got Osama?

    You can quit the liberal bashing on that one.

  • Shark

    Very few people, liberals included, opposed the war in Afghanistan.

    So set up another straw man while I pull up a chair and ponder your banana slug IQ.

    re: “For those who wish to complain that Bush dragged us into two wars, I ask: Did those lives that perished on 9-11 mean anything to you at all?”

    Is your IQ high enough to understand what a hideous, despicable remark that is? To use 3,000 dead as leverage to berate the dreaded liberals? As if ANY ‘LIBERAL’ values human life less than you?

    Manning, you’re either a moron or a worm with no conscience.

    And I’m pretty sure the relatives of those 3,000 dead would probably agree with my sentiments when I say:


  • There are way too many conveniently omitted historical avenues, down which United States of America funded those same Afghani mujaheddin to drive out Soviet forces (which, not surprisingly, were out to get rid of that “festering ulcer” on the borders of their empire; it was a huge drug trafficking hub in those times, too); the same United States of America funded someone named Saddam Hussein to be able to keep tabs on the Middle East oil comings and goings and issue vague threats towards Iran & company; and where to the utmost surprise of NATO (I gather) those same Albanians they were “saving” in Kosovo are now kicking the crap out of the Serbs who have the unhappy role of living there since who knows when.

    And what seems most cynical about it to me, is this kind of blessings-bestowed rhetoric, talking down to the rest of the world and the people living under the american bombs and gunfire of the US Marines, talking down from the country which didn’t have armed conflict on it’s mainland territory since the Civil War. One would think that the 9/11 disaster would have shocked the awareness of the populace in the USA into the realization, that they are working to create more and more enemies for their own country, and to actually increase the probability of such horrendous events. Alas, it didn’t happen, or if it did, it doesn’t show.

    My point is – if you want to go to war, then go. But don’t try to dress up the facts about what is actually happening.

  • Tom

    Liberals are acting two faced. They are jumping on the Dick Clark bandwagon, saying we should have been proactive before 9/11 knowing full well they would have protested any military action pre 9/11

    If we didn’t invade Iraq, and he supplied nuclear or biologial weapons to a terrorist group and Chicago became a quiet neighborhood, then they would say he should have acted.

    All I ask is for some intellectual honesty, and a star to sail her by.

  • Shark

    Yeah, Tom, and who was crying “WAG THE DOG” when Clinton sent missiles flying?

    “Liberals” don’t have an exclusive on the Janus face.

    btw: “if we didn’t invade Iraq” (for non-existent WMDs) the reconstruction of Afghanistan might not be in such a crappy, de-evolving state of chaos and anarchy.


  • Sorry, I don’t see where most liberals or moderates were against the Afghan War. There was a factual reason to go there. Osama lived there. Al Queda training camps were there. Al Quada had attacked the World Trade Center. There was a smoking gun and just cause.

    Comparing Afghanistan to Iraq is like comparing a apple with Chocolate milk.

  • I’m sick and tired of you people telling me that apples are somehow different from chocolate milk. Apples were trying to get weapons of mass destruction and they would have given them to chocolate milk. Get a clue.

    I’m done now.

  • But chocolate milk didn’t need them. Chocolate milk gives some people gas. So do green apples!

  • Joe

    But God didn’t make little green apples…

  • Liberals are acting two faced. They are jumping on the Dick Clark bandwagon, saying we should have been proactive before 9/11 knowing full well they would have protested any military action pre 9/11

    That’s another false generalization.

    Most people in America, of any or no political stripe, agree that more could have been done against terror pre-9/11 but they also think that this does not mean that Bush is to blame for it. There may be some on the extreme left who think so, but not nearly as many as those on the right who think abandoning the war on terror in Afghanistan to invade Iraq was a good idea.

    The original post was a straw man, arguing against a false premise. Most accept the US invasion of Afghanistan as part of the war on terror so what’s to argue?

  • mike

    One thing prowars might want to do is address how to pay for our great Iraqi and Afghan adventures. The cost of occupying these two countries is running at between 1 and 2 billion dollars A WEEK!!!! A WEEK!!! That’s not sustainable even with a growing economy.

    Tax increases will be necessary unless whole domestic departments like the EPA and Education and the Park Service are eliminated. They might be necessary even then.

    So, all you great patriots, let us in on the great secret: who’s paying for it?

  • Tom

    Any excuse to raise taxes to fund your socialist utopia.

    We should cut the park service, NEA, and other groups. They are worthless.

  • TalkRadioRegurgitation(tm)

  • JR

    We should cut the park service, NEA, and other groups. They are worthless.

    The Park Service is responsible for policing the federal monuments in D.C. I guess you care more about cutting taxes than about preventing a terrorist attack on the Mall. Osama thanks you for your support.

  • mike

    Ok, the park service and the NEA are still small numbers. Any body willing to take out Education and Environmental Protection? That’s what it’s going to take.

    Bush II = high taxes to pay for the bloated U.S. military.

  • Shark

    Their #1 goal has always been to bankrupt the nation; in Republian Economic Vernacular, it’s called “Starve the Beast”.

  • JR

    “They” being the Republicans or the terrorists?

  • “Starving the beast” is a Republican construct (look it up – lots of info on line) from the Reagan adminstration.

    The idea is to cut revenues so much that spending on social programs will have to be cut.

    This administration has an added twist: they are cutting revenues by reducing taxes on unearned incomes.

    The end point is that only wage-earners pay income tax, in addition to having no social services.

  • Eric Olsen

    I would have to agree that all but the far left and way-way far right were for the war in Afghanistan. The big split comes with Iraq, which is indeed more problematic than Afghanistan but I have never doubted was the right, if not, in retrospect, the immediately necessary thing to do.

    But I would also agree with Mark that those who decry Afghanistan are beyond hope. They are.

    I remember talking to a woman science writer who I much admired at the time about Afghanistan right after the bombing started and she was beside herself with indignation that we would dare do such a thing. Suddenly it occurred to me: this woman is an idiot, which in subsequent dealings is exactly what she turned out to be.

  • mike

    The ultimate goal for many of these wackos is to convert to pure consumption taxes and abolish the income tax.

    Next year, we will hear Limbaugh and others announce that the increased gas, Social Security and other such taxes that Bush will propose are not actually “taxes,” they’re only “revenue enhancers”; only income and investment taxes are taxes, therefore no one’s taxes are actually going up.

    But then Bush may have to impose a war tax to further keep the military from imploding and Limbaugh will announce that’s not a tax either; it’s just a temporary little surcharge thing.

    Just want to get those GOP talking points out there on the table.

  • mike

    “but I have never doubted was the right, if not, in retrospect, the immediately necessary thing to do.”

    So you support massive tax increases and/or savage spending cuts to pay for it? May need both, so do provide details. From now on, no one who supports the war in Iraq can do so without an explicit statement as to how to pay for it. The credit card is maxed out.

  • mike

    The answer in Afghanistan was not a “war” but a police action that bypassed the state and aimed directly at al-Quada. Would have worked; instead we are running a failed state fighting fourth generation guerillas. By the very terms of engagement, the war in Afghanistan is over. The United States has been defeated.

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes, surely the Taliban, which explicitly supported al Qaeda in thought word and deed, should have been left alone in some kind of serpentine neutron bomb police action swerving around it and surgically targeting al Qaeda, leaving the enlightened and smoothly functioning “government” in place. This would have made more sense than clearing all the hopeless pieces of shit out and starting from scratch.

  • mike

    Al-Quada was harboring the Taliban, not the other way around. Had we focused exclusively on al-Quada, the Taliban would have collapsed as a consequence, and the U.S. would not now be running a failed state against resurgent guerillas. It would be the Afghan people’s responsibility to build a new government, while we focused exclusively on busting up terror networks.

    My foreign policy is not only cheaper, it’s much more tough minded. The hell with all this do-gooder save-the-world crap. It’s worse than pacifism, and almost as harmful.

  • JR

    The Taliban declared themselves the official government of Afghanistan. We were attacked by a group of terrorists, and pursued justice against that group. The Taliban (government of Afghanistan) hindered us. Therefore we declared war on Afghanistan, and removed said uncooperative government. Seems reasonable to me.

    Personally I thought we should have wiped the Taliban out before they blew up the Buddha statues. In fact, we ought to get the United Nations to pass an international law banning the destruction of historical landmarks; they’re far more valuable humankind than homocidal religious fanatics.

  • Eric Olsen

    I agree JR, they were allowed to fester far too long and 9/11 was one of the results.

  • mike

    And to think, we went into Afghanistan and are losing the war to these still festering guerillas. I notice that all these tough-talking types have no input on how to deal with this now. There’s no enemy government to bomb, there’s not enough U.S. troops to hold the place, and our client Pakistan was just militarily routed by Taliban/al-Quada “remnants,” dealing an enormous blow to U.S. military prestige in the region.

    Guess mike was right: a more intelligent use of force would have gotten the job done right the first time.

    Oh well.

  • “OK, the allegations against Saddam Hussein were based on erroneous information, but the supply and gathering of information is a human endeavor.”

    Is that spelled Buttle or Tuttle?

    “I assure you, Mrs. Buttle, the Ministry is very scrupulous about following up and eradicating any error. If you have any complaints which you’d like to make, I’d be more than happy to send you the appropriate forms.” – Sam Lowry

  • Eric Olsen

    Again mike, I guess we live in parallel universes because I sure don’t see any “loss” in Afghanistan, which by the end of spring will be much more secure: The first of 2,000 U.S. Marines have arrived in Afghanistan to intensify the hunt for al-Qaida and Taliban insurgents, the American military said Wednesday.
    ….The extra Marines, deploying from ships in the Persian Gulf, will expand the U.S.-led force in Afghanistan to about 15,500, its biggest yet.
    Many of the troops are strung across the lawless provinces near the Pakistani border as part of what U.S. commanders call a “hammer-and-anvil” strategy, drawn up with Pakistani forces on the other side.
    The Marines are to adopt new U.S. tactics of sending forces from one unit to the same villages again and again in the hope of gaining better intelligence.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about re a “rout” in Pakistan: A 12-day siege of some 500 Al-Qaeda fighters by 7,500 troops in tribal lands near the northeastern town of Wana last week left 63 militants dead and 166 local and foreign terrorists were arrested. At least 46 government troops were killed and 26 wounded.

  • mike
  • mike

    And the idea that sending 2,000 Marines into a country the size of Afghanistan is going to make it much more secure: That’s very…..interesting. Like sending a squad car to secure an entire slum.

  • Thank you for the back-up on the matter of whether or not the Afghanistan war was right, Eric. Mike has his head stuck firmly in the clouds of conspiracy theories. I suggest not wasting another breath on the topic with him. (I’m not insulting you, Mike, just severely questioning your sources and your thought process. Pessimism won’t help us win the War on Terror.) It sure seems as if there are those who, at least subconsciously, wish we’d lose badly at the W.o.T. … and to what end? Isolationism? Even if we did, I think it’s evident that the terrorists wouldn’t leave us be. Their war against us has started, and although WE might like the war to stop, we don’t have any choice. I think peace is a great concept; it’s also an ideological concept – I wish it were anything but, but it isn’t.

  • Shark

    MEM: It sure seems as if there are those who, at least subconsciously, wish we’d lose badly at the W.o.T. … and to what end? Isolationism?

    Manning, it wasn’t enough to trot out 3000 dead bodies in order to demonize the dreaded ‘liberals’ — who don’t value life like somebody who votes differently?

    And now they’re ‘subconsciously’ hoping we lose the ‘war on terror’?

    Man, you are one despicable motherfucking worm.

    Oh, and FUCK YOU.

  • Eric Olsen

    Shark, I am not sure why you are taking this personally: there really are people who think like that, who think we “deserved” it, who would like to see us “lose” in order to “humble” us. And I’m talking about Americans and Europeans who think this way. I know you aren’t one of them, and I don’t believe mike is either despite his peculiarities (smile), so I am not sure why you would take something addresses to real people who DO think that way personally.

  • Shark

    It’s just another technique of the Right. Equate the word “liberal” with FILL IN THE BLANK.

    I’m tired of sitting back and taking the ‘unpatriotic’ shit, whether it’s implicit or explicit. I’m tired of these motherfuckers trying to claim the 3000 dead in NY as their own territory to exploit as they see fit.

    Look, this entire FARCE of an entry began as a Straw Man that expressed criticism at an imaginary horde of ‘liberals’ — when in reality, it’s maybe a hanful of extreme nut-bars who didn’t support the Afghan invasion.

    And now you’re telling me that Manning’s critique is legitimate because there “really are people who think like that”.



    So bingo, another implicit smear tactic used to link the word ‘liberal’ with the notion of ‘wanting to lose’ the war on terrorism.

    It’s despicable. It’s the lowest of lows, and it shows what an evil pig Manning is that he’d stoop to use it. It’s not even worth considering, let alone debating.

    This ENTRY isn’t a debate about Afghanistan; it’s some mindless Right Wing Propaganda meant to further the MAIN AGENDA, which means to impart a Pavlovian response in Americans when they hear the word liberal;

    ummmm…. don’t value dead on 9/11…

    ummmm… want us to lose war on terrorism…

    appeasers…. donuts… donuts…

    etc etc etc.

    These people are incredibly desperate, and will stop at nothing short of a cultural ‘civil’ war.

    I’m just fighting back. (’cause I ain’t no traitor; I’m a true patriot. And these colors don’t run!)


  • Eric Olsen

    Shark, There is nothing in the post that says it addressed to “us” – it is addressed to the very real people, some of whom he names, who DO feel this way. He addresses “some liberals” and “old-school conservatives,” who I again insist, really do exist and who really do feel this way. You are responding very angrily to something that is not addressed to you at all. I think Mark might have more accurately used a term stronger than “some liberals” – like “some deranged leftists” – but again, if the shoe doesn’t fit, why curse the cobbler?

  • Shark

    He [Mark Manning] mentions Mike in one breath and this in the next:

    It sure seems as if there are those who, at least subconsciously, wish we’d lose badly at the W.o.T.


    BTW: other than McDemon’s outrageous slanders against me, I don’t ever take anything on BC ‘personally’.

    : )

  • mike

    “Mike has his head stuck firmly in the clouds of conspiracy theories. I suggest not wasting another breath on the topic with him. (I’m not insulting you, Mike, just severely questioning your sources.”

    Where do I indulge in conspiracy theories. I yield to no one in my hatred of conspiracy thinking, especially among the “left.” And my sources cited above are impeccable; Asia Times is the most respected English language paper in Hong Kong and much of Asia; William Lind is an advisor to the Marine Corps on how to fight so-called fourth generation, or stateless, terrorism.

    Facts, please.

  • Again, Eric, thanks for interpreting my arguments like a truly intelligent person.

    As for you, Shark – you really are showing just how intelligent you are. Gosh, I feel so chagrined for ever accusing bleeding-heart lefties like yourself for being so immature.


    Who taught you how to argue so effectively? Your public school teachers? Your beloved Daily Kos or Salon.com columnists?

    Ho-hum. Give it up, Shark. If you’re so offended by what I write, don’t read it. Is it worth the heart attack you’re earning yourself? Honestly!

    Just don’t think you offend or scare me in any way, because you don’t. I will say what I please here, given my right to free speech (which I know nutty lefties such as yourself are just itching to deny me and other true Americans), and I don’t care one damn bit what you have to say about it. The more stridently you shout, “FUCK YOU!” and call me a moron, the harder I laugh.

    I DON’T GIVE A DAMN WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY! If you think you’ll force me off Blogcritics.org, you’re cruising for disappointment.

    Now be a good little girl and go write Jean-Bertrand Aristide a nice letter of sympathy explaining how much you admire his attempts to curb democracy in Haiti? I’m sure he’d love a penpal and you’re just the type to provide him comfort.

  • Shark

    Manning, you haven’t produced any arguments.

    You’ve trotted out a few straw men, a few absurd generalities, and a few incredibly obnoxious, insulting implications.

    Believe me, if you ever have the balls or the brains to lay out an ‘argument’, I’ll be more than happy to have a nice rational unemotional debate.

    But until that time comes,

    well, you know the routine….


  • mike

    Many people have pointed out that beneath prowars’ belligerency lies a whiny self-pity. Manning’s deranged comment #39 illustrates the point.

  • Winning the war on terrorism or losing the war on terrorism–these are both abstractions. “War on terrorism” is an abstraction.

    What would losing the war on terrorism look like? Would my mom be forced to wear a burka? Would we all be dead? Would MTV become Muslim TV?

    What would winning the war look like? Would Osama bin Laden be hanging from a tree? Would Islam be completely destroyed? Would we conquer the world and claim its resources? Would every world citizen be forced to contemplate Paris Hilton’s belly button?

    Realistically, you won’t see “it” either way. You will only hear a politician boasting about how he or she is winning the war on terrorism, or you will hear another politician say how the other politician is losing the war on terrorism. And it will never end–just like the war on drugs. It may fade into the background or take on another name, but it will never be won or lost.

    Afghanistan? Is it a victory in the war on terrorism? I have no clue. It seems that many who commented on this post assume that it is a victory. But how do you know?

  • Winning the war on terrorism or losing the war on terrorism–these are both abstractions. “War on terrorism” is an abstraction.

    We can tell if there is headway being made against terrorism and the evidence indicates that things are getting worse, not better.

    Afghanistan is a good place to look. It is about to have even larger crops of opium and hashish than last year. Last year’s $2.3 billion fed the farmers and funded the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

    I wonder what they’ll do with even more money this year?