Monday, March 12, 2012

Afghanistan: Apocalypse Now

The anti-war left will have a hey day with the latest unauthorized killings that happened in Kandahar, and rightly so.  We send them over there to kill people, but only in government-approved ways.

It's a fraught issue ripe for a deep and reasoned philosophical debate. Unfortunately, we no longer know how to have those, so instead, the left's taliban-West outrage squad will squeeze every emotional drop out of it as the armchair generals beat the war drums louder, further inflaming our emotions and clouding our intellect.

I uncategorically agree with Mark Steyn's latest column, America's Longest War will Leave no Trace.
The Rumsfeld strategy that toppled the Taliban over a decade ago was brilliant and innovative: special forces on horseback using GPS to call in unmanned drones. They will analyze it in staff colleges around the world for decades. But what we ought to be analyzing instead is the sad, aimless, bloated, arthritic, transnationalized folly of what followed.

It seems certain that, waging World War II today, the RAF would not carpet-bomb Dresden, and the U.S. would not nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And, lacking the will to inflict massive, total defeat, would we also lack the will to inflict that top-to-toe "cleaning process"?
To modify Bismarck, the Hindu Kush is not worth the bones of a single Pennsylvanian grenadier, or "training officer."
My fellow conservative Americans who may still be in the thrall of those talking heads who insist we must stay in Afghanistan:  Go read Lt Col Dan Davis' report of his experiences in Afghanistan, Truth, Lies and Afghanistan.

They haven't changed for thousands of years.  We sure as hell won't change them.


Always On Watch said...

They haven't changed for thousands of years. We sure as hell won't change them.


All our blood and treasure -- and for what?

Constitutional Insurgent said...

It's been past time to leave for years now.

Fredd said...

Good ol' Rummy: 'you go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had.'

And then we got back to the stupidity of 'surgical strikes.'

That one single concept is eventually going to spell our doom.

Infidel de Manahatta said...

Why are we in that shithole of a backwater? we should have nuked the taliban and left the country to rot.

Anonymous said...

Instead of becoming embroiled in the affairs of the world, we should simply boost our border security, specifically in any American airports that have the Middle East as customers.

Let the terrorists come to us and kill them on American soil.

Of course, this will be blatant profiling, but so freaking what. The needs of the few can never outweigh the needs of the many. Just ask Jesus about that one.

We need to turn our borders into impenetrable lines of defense. Too much is at stake to not do so.

Let the Taliban and al-Qaida have there third world nations, and subjugate their people with the oppressive hand of Sharia Law. It's not our affair. But when they attempt to come here, to our Nation, then let them come aware that they will face death if they seek to play the role of Islamofascist.

Ducky's here said...

"Lacking the will to inflict massive total defeat..."

Does the idiot Steyn mean like the Ol' Foggy Bottom Bombardier tried to do in North Vietnam? We kill three million because we wanted to act moy mucho macho.

But Afghanistan is even more rural than Vietnam and we didn't learn a freaking thing. All the little toy soldiers still talking tough.

Turn the freaking place to glass, they're only fucking Muslims.

We are a fucking sorry people.

There will still be plenty who feel this is necessary to "protect our freedoms".

Bunkerville said...

But wait, Obama told us this was the "Good war"? WIll someone ask "The One" how his good war is going?

Finntann said...

Of course we'll win, we have more colorful signs...

nice pic, reminds me of Kosovo, must be NATO.

". All the little toy soldiers still talking tough."

Why don't you listen to the real soldiers, I don't think any of us are advocating either nuking or nation building.

The US Military is very effective in its primary charter, which is why no one wants to engage in "conventional warfare" any more. However, the military cannot provide political solutions, which is what we are more often than not asked to do these days.

You want them dead? We can do that.
You want them in the stone age? We can do that to. You want them to look and act like New Jersey? That you're going to have to figure out on your own.

You'd think a nation founded in unconventional warfare would have learned something.


Anonymous said...


"However, the military cannot provide political solutions, which is what we are more often than not asked to do these days."

Agreed. War is never political, for a bullet doesn't ask you for your vote.

Our military is designed to defend and to kill. Not nation build for political posturing. We are not there to give Hershey Bars and panty-hose to the locals.

Ducky's here said...

The whole things getting to be a bore anyhow.

Now that we know how to do this it's time to invade Iran.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

I have family there. My younger cousin that I provided a place to live in during his high school years is over there now. Within his first week there, a bunch of guys in his unit were killed. I worry about him constantly. His deployment just started back in December.

He constantly complains on Facebook when he can about the prisoner releases the Obama keeps granting to gain a "cease fire" from the Taliban.

I have another cousin there who is an Army Captain. She flies medical evacuation helicopters and has probably been shot at more than most men who go to war.

I want us completely out of there. We should never send men and women to do the job of a neutron bomb.

Anonymous said...

The Futility of War!

Message from a Live Coward

I'd rather dine on Havilland-Limoges
Than hurl a javelin for a Doges.
Delicate viands decorously consumed
Beat being slashed, then crushed and doomed.
Why is it "manly" to yearn to die
In blood soaked mud 'neath a pitiless sky?

~ FreeThinke

The Military Industrial Complex has been the author of much evil. There is no good reason why our young men should be duped into sacrificing themselves in a series of stupid, no-win military adventures for the primary purpose of the lining the pockets of the makers of war material with filthy lucre, or to satisfy the covert aims and desires of unworthy allies.

~ FT

Always On Watch said...

My USMC cousin returned from Afghanistan a few months ago. He's the tight-lipped type and didn't say much, except for this pithy sentence: "Those people over the don't have shit, and they'll never have anything. Primitives who like it that way."

OBL is dead and gone -- we should have withdrawn en masse the very next day. Frankly, I'm surprised that Obama didn't do just that. Any ideas as to why he didn't?

Always On Watch said...

Unless I miss my guess, the Afghanis are going to have the last laugh on this war.

And the Taliban is already taking control of the narrative.

Unknown said...

"They haven't changed for thousands of years. We sure as hell won't change them."

We didn't go in to change them, that wasn't the mission. We went in to kill and destroy AQ and the Taliban.
Mission is not complete.

Anonymous said...

Something that strikes me as odd about this whole situation is that this soldier did his deed and then turned himself in.

Sorry, I'm referring to the US soldier who slaughtered 16 innocent Afghan civilians while they slept.

He turned himself in when done killing.

Why would he do this? That doesn't sound like the intent of a murderer, unless he's a sociopath.

Z said...

hard to fight an enemy whose goal is collateral damage while we're trying to be so precious and fight a war without hurting anybody...lest our leftwing media take us to task (again).

Meanwhile, I just watched a news report of our soldiers being shown how to teach the Afghan people how to grow pomegranates instead of poppies. Maybe they're going to convince them they'll get as much money for pomegranates, too...or maybe Obama will subsidize the difference between fruit and opium prices with our tax dollars, huh?
I'm quite sure he'd find no problem with that!

Silverfiddle said...

Mark Adams: Unfortunately, our government lacks your clarity.

We are negotiating with the Taliban and we are trying to change them with all the community building going on.

Time to cut sling.

Jim at Conservatives on Fire said...

We keep making the same mistakes over and over again. The Iraq objectives were accomplished years ago. But stayed on to do what? What did we accomplish with all those additional years ? Nothing.

Warriors are for doing one thing and they do their thing extremely well. When they finish their primary objective it is time to bring them home.

There has never been peace in Afghanistan and there never will be. Declare victory and bring our troops home. Now!

Anonymous said...

It is a sure impossibility, akin to trying to piss up a rope during a hurricane, to establish westernized democracy in an Islamic nation.

Bring them home. We have other matters to attend to. Let Karzai spill blood for his own nation.

The crescent moon and America simply do not mesh.

Jersey McJones said...


I'm not sure how you find it appropriate to inject your military philosophy into this story - a guy who went bonkers and proceeded to a killing spree.


OD357 said...

Can't believe I'm going to have to agree with Jersey on this one. As I pointed out yesterday,,
He was a lone gunman acting alone.

Now the real Shiite storm is just to the south of us. Pardon my french.

Anonymous said...

JMJ, might want to re-read Silver's post. He is not speaking of the tragic shooting done recently in Afghanistan. He is speaking about the whole enchilada in and of itself, as in, the US being in Afghanistan to begin with.

I, on the other hand, did speak of that shooting in a previous comment. Perhaps you have confused the two. Perhaps?

OD357 said...

twoguys2012, I did re-read Silver's post. He said, "The anti-war left will have a hey day with the latest unauthorized killings that happened in Kandahar, and rightly so."

Anonymous said...


You are correct, and I was wrong!

JMJ, my apologies for questioning your reading comprehension.

It appears I need to focus better....yikes.

For the record, this is how True Conservatives stay accountable. When I am wrong, and am proven wrong, I must set things right, and admit to my mistakes.

Who needs politics when you have strength of character?

Ducky's here said...

Local news just mentioned that the shooter had been diagnosed with a traumatic head injury a year ago.

What the hell was he doing there?

Always On Watch said...

What's that? The first that I've heard about the soldier having a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)!

TBI's are tricky. So often, long term effects don't show up till much later.

Always On Watch said...

A quick Google search yielded the following:

...An official told ABC News that the soldier has suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the past, either from hitting his head on the hatch of a vehicle or in a car accident. He went through the advanced TBI treatment at Fort Lewis and was deemed to be fine....

Details are still emerging, of course.

IMO, we should be praying for this man's family -- no matter what.

Z said...

AOW, I think we have to pray for his family, too..imagine what they're going through?
It's interesting about the brain injury but it's hard to tell when manifestations of that could kick up; mostly never... The gov't hospital couldn't have known. But, if they did, Ducky's right...he shouldn't have been there.

I felt badly for Obama immediately saying that the soldier "needs to be held accountable" before we had details (sort of like jumping to conclusions about the cops in Boston during the harvard prof situation)...I felt Obama should have wanted more info before he said something like that; what if the guy IS suffering brain injury or emotional difficulties? (Who wouldn't over there?) At least, today, he mentioned that our soldiers are stressed, but I'm thinking that's more just to reinforce his case for getting out. And soon.

Jersey McJones said...

I already respected you, twoguys. I wasn't even sure what you meant! I thought maybe I'd missed something! I went back and read the post again!

Ducky brings up a good point. I just saw an interview with General Allen, and saw a piece on the suspect's background... "What the hell was he doing there?" That's a good question!


"Now the real Shiite storm is just to the south of us."

What do you mean by that? Are you talking about the power of the Taliban in the South of that country?


Trekkie4Ever said...

I have a very close friend who is almost like a brother to me over there and I believe it is high time we bring our troops home, pronto.

No more American blood should be spilled.

Jersey McJones said...

AOW and Z, if you are praying people, there are the families of 16 other people who might appreciate your prayers as well.

And Z, Obama said what he had to say. This was a mass murder allegedly committed by a soldier under his command.

What would you suggest he say? Or do you think he shouldn't even say anything?


OD357 said...

The Shiite storm due south is Mexico. Man what a third rate hell hole. Even the expatriates are coming back to the US because it's getting increasingly dangerous down there. And we won't even get into the fact that Eric Holder is sending automatic weapons to the cartels to mow our Border Patrol down with.

That cesspool stinks bad enough down there, it's starting to backup in our country now.

Finntann said...

Anyone else find this statement oddly incongruous?

In a statement Monday, the Afghan Taliban pledged to "take revenge" against the "sick-minded American savages,"..."The American 'terrorists' want to come up with an excuse for the perpetrator of this inhumane crime"

Hmmm... sounds like it's straight out of their playbook.

Of Steyn's article, I found this to be the most astute:

"The combined Western military/aid presence accounts for 98 percent of that benighted land's GDP. We carpet-bomb with dollar bills; we have the most advanced technology known to man; we have everything except strategic purpose."

Jersey said "I'm not sure how you find it appropriate to inject your military philosophy into this story - a guy who went bonkers and proceeded to a killing spree."

You don't think this incident is symptomatic of a larger issue that should be addressed? Such as what the hell are we still doing there? What are we trying to accomplish?

Just a thought.


Ducky's here said...

@z -- I felt badly for Obama immediately saying that the soldier "needs to be held accountable" before we had details


STOP THE EVENING EDITION. z and I almost agree.

Only difference is that I don't feel sorry for him. He has a history of panicking when the crap goes in the fan.
Public opinion is all that matters to this guy.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Great now we can invade Iran because what's the point of having a Standing Army if you're not going to get involved in Foreign Entanglements!

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake...

But, what does AIPAC and Israel think?

viburnum said...

Gene: "Great now we can invade Iran..."

It would be a hell of a lot easier to find an understandable rationale for that than for remaining in Afghanistan.

Rob said...

I've said it before, Rich, and I stand by my assertion that we need to just take that cesspool.

Yup, seize Mexico, carve it up into 6-8 new states, and tax the everlovin' hell outta the real estate and recoup the massive boatloads of tourism dollars to help fund basic civic infrastructure upgrades. Then rain fierce, unrelenting fire on anything that dares slither north of Guatemala.

Hell, it's been 53 years since we added any new states. Maybe it's high time to engage in another bout of empire building...

viburnum said...

Rob: "...Yup, seize Mexico..."

As an added bonus, it would go a long way towards solving the illegal immigrant problem.

Anonymous said...

Steyn did well in his first para but then his argument falls flat.

You cannot compare the war in Afghanistan with WWII as America is not at some life-destroying threat of invasion or destruction.

There would be a great more justification of comparing it to Vietnam and even then it cannot, because that was against a singular enemy in comparison to a historic tribal network that is more interested in being left alone and independant than growing or advancing in any form.

I noticed there is a massive memory loss with many here about the levels of involvement by various nations in that region and how it bit every single one of them in the backside, from the days of Alexander the Great to today.

In simple terms it is a combination of remoteness, ultra-hard lifestyles and tribal loyalties that go beyond anything others can fathom and using that combination to their maximum. The remoteness and isolation has ensured a capacity to fight against even the hardiest of armies, a hard lifestyle that gives them the resilience to push it to a point of sacrifice and cold-heartedness and a loyality structure that will ensure that the pressure can be placed on the remotest of kin to ultimately pay hommage back to the tribe - even when they are working for the enemy.

We will not succeed and it is time to get out. Give minute and glib respect to whoever is their leader, help the poor women folk and those that wanted and education as much as you can, but that is all.

Damien Charles

Silverfiddle said...

I noticed there is a massive memory loss with many here about the levels of involvement by various nations in that region and how it bit every single one of them in the backside, from the days of Alexander the Great to today.

Oh, we're well aware. We've discussed this topic on and off for a few years now, and we've already gotten past the point you mention. We now just want out.

viburnum said...

DC: " I noticed there is a massive memory loss with many here about the levels of involvement by various nations in that region ... "

I'm fairly certain that most, if not all, of us are well aware that Afghanistan has been ungovernable above a tribal level for millennia, as well as the xenophobic nature of it's residents.

In fact you seem have stumbled upon a rare moment of consensus here at WH, since we, by and large, agree that our continued presence there is complete and utter waste of time, money, and American lives, and our attempt to leave a democratic nation in our wake akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

And that was before your lecture.

Country Thinker said...

SF: Just letting you knoe I'm still here...

Anonymous said...


Hear, hear! Nicely said.

Anonymous said...

Amidst the mists and freezing frosts
With loudest boasts and sternest jests
He thrusts his fists against the posts
To conquer his reluctant hosts

Who see his efforts as a crime.
His critics see a waste of time,
But as he slogs through mud and slime,
War profiteers think it sublime.

And in the end when all is said and done
I hope he sees that he's been led,
To live ill used, ill-housed, in dread,
So his rulers live well fed and having fun.

~ FreeThinke

Always On Watch said...

AOW and Z, if you are praying people, there are the families of 16 other people who might appreciate your prayers as well.

Not sure that they would appreciate the prayers of infidels, who clearly do not pray to the same God as Muslims do.

Still, FYI, I have prayed for those families.

Anonymous said...

AOW, I advise you insert 'in my opinion' as frankly speaking you represent a fringe minority who considers Muslims to be worshipping a different God. As a teacher you should not only know it but you have an academic obligation to point that out to those you teach to.

more to the point Muslims most definitely consider Christians to be worshipping the same God.

i believe the morally correct tone should be first and foremost on the victims. to concentrate on looking for excuses smacks of double standards that somehow a soldiers life is more valuable than an Afghanis. some here have implied that.

I will add on comments by Obame. it is correct in legal terms to identify those responsible and have them held to 'account'. that does not mean more or less then that. accountability means identify involvement. judgement comes later.

D Charles

MathewK said...

I await patiently for liberals to squawk for obama to be tried at the world court on terrorism charges. I know they would have called for Bush, had he been the president over this.