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Ann Coulter: Retreat in Afghanistan?

October 19, 2009


I’m a big Ann Coulter fan, and agree wholeheartedly with David Swindle’s view of her as the most valuable piece currently on the Conservative Chessboard.  But recently on “Geraldo at Large,” she came dangerously close to calling for a U.S. withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan.

Ann makes a good point (elaborated upon in her latest column) about the Left’s arbitrary distinction between Afghanistan as a “war of necessity” vs. Iraq as a “war of choice” being a headache entirely of their own making, but there’s far more at stake on the battlefield than the Obama Administration’s PR woes.

Coulter’s argument seems to be that the main purpose of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is to draw jihadists into a “flytrap for Islamic crazies,” where they’ll promptly be killed by our armed forces.  It makes sense to continue this in Iraq, a relatively pro-Western nation receptive to regime change, but not in Afghanistan, where not only is the general populace far more sympathetic to the terrorists, but other strategic problems exist as well. Coulter explains in her column:

Afghanistan is a brutal battlefield, largely invulnerable to modern warfare — something the British and Russians learned. But as our military under Bush showed the world in 21 days, scimitar-wielding savages are no match for the voluntary civilian troops of a free people.

Bush removed the Taliban from power, captured or killed the lunatics and, for the next seven years, about the only news we heard out of Afghanistan were occasional announcements of parliamentary elections, new schools, water and electricity plants.

The difficult choice Obama faces in Afghanistan is entirely of his own making, not his generals’ and certainly not Bush’s. It was Obama’s meaningless blather about Afghanistan being a “war of necessity” during the campaign that has moved the central front in the war on terrorism from Iraq — a good battleground for the U.S. — to Afghanistan — a lousy battlefront for the U.S.

There is grave cause for concern about the nation’s extremism (recall that, five years after regime change, the Karzai government almost executed one of its citizens for converting to Christianity), but on the other hand, based on his time spent there, Michael Yon believes there’s still “considerable good will” we can tap into with the right strategy, and regardless, local temperament doesn’t erase the consequences of granting our enemies free reign to restore Afghanistan’s pre-9/11 status as a state sponsor of terrorism.

President Barack Obama is showing enough signs that he lacks the resolve to see our mission through; the last thing conservatives need to do is provide him with excuses to abandon it.

  1. MaryAnn permalink
    October 20, 2009 4:08 am

    It just seems to me that if we’re going to fight any war, we should fight it to win. Do what needs to be done to kill the enemy and leave. Obama seems to want to leave our troops there, without the support his generals tell him they need; meanwhile, our soldiers are being killed. I’m certainly no expert on making war, but our only strategy should be to win. This dithering of Obama is the most reprehensible thing he is doing.

    • jac mills permalink
      October 20, 2009 6:30 am

      Mary Ann, you are so right about fighting a war to win. If the military cannot enforce that, get the hell out and do not sacrifice men and women on the line while our “commander” decides. I saw last night on Bill O’Reilly show that even the lefties who are left of everything are wondering about this topic. Ellis Henican, a NY columnist, shocked by telling BOR that Obama does not even have a plan for Afghanistan — and that he should have one. He was indignant, and it gave me hope that even those blind hordes Obama is leading know they cannot continue to be led by a blind man. Recall that Obama has stated Afghanistan is a war we must win — and still he dithers in his political maze. Of course, I doubt that any member of his family is putting a life on the line in that forbidding place. Leaders who have never experienced war should rely on trusted and tested military commanders, without political considerations, and we have those in abundance. Rahm E., the force in the W.H., may be able to “dance” along the corridors of power, but I doubt he has ever heard the PHHT of a bullet whizzing past his ear, or felt the shock of bomb. I may be wrong on that, however, when I recall that Rahm is a Chicago pol.

  2. October 20, 2009 4:33 am

    No later than 2PM ET, September 11, 2001, America should have nuked Tora Bora.

    We seem to be doing the Marshall Plan BEFORE Dresden and Berlin, or rebuilding Japan before nuking it into submission.

    PLUS: the trouble with WW2 analogies is that Germany and Japan were high cultures momentarily overtaken by insanity. Af’stan doesn’t have any such history/memory to fall back on; we are trying to build a civil society from scratch in a tribal, inbred, uncultured place that doesn’t want one. They will have to give up having s** with boys and marrying little girls. One can’t expect a Jefferson or Franklin to magically emerge from that demented litter box.

  3. Nash permalink
    October 20, 2009 5:38 am

    Kathy Shaidle – bravo!

  4. jac mills permalink
    October 20, 2009 7:12 am


    I admire Ann Coutler’s forthright and no-nonsense approach to commentary, especially in the face of today’s incessant political correctness madness. She thrives on her stance partly, I assume, to stir, but also to add spice, a good combination-commodity for a writer. But sometimes she stretches her imagination in enthusiasm, and other times limits that capacity. Her assertion that our aim in the current “war of necessity” is “to draw jihadists into a flytrap for Islamic crazies, where they’ll promptly be killed by our armed forces,” seems naively simplistic. The solution for jihad will not be the result of limited “war” in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else. Islam will not be satiated until the world is ruled by Islam, and they will do anything and everything to achieve that. It is so stated in the Koran.

  5. Geppetto permalink
    October 20, 2009 8:58 am

    The West cannot win a war fighting an enemy and a cause it does not understand. BHO bowed from the waist before a leader from the head of the snake, Saudi Arabia, who has been financing and promoting the most virulent form of islam, Wahhabism, all over the world, for decades, including right here in the politically correct, culturally diversified, United States. Google “Muslim activism in US.”

    Afghanistan is a distraction designed to suck the juices out of the “great Satan”…and that would be us. They’re beating their oil drum and we’re dancing the Electric Slide as we finance their anti-western crusade. This steady drip of the precious blood of our soldiers while Obama waffles, the Generals plead for more boots on the ground and our western rules of engagement hamstring our troops is an exercise in futility.

    Posters on here get it. When will it sink in where it may make a real difference?

  6. Prudent Man, CFA permalink
    October 20, 2009 9:05 am

    As a Korean War Veteran and libertarian/defense & fiscal conservative I believe we must re-evaluate our National Defense, with emphasis on Defense, especially in view that our best days economically are behind us.

    Why do we have troops, who have been there for over fifty years, in Germany, So. Korea, England, etc.? That may have been plausible during the Cold War when we were up against a defined nationalist enemy. Today is very different but our Senior Officers and politicians are not. (Congressional Term Limits Please!!) National Defense against various terrorist organizations is the issue today.

    The most effective tool against terrorists is domestic and military intelligence. That is where the bulk of our resources should be concentrated including linguists. This function of the military was decimated by Bill Clinton (who like Obama believes that ignorance is bliss and being ignorant absolves you of responsibility and decisiveness) and allowed bin Laden to build al Quaeda. We must learn from that.

    We are not going to win anything of value in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Good intelligence and Special Forces Strike Teams can, in all probability, give us the best we can expect. Search, destroy and go to a safe offshore home. If we want more we will have to Nuke them and then what do we have but a country that was useless with nuked citizens who are getting reparations from U.S. taxpayers. The responsibility of governing those countries is their citizens not ours as even if we try to govern them we will fail. We have enough trouble governing our own country.

    If we want to stop Iran from developing nuclear bombs let us send strike force, Marines, Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard to destroy the facilities and the government. Then get out. Let them build their own country. If they instill another radical government that is aggressive to our safety we take them out again then come home and defend our land.

    Our aircraft carriers and various sea-going troop platforms, also defensive weapon downsized by Clinton, are great sources for strike forces to operate from and their own security is top notch. Thousands of troops can deploy and return to them quickly.

    The foregoing would put less strain on our own military with less strain on our treasury while more effectively meeting our defensive objectives. There is no reason for our military personnel to be based in foreign countries to fight ill-defined enemies. Let intelligence root out a target, hit it and return to safety. We can do this with less resources and fewer casualties.

    Always the devil is in the details and the details are muddied by politics both in the Pentagon and out. We must know our objective first and then devise the most efficient strategy and tactics to meet that objective. History is only useful to show us what has worked and what hasn’t. This is a relatively new phase of warfare for the U.S. and it should be at least examined in that light.

    We need a more modern, realistic defense policy that will not only increase the morale of those who have to do the heavy lifting but all of our citizens as well. Just continuing the old ineffective policies is not the way to go.

    Let’s talk and discuss it!

  7. Judy permalink
    October 20, 2009 3:41 pm

    As usual you have a way of putting the point right up front.Thank you. To continue with the lack of coherent plans and a waffling, White House filled to the brim with Maoist intellectuals, long on rhetoric and deception, and short on wisdom,decisiveness and commonsense. I find it absolutely incredible that Obama is doing the cha-cha while those is our military are dying. I also agree, that it is time that other countries pay for their own military and bring our troops home. Also, if Canada wants an air force, they can do it on their own dime, not mine or yours.Yup, you and I pay for the Canadian air force.May be thats how they pay for their government health insurance. Let Germany, England, Italy and the other countries that are protected by our generosity absorb the cost themselves.

  8. Fred Alexander permalink
    October 20, 2009 5:32 pm

    Prudent Man, CFA your right on, my exact feelings. We don’t need an army hanging out in a country that hates us. We do need good intelligence and drones to hit these targets to keep them off guard or hit and run military personnel.
    Bigger targets, such as Iran’s nuclear facilities buried in mountains may require nuclear tipped bombs. The best part is you can kiss these facilities goodbye for 50+ years.

  9. Len Powder permalink
    October 20, 2009 11:12 pm

    I am a big admirer of Ann Coulter but do occasionally disagree with her. The consequences of abandoning Afghanistan are far greater than abandoning Vietnam because the nature of the enemy is very different. Muslim Jihadists are determined to have Islam vanquish the West, its countries, its values, its free market systems, its culture, its political systems and institutions. A victory in Afghanistan would convice them that their vindictive God is bestowing favor upon them and signaling that the advance of Islam has his divine blessing and support. In the mind of these jihadists there is no greater victory than that of defeating the United States. There is no greater cause for optimism, hope and determination to pursue the agenda of conquest and domination.

    We may save American lives by withdrawing but our reputation will be more tarnished than it was by the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979. Those who remember this incident also recall how it humiliated the US in the rest of the world and how it diminished our national pride and self-respect.

    We betrayed the Iraqi people in the first Gulf War. We betrayed the Iranian people in the summer of 2009 when they protested their fraudulent elections. Now we are considering betraying the Afghan people after 8 years of war and devastation. Such betrayals linger in the minds of people for generations, not just years. The consequences of our failures today will be visited upon our children and grand-children tomorrow.

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