Meet the New Boss….Same as the Old Boss

The CinC made a surprise visit to the combat zone yesterday, as most CinC’s are prone to do…this time to Afghanistan. In his predictable pep rally speech to assembled US forces, he made two statements that caught my eye and made me question the truth behind the rhetoric.

“If this region slides backwards,” Obama told the troops, “if the Taliban retakes this country, al-Qaida can operate with impunity, then more American lives will be at stake, the Afghan people will lose their opportunity for progress and prosperity and the world will be significantly less secure.

“We know there’s going to be some difficult days ahead, there’s going to be setbacks. We face a determined enemy, but we also know this: the United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. We will prevail, I am absolutely confident of that.”

We won’t quit? Ever?

We will never assess a situation as not being worth the national treasure of our nation….that once we start down a path, we shall not waver….even though logic and reason may dictate otherwise?  Where is the rationale for a Taliban regime to again harbor Al Qaeda?  The Taliban and Al Qaeda share little in common strategically, but they are intelligent enough to realize that they would quickly lose power once again by hosting the terror group. Add to this the feelings of betrayal and mistrust between Afghan and the ‘foreign Arabs’.

Recently counter-terrorism analyst turned academic Leah Farrall interviewed Islamic militant Abu Walid al-Masri, a longtime jihadist close to both Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden. From this interview Farrall writes:

In his most recent letter to me, where he responded to an article I wrote for The Australian on al-Qa’ida’s Afghanistan strategy, he dropped the loudest bomb of all. He tells me the Taliban will no longer welcome al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan. Their return would make matters more complicated for the Taliban because “the majority of the population is against al-Qa’ida”.

According to Abu Walid, the differences between al-Qa’ida and the Taliban are greater now than they were before the war. Not only is al-Qa’ida unwelcome in Afghanistan but so are other salafist groups who previously operated in the country.

He believes that disassociation is required. He tells me “if the link between the Taliban and al-Qa’ida is not broken the results will be bad for the Taliban and Afghanistan”. And he thinks that the Taliban should also move away from the salafist movement so it can be liberated “from all of the restrictions that hinder its political options”. The Austrailian

A withdrawal would of course provide short term propaganda to Al Qaeda, but in hollow rhetoric. A truly fervent jihadi will be drawn to the cause no matter the situation, but for all other financing and recruitment, a compelling threat must be conveyed to potential fighters and backers. By de-legitimizing Al Qaeda as a military threat, and as the overwhelming threat to western civilization…….and removing the perceived threat to Muslims [occupations], we take away that compelling threat that motivates many jihadi’s.

Here’s the question more Americans should be asking…..why aren’t factually based analysis’ entering into the national debate? Why do we accept the meme that we are escalating in Afghanistan intent on ‘disrupting and destroying terrorist groups’…when we all know that they aren’t there? These reasons for escalation are just as intellectually corrupt as the buildup to invade Iraq.

If someone supports trying to defeat the Taliban simply because of their moral temperature when it comes to human rights, fine. Just don’t frame it as an imperative to our national security.

We’ve come full circle with Obama channeling Bush in his invocation of ‘evil’. Just another statist, mainstream, god fearing political clone. So continues a long American tradition (dating back at least to the insurgency battles in the Philippines) of the United States committing troops [or escalating in this case] against an enemy who neither attacked us nor poses a security threat to us. This decision spotlights the Obama Administration as decidedly un-liberal and bringing about little to no ‘hope’ or ‘change’.

All of this occurs at a time when there exists both the rhetoric of the gravest threat to national security and asking not an iota of tangible support from the populace at large. So can someone….anyone….explain to me the rationale for even tepid support of escalation in Afghanistan? Given that nearly all of the rhetoric provided fails to support the reality…does it simply boil down to ‘well at least we’re doing something?’ Even though that something is counter-productive?

One Response to “Meet the New Boss….Same as the Old Boss”

  1. Thank you. You articulated what I have been advocating since the Taliban were toppled. There will be attacks against us as long as we are there. Remember “Red Dawn” when the question was asked, “What makes us different than them?” The answer was, “Because we live here.” That is how I would be thinking if someone occupied the United States. Why shouldn’t the Afghani’s think the same way?

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