Monday, February 27, 2012

Politics Threatens National Security

The violence in Afghanistan continues to rage out of control as protestors react to the inadvertent burning of the Quran at an American airfield.  Two more American soldiers were killed in the rioting.  The US, NATO, Britain and France have recalled their advisors from all of the Afghan ministries in Kabul.  These advisors are essential in preparing the Afghan government and its security forces to take on more responsibility in running the country.  Without their involvement the President’s withdrawal strategy faces some serious challenges.
 President Obama, the US military Commander in Afghanistan and a number of the President’s surrogates have apologized for the accidental burning of the Muslim holy books.  These apologies have been met with a barrage of criticism from the Republican leadership and the Republican candidates.  They portray the President as weak and lacking the steel necessary to protect American from its enemies.
What we are witnessing in Afghanistan, and for that matter in Iraq, is a resurgence of America’s enemies as a result of the President’s decision to drawn down our troops and cease military operations.  It is a scene that would play out in much the same manner if we left now or five or ten years from now.  The only way to stop this resurgence from happening is to occupy the country…forever.  And that is exactly what Republicans want.
If you listen to the Republican rhetoric about Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran or Syria it sounds very much like the same things they were saying after 911.  In fact the proponents of taking military action against Iran are making the exact same case that they made about invading Iraq.  MSNBC played 2002 clips of Cheney, McCain and Graham making their case for invading Iraq and followed them with 2012 clips of this same trinity making their case for war against Iran.  With Iraq it was weapons of mass destruction.  With Iran it is nuclear capability.  The similarities in the rhetoric and the reasoning are striking…and chilling.  Apparently these war hawks have not learned that when you invade a country in the Middle East you had best be willing to occupy the country permanently.  Leaving behind a secure, democratic government that looks favorably on US interests is not an option.  In fact the situation will be far worse than when you first set foot on their soil.  These people don’t want us in their country.  They don’t want our democracy, our values or our way of life.  And they have proven for centuries that they will outlast any foreign power that believes otherwise.     
What America needs is a complete overhaul of its foreign policy.  We no longer have the money nor the will to be the world’s policeman.  It’s time for the rest of the world to handle their own affairs and for us to take care of the deterioration that is going on here in the states.  The sooner we come to that consensus that better off we will be.
Meanwhile, the degradation of our President for political purposes is nauseating and speaks to an inherent flaw in our civil discourse.  But then certain members of Congress have shown that they will go to any means to bring down this President; even if it emboldens our enemies, threatens our national security or puts our troops in harm’s way. 
Calling this President un-patriotic is unpatriotic in and of itself.       

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