Get Out Of Afghanistan!
August 28, 2009
While the nation, and to a lesser extent the world, concentrated this weekend on the funeral of the late Senator Teddy Kennedy of Massachusetts, the war in Afghanistan continued to spin out of control and closer to another American foreign policy fiasco.
Thanks to my friend, Tony Blankley, I am reminded of a conversation he heard which had been surreptitiously recorded by President Lyndon Johnson, speaking on the telephone with his defense secretary and his good friend from Georgia, Senator Richard Russell.
Those conversations took place in late May of 1964. Johnson said he saw no virtue in fighting in Vietnam. He saw no reason American boys should die in the rice paddies of Southeast Asia. The president said he did not believe we could win a war fought 10,000 miles away and if we did, the cost would be too much and too many American lives would be lost.
But, he also said he was afraid of the political consequences if he pulled out the relatively few troops we had in the swamps of Vietnam. At that time, American service deaths had reached 215 dating from as far back as l956. But Johnson, who sounded basically like a good man at heart, nevertheless chose to stay because he feared the domestic political consequences of pulling out.
“I don’t want the Republicans saying Johnson didn’t have the guts to stick it out.” And when the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” occurred a few months later, the die was cast. By the time Johnson left office at the end of l968, we had 529,000 military personnel in Vietnam and by the time Gerald Ford brought the boys home, we had lost over 57,000 men.
Without going into the perfidious conduct of what went into the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, let me point out that whenever any war is fought mainly for perhaps even purely domestic political reasons, that represents a monumental travesty against the Constitution of the United States, and the people of this once great republic.
So what does this have to do with Afghanistan? Everything!
There is nothing to be gained by continuing the folly of sending more Americans to die in the non-nation known as Afghanistan. Barack Obama knows that and with the exception of some modern know-nothings, everybody knows there is nothing to be gained by continuing to bleed in that part of the world.
But, in order to sound like a “commander in chief,” President Obama does not do what his conscience should tell him to do and that is: put politics aside and do the right thing. Tell Mr. Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, we wish him well and say good-bye to that strange amalgam of tribal anachronisms known as the Afghan people.
Will the president do it? I doubt it.
Maybe his mission in life is what a very few people lay it is . . . destroy America as we have known it!