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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Democrats Never Meant What They Said About Afghanistan



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An astonishingly honest assessment — one that I fear is accurate — from the lefty blog Hullabaloo:

Escalation is a bad idea. The Democrats backed themselves into defending the idea of Afghanistan being The Good War because they felt they needed to prove their macho bonafides they called for withdrawal from Iraq. Nobody asked too many questions sat the time, including me. But none of us should forget that it was a political strategy, not a serious foreign policy.

There have been many campaign promises “adjusted” since the election. There is no reason that the administration should feel any more bound to what they said about this than all the other committments [sic] it has blithely turned aside in the interest of “pragmatism.”

The average Democrat doesn’t like fighting wars. They don’t like using military force. They don’t just dislike collateral damage and civilian casualties and flag-draped coffins; they cringe at the concept of combat with citizens of another country, even when the president has declared:

Al Qaeda and its allies — the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks — are in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the United States homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan.  And if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban — or allows al Qaeda to go unchallenged — that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.

That’s not the last president; that’s the current president, an entire six months ago.

Notice this only applies to the use of military force and violence overseas; as we’ve seen, these same folks have a very different reaction when they hear about a town-hall protester having his finger bitten off. The base of the Democratic party is fundamentally pacifist and isolationist and has extraordinary, although not complete, leverage over this White House. They want the rest of the world to go away so we can focus on creating the perfect health-care system.

It’s been reassuring to see President Obama authorize the use of force in Somalia and off its coast. But those who seek to kill Americans cannot always be eliminated in quick, clean, small missions using special forces. The mission in Afghanistan is different, and the man assigned to accomplish it says he needs more troops.

We now know liberal bloggers never meant what they wrote about Afghanistan. We will soon know if the president meant anything he said about that war on the campaign trail.


Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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