The Corner

Re: Squeamish on the use of force

John, that story on the Nato mission in Afghanistan is very dispiriting. This, after all, is supposed to be “the good war,” not like illegal blood-for-oil Iraq. Yet countries that steered clear of Bush’s Mesopotamian adventure have no stomach even for a mission with impeccable multilateral bonafides. The Canadians have been taking casualties at a higher rate than the U.S., U.K. or any other nation, but they’ve also been doing a tough job very well of which their countrymen should be proud. But they’re not, not really. Huge numbers of the Canadian public don’t support the mission, don’t think it’s worth it, and want it ended. And so do the Brits and Europeans and most other members of the Nato “alliance.”

That’s how it would go here, too. When Democrats complain that Iraq is a distraction from the real war in Afghanistan, it’s worth remembering that’s just a shell game. If America pulled out of Mesopotamia and devoted its attentions to the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan would become the new Democrat-media quagmire in nothing flat.

But the bigger lesson is that most western nations have signaled to the world they have no stomach for any fight. And it’s not just the Taliban and al-Qaeda who draw their conclusions from that, but the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans and all kinds of other folks.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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