Diana West is the author of "The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization," and blogs at dianawest.net.More ↓Less ↑
Huffington Post reports: “Senate Republicans stand behind President Barack Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., which will prevent the war from becoming a ‘domestic political football’ like the war in Iraq.”
That’s a good thing? What’s the point of free speech for a free people if the most urgent order of government business – a worse-than-pointless, bankrupting war that is junking our military capabilities while killing and maiming Americans in uniform – is seen by a leading elected official as a “domestic political football” to be sidelined and sat on?
The story continues: “‘The good news about this war – if there’s any good news about any war – is that it hasn’t become a domestic political football like the Iraq war,’” McConnell said during a breakfast discussion with Politico’s Mike Allen on Tuesday. … McConnell added that ‘virtually’ every GOP senator supports Obama’s war policy, although he implied that there were a few dissenters.”
Look out, dissenters. But meanwhile, what exactly is Obama’s war policy? To prevent Afghanistan from becoming a domestic political football?
“As the Republican leader of the Senate – I think I can speak for virtually all of my members on this, but not all of them – we support what the president’s doing,” McConnell said.
But what is the president doing? The question is for real. Ever since George W. Bush turned to nation building in the Islamic world, a gaping hole has emerged where rational thinking and national interest should be. McConnell said the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is “keeping Afghanistan from becoming a haven again.” But “haven” of what, Senator? The Taliban? Shariah (Islamic law)? Islam? Osama bin Laden? So-called extremism?
The usual answer is “al-Qaida,” the leading brand name for jihad. Of course, al-Qaida appears to be hunkering down in Haven-stan, I mean, Pakistan, our fabulous “ally” to whom no amount of money is enough to stop supporting the Taliban, according to former U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson. Meanwhile, jihad groups exist around the world, from Somalia to the Philippines, from Djibouti to Chechnya, from Eritrea to Sudan to Uzbekistan. How about Hezbollah in Latin America, in Lebanon, in Gaza? How about Iran? “Extremists” are even finding “haven” in grand old Iraq. Havens abound from Malmo, Sweden, to London, England, to Yourtown, USA. But stand strong, Senator. Don’t let anyone take your blinkered and unblinking eyes off Afghanistan. Otherwise, it just might become a dark, dread “domestic political football.”
McConnell went on to say the Taliban had a “very bad year” in 2010, and would likely face an even worse year in 2011. “We’re making substantial headway,” he added.
Headway? Where to? McConnell’s answer is devastating: “The best we can hope for in the near-term future in terms of getting them back to what is normal for them is getting them back to 30 years ago, before the Russians came in – which was a relatively peaceful and to some extent self-sustaining agricultural society. That’s about all we can hope for.”
Is this “best we can hope for” scenario actually worth a baseline of $350 million a day, not to mention the ghastly toll of amputated limbs and other grievous injuries?
Absolutely not. It’s madness. Because if America were at all serious about defeating Islamic terrorism, if America were at all serious about turning back Islamic jihad and the law of Islam (Shariah), it would have long ago realized that it is the USA that needs to be safeguarded against becoming a “haven,” not Afghanistan. Fighting them over there, as that idiotic Bush line went, absolutely does not keep them from coming here. Border control does. Immigration law does. Travel restrictions do. Legal prohibitions on Shariah finance and other instruments of encroaching Islamic law do. Policing our own lawless frontier, not Afghanistan’s, does.
But that, alas for the life of the republic, is where a U.S. senator will always punt.