Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The NeoCon Afghan FAIL, Part 2

Babbin continues his essay. We excerpted a bit from Part One yesterday.

Call it nation-building, call it counterinsurgency, the neocon way of war is based on the antihistorical idea that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are capable of resolution within those nations' borders. It willfully ignores the conclusive influence that the intervention of foreign terror-sponsoring nations has.

...In Loose Canons on April 30, 2002 I wrote that Bush's thinking had become dangerously confused. On September 4, 2002, I wrote that even if we dealt with the terrorist threats in Afghanistan and Iraq, the war would not be over until we ended -- forcibly or otherwise -- nations' sponsorship of terrorism. And, on March 20, 2006, in a Loose Canons piece entitled "Endgame Conservatives," I explained comprehensively the problem with the neocons' war plan, that it placed us on the strategic defensive and precluded victory.

I explained that nation-building is not "neoconservatism" but actually "neo-Wilsonianism." That it is, at its core, a colonialist strategy bound to fail anywhere, not just in the Muslim world. That if you do not fight a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, you will lose it inevitably.

That last line should recall the LBJ FAIL in VietNam--until the generals finally managed to wrest control of the war from LBJ and McNamara and fight to win.

Back to Afghanistan. Babbin cites 'the book' on counter-insurgency to make the case that such tactics cannot win in Afghanistan, mostly because the Karzai Government is utterly corrupt, top to bottom. (Independent individuals will say the same thing--and that the population PREFERS Shari'a law precisely because Karzai is simply not desirable.)

...The Karzai government offers no cause that can seriously compete. Vague promises of democracy and economic development -- made by an unpopular government seeking to bring the "good Taliban" into the fold -- cannot compete with the undiluted Islamic fundamentalism the Taliban offer.

There is a US analogy: Prohibition. It was clear from Day One that Prohibition would not succeed. No "counter-insurgency" would have enough traction for long enough to ram Prohibition down the throats (so to speak) of the US public.

Anyhoo, Babbin identifies Iran and Syria as the principal sources of support for the Taliban, although there are others.

If Obama wants to win?

Iran and Syria should be told, only once, that their dedication to terrorism is intolerable and that if they do not cease immediately (and of course, they won't) they will suffer undefined consequences. There should first be a declaration of war and then those undefined consequences should begin, delivered at night by the vast variety of stealthy weapon systems we have (and can build).

Then get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan.


Anonymous said...

My favorite comment in the Spectator column, which echoes my sentiments.

"Perpetual Chicken Little like fear is the foundation of interventionism. If we no longer have the Commies to fear, we must fear the Muslims. When fear of the Muslims no longer stirs the masses, we must fear resurgent Russia and China. Santorum tells us we even need to fear little ol' Venezuela. It would all be comic if it didn’t have such dreadful consequences. But yet the Chicken Little crowd pounds their chests and rattles their sabers and feels that somehow validates their masculinity. And all us non-interventionists are, of course, just a bunch of cowards masking our cowardliness with references to the Constitution, George Washington, the Old Right, authentic conservatism, etc. But I don’t go to bed at night fretting about Venezuela. So who exactly is the coward, and who is displaying manliness."

So, the best way to defeat Islam is for our federal government to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, eradicate the concept of nation building from our foreign policy lexicon, and then threaten Iran and Syria with war (and follow through, mind you), since Islam and all of our Arab "friends" cannot be reformed.

So much, Dad29, for evangelizing the infidels.

Fine, the only way to win this war against radical Islam is this extreme measure. Now who is the "loose canon"? Babbling Babbin's Hitleresque course of action. The ghost of Barry Goldwater is salivating at this thought, itching to pull the trigger.

I wonder what the majority of Americans would feel about this plan being put into motion within the near future...

Dad29 said...

Not surprising that you make a category error in deriding Babbin.

There IS a difference between enemies of the State (Iran, Syria) and enemies of civilization (Mohammed's followers.)

But then, thinking is hard for the War Party.

And the US public would feel just fine about taking out Iran and Syria.

Why do you ask?

Dad29 said...

Like I said earlier, your capacity to think and distinguish is limited.

Remedial high school is prescribed.

Anonymous said...

Looks like my extensive comment to your 2:53 p.m. response was removed. Hit too close to home, huh?

I didn't even cuss, I was even pleasant. Gotta love your comeback, how original.

I'll ask again, would your priest, the Vatican, or the pope approve of a modern day holy war as prescribed by Babbin?

Dad29 said...

If you want opinions from priests, the Vatican, or the Pope, why don't you ask them?

B-16 has made his opinion on Mohamet's followers very clear at Regensburg.

Anonymous said...

I did ask my priest, and he said, "Hell, no" to a Christian-led holy war or a war advocated by Babbin. I think the same response would be proffered by your man in the cloth.

I AGREE that the majority of citizens want the LEADERS of Iran and Syria ousted, and I SUPPORT efforts to that end, but I and other patriotic Americans refuse to buy into Rubbin's America all-in, go at it alone, who cares about the potential consequences maniacal plan.

To Babbin, there is a NO difference between enemies of America and enemies of civilization. The leaders of Iran and Syria are pro-Muslim extremism, anti-Western, and anti-democratic. So he is seizing the opportunity in the name of American national security to advocate a holy war against ALL Muslims--"Islam and all our Arab "friends" cannot be reformed by non-Islamic peoples."

"But we can and must attack the ideology that goes under the name of Islam...If our Muslim friends cannot accept this, so be it. It must be done regardless." Here lay the premise for war against ALL of Islam under the clever ruse of American self-preservation.

There goes conversion by peace and reason and a dialogue between cultures, as advocated by Pope Benedict at Regensburg. Recall that at that speech he made a comment, based on a quotation that called Muhammad evil and inhuman, the Vatican later attributed as being improperly translated and taken out of context. He offered an apology to Muslims for any references to a Christian holy war against Islam. One hundred of the most respected and influential Muslim scholars and clerics accepted the Pope's expression of sorrow.

You think Pope Benedict would actually be on board with Babbin?

Surely you jest the world and America's moderate Muslim allies are going to sit idly by if the United States plays cowboy and uses "stealth" to take out the governments of Iran and Syria, as if drones and carpet bombing alone would suffice.

Surely you jest that the use of American ground troops would NOT be employed to bring home victory after Iran and Syria retaliates...and be required to stay there years to maintain peace in the region.

Surely you jest that our government would not (foolishly?) try to build up those countries in America's image. What, Iran and Syria lay in ruins and the United States moves on as if nothing happened? American businesses would be frothing at the mouth to put a Mickey D's or a Walmart at every street corner in Damascas and Teheran.

No, unless there is a direct provocation, the American government and people are CORRECT in their unwillingness for a pre-emptive strike against
Iraq and Syria. I recognize the dangers those governments pose, and the possibility that taking the decisive action Babbin calls for COULD prove to be a fatal error in judgment, but to me and others the fallout would be far greater than the "benefits".

Dad29 said...

I've changed my mind, and will let your drooling rant stand.

May your incoherence and flaccid text follow you to your next life on your planet.

Anonymous said...

Classic response. And I thought you had a disdain for Saul Alinsky!

My "drooling rant" and "incoherence and flaccid text" rejecting Babbin's argument are rooted in the opinions of several military and intelligence analysts. I do read...liberal, conservative, libertarian. It's called being well-rounded.

Apparently, your "wisdom" trumps their knowledge and expertise regarding Middle Eastern affairs. Babbin COULD be wrong or he COULD be right. One is able to REASONABLY make a case he is in error.

But your mind, like those of hard-headed conservatives AND liberals, is already made up!

Anonymous said...

I agree that we really need to deal in some way with the Saudis, Iran, and Syria because they are the real sponsors of radical Islam and terrorism; however, I wonder what would happen after we bombed the hell out of Iran and Syria, if it came to that? How could we ensure that better regimes would replace the ones in power now? It seems after we did destroy the regimes of Iran and Syria, we would have to again attempt some type of nation-building in those countries as we did after obliterating Japan and Germany after WWII. I'm not sure we could just destroy the regimes of Iran and Syria and expect the Syrians and Iranians to recover and put responsible governments in place by themselves.

Unfortunately, I don't think there are any easy answers, and we've seen how difficult it is to do nation-building. I was once a supporter of the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I now see what a fiasco it is to waste American blood in the business of nation-building.