Asked if the United States might
send still more troops to Afghanistan, if the Obama
surge is not succeeding by year`s end, Vice President
Joe Biden answered,
"I do not believe
So, that is it. Biden is saying the
100,000 U.S. troops in theater or on the way is our
limit. If Kabul and the Afghan army fail with this
investment of American forces, they will be permitted to
fail. All the chips we are going to commit are now on
And a series of critical deadlines
By the end of August, all U.S.
combat troops are to be out of Iraq. Only 50,000
are to remain, but all U.S. forces are scheduled to be
withdrawn by the end of 2011.
In December, a review takes place
of Afghan war strategy. Next July, U.S. withdrawals are
to begin, though, since naming Gen. David Petraeus as
his field commander, President Obama and his cabinet
have emphasized that the withdrawals will be
We will walk, not run, to the exit.
But if we are topping out in
Afghanistan, and the U.S. troop presence in Iraq is
already less than half of the 170,000 after the surge of
2007, it seems America is on her way out of both wars.
What did they accomplish—and at
Saddam and his Baathist regime were
overthrown, the dictator was hanged, elections were
held, and a government that reflects the will of a
majority of Iraqis put in its place.
Cost to the United States: More
than 4,200 U.S. dead, 35,000 wounded, $700 billion sunk.
In the Islamic world, the Iraq War led to pandemic
hostility toward America. At home, the war led to the
rout of the Republicans and the election of an
anti-war liberal Democrat.
If Obama is indeed leading America
into socialism, the War Party that led us into Iraq can
take a full measure of credit.
And what is the cost to the Iraqi
people of a U.S. invasion and occupation and seven-year
war, the end of which is nowhere in sight?
Perhaps 100,000 dead, half a
million widows and orphans, 4 million refugees, half
having fled their country,
devastation of a Christian community that dated to the
time of Christ and the ethnic cleansing of the
Sunnis from Baghdad.
Four months after elections, they
have no government, and bombs that kill dozens still go
off daily. And, when the Americans leave, a civil and
sectarian war may return. The breakup of Iraq along
ethnic and religious lines remains a possibility. The
price of liberation is high.
And what did the Iraqis do to
deserve this? Did they attack us?
No. They had nothing to do with
9/11 and had complied with the U.S. demand to eliminate
all weapons of mass destruction years before the U.S.
Army stormed in to discover and destroy those weapons.
And we wonder why these ungrateful
people hate us.
The Afghan War was, at its
inception, a just war.
If the Taliban would not turn over
bin Laden and those who plotted the mass murder of 3,000
Americans, we had a right to go in after him, as Woodrow
Wilson had a right to send Gen. John Pershing into
Mexico to find and kill
Pancho Villa after he murdered Americans in New Mexico.
But after the defeat of the Taliban
by the Northern Alliance, the overthrow of Mullah Omar
and our failure to capture or kill bin Laden at Tora
Bora, we decided to stay on and convert the
most tribalized and xenophobic land on earth into an
Islamic democracy and strategic ally.
We will soon enter the 10th year of
this war. And though 100,000 U.S. and 50,000 NATO troops
are committed, the Taliban are winning—because they are
not losing. They are more numerous, more deadly and more
resourceful than they have been since their ouster in
Even Gen. Stanley McChrystal said
the war was a draw. And Biden says we have reached the
limit of our commitment.
Thus, what we are looking at is
endless bleeding, now running at 60 dead U.S. soldiers a
month, with no American military or political leader
willing to say when the bleeding will stop or the war
And the home front is visibly
eroding. A majority of Americans now believe the war is
unwinnable or not worth the cost, and a growing minority
in Congress wants out. Some NATO allies are departing.
Others are setting deadlines for withdrawal.
As for the Afghans we leave behind,
who committed themselves to America`s war, they will,
when we depart, suffer the fate of the
South Vietnamese army and
boat people, and the Cambodians we left behind to
the tender mercies of the
Have the politicians, journalists
and think-tank geniuses who dreamed up these wars
suffered ignominy and disgrace?
Not at all. They are debating and
devising a new war—with Iran.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.