If we had it to do over, would we
send an army into Afghanistan to build a nation?
Would we invade Iraq?
While these two wars have cost
5,200 dead, a trillion dollars and a divided America
facing an endless war, what have we won?
Gen. Stanley McChrystal needs
40,000 to 80,000 more troops, or
we risk "mission
failure" in Afghanistan. At present casualty
rates —October was the worst month of the war—thousands
more Americans will die before we see any light at the
end of this tunnel, if ever we do.
Pakistan, which aided us in
Afghanistan, now has a war of its own to fight. Its army
is in a battle in South Waziristan, while the country is
wracked by terror bombings, the latest in a Peshawar
bazaar that specialized in women`s clothing and jewelry
and toys for kids. So horrific was the toll even the
Taliban and al-Qaida denied any role in it.
The 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq
are, after almost seven years, to begin pulling out two
months after January`s election. But a hitch has
developed. Iraq`s parliament missed the deadline for
setting the rules. At issue: Will voters be allowed to
choose individual candidates, or will they be allowed
only to vote for slates of candidates?
Gen. Ray Odierno implies that
postponement of the election may mean postponement of
Ominously, in August, terrorists
bombed the foreign and finance ministries in Baghdad,
and last week blew up the
Justice Ministry and Baghdad Provincial Governorate.
And the Kurds are now claiming their control of oil-rich
Kirkuk is non-negotiable, which crosses a red line in
Next door, a terror attack by
Jundallah (God`s Brigade) in Iran`s southern province of
Sistan-Baluchistan killed 40, including
senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guard.
An enraged Tehran pointed the
finger at the United States, as there have been charges
the CIA has been in contact with Jundallah as part of
President Bush`s destabilization program to effect
But Barack Obama has been in office
for nine months—and he would never authorize such an
attack on the eve of a critical meeting on Iran`s
nuclear program. Moreover, the State Department
condemned the Jundallah bombing as terrorism and offered
public condolences to the families of the victims.
But if we didn`t authorize this,
Was the timing of this attack
coincidental? Were these just freelance secessionists on
an operation unrelated to the U.S.-Iran talks? Or is
someone trying to torpedo the talks and push Iran and
the United States into military collision?
For this was a provocation. And
whoever carried it out and whoever authorized or abetted
it wishes to dynamite the U.S.-Iran negotiations, abort
a rapprochement and put us on a road to war.
Speculation is focusing on the
Saudis, the Gulf Arabs and the Israelis, who have been
accused, as has the United States, of aiding PJAK, a
Kurdish faction that has conducted raids in northern
If we have any control of these
organizations, we should shut them down. With U.S.
armies tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, and America
conducting Predator and cross-border attacks in
Pakistan, provoking a war with Iran would be an act of
Looking back, how has all this
fighting advanced U.S. national interests? We have a
Iraq that is Shia-dominated and tilting to Iran. We have
an open-ended war in Afghanistan that will likely do for
Obama what Iraq did for Bush. But we can`t pull out, it
is said, for if we do, Kabul falls and Afghanistan
becomes the sanctuary for an Islamist war to take over
Pakistan and its nuclear weapons.
And if that should happen, it would
indeed be a crisis.
And so, how has all this
intervention availed us?
We ran Saddam out of Kuwait and put
U.S. troops into Saudi Arabia. And we got Osama bin
Laden`s 9-11. We responded by taking down the Taliban
and taking over Afghanistan. And we got an eight-year
war with no victory and no end in sight. Now Pakistan is
burning. We took down Saddam and got a seven-year war
and an ungrateful Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Turks, who shared a
border with Saddam, have done no fighting. Iran has
watched as we destroyed its two greatest enemies, the
Taliban and Saddam. China, which has a border with both
Pakistan and Afghanistan, has sat back. India, which has
a border with Pakistan and fought three wars with that
country, has stayed aloof.
The United States, on the other
side of the world, plunged in. And now we face an
elongated military presence in Iraq, an escalating war
in Afghanistan and
potential disaster in Pakistan, and are being pushed
from behind into a war with Iran.
the false comfort of isolationism," said George W.
Bush in his
2006 State of the Union. And we did reject that
false comfort. And now we can enjoy the fruits of
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 the World,
Paul Craig Roberts.