I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Inevitable Vietnam-Afghanistan Comparison

At nearly the same time that the ground war began in Iraq, the Democrats began comparing the war in Iraq to Vietnam. They claimed that Iraq was an un-winnable war. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared that we had lost the war, while our troops were still in combat. The bureaucrats in DC tried everything they could to drive down public support for the war. It took them about 4 years to finally depress the American people on the war. President Bush remained resolute in his commitment to our troops in battle and peace in Iraq. Against growing, outspoken negativity by the Democrats, Bush installed General Petraeus as the commanding General in Iraq and fully supported the General’s plan for the “Surge” in Iraq. The result was the declining insurgency and the Iraqi government and security forces standing up to take control of their own country.

President Obama campaigned on the belief that we should never have been in Iraq and that we should be committing more troops and resources to Afghanistan. He believed that Afghanistan should be the center of the fight with Al Qaeda. He promised that as President he would recommit the fight to Afghanistan, sadly he seems to have a very short memory. In August General McChrystal, the General that he personally picked to lead the troops in Afghanistan, asked for a minimum of 40,000 more troops to prevent the country from slipping into chaos. Nearly 2 months after the request, the President has yet to decide whether or not to support our troops with sending the additional forces.

It wasn’t until 60 Minutes aired an interview with General McChrystal, where the General answered a seemingly innocuous question about how often he speaks to the President. The answer touched an embarrassing firestorm for the administration. The President had spoken to his General only once since he sent him to Afghanistan 3 months ago. The President’s reaction was an extremely obvious and rushed set of meetings on Afghanistan.

Since the Democrats were so eager to compare Iraq to Vietnam, I thought it would be appropriate to point out their folly. Their bureaucratic reaction to Afghanistan is precisely the kind of mistakes the politicians of 35 years ago made. The Vietnam era politicians decided that they knew more about fighting a war than the commanders on the ground in the theater of war. It is eerily similar to the idiocy of the DC politicians of today. They are more interested in holding hearings to discuss every possible contingency than to actually support the brave men and women that they claim to care about.

President Obama needs to realize that his role as Commander in Chief is not a political position that he can waffle back and forth on the decisions that affect our troops. It is time for him to grow up and actually make a decision and stand by it for better or worse. He needs to decide if he is going to support the best and the brightest our country has to offer and give them what they need to win the war. Or decide that this is not a battle he thinks is worthy and pull our troops out of there. Although I believe that it will be disastrous for him to pull out of Afghanistan, it would be better than sacrificing our military men and women while he “phones in” his duties as Commander in Chief.

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