Unbelievable. Astounding. Surprising. That is my reaction to WaPo/ABC poll that Americans are turning against the War in Afghanistan, against the "just war," against the "war of necessity" that the current POTUS campaigned to support, to properly resource. Until only weeks ago, the only organizations I knew of that actively opposed the War in Afghanistan were the IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) who needed a new mantra when they saw the War In Iraq succeeding and ending and Code Pink, which had a partial change of heart after actually seeing things on the ground in Afghanistan.
It was less than 12 months ago that Afghanistan was the popular war, the one that a whole political party claimed was where we truly needed to focus our efforts. In my mind, the biggest danger in January 2009 was that the other party would attempt to get their revenge on their rivals for undermining support of the Iraq War. Seeing symptoms of that possibility, I challenged them then to ask themselves what had changed. It is unlikely that my words effected today's reality. That party seems committed to Victory.
The Democratic Party Politicians, on the other hand, now seem split over whether or not to support the war their Presidential Candidate campaigned on. The pre-eminent question in my mind is how did opinion change so quickly and why is half of that party undermining the very thing they campaigned on barely a year ago? Is there a wing of the DNC trying to undermine the President they put in power? How can those opposing their standard bearer's campaign slogans convince their constituents that what they said last year is so wrong this year?
I know how it's possible that the American people can be convinced of an opinion unsupported by the facts on the ground. The news is not reporting the facts on the ground. In fact, the MSM has hardly reported on Afghanistan at all for years. If they had, I wouldn't have had to demonstrate last year that Troop Strengths in Afghanistan were never decreased, that they had increased from the 200 men of 5th Special Forces Group that expelled the Taliban from power, to about 10,000 a year later to about 35,000 in 2008 to about 50,000 by the beginning of 2009 to 68,000 today, plus the allied Troops of 1000 in 2002 to the 35,000 in 2008, to 40,000 now.
It astounds me that so many could so radically change their opinion so quickly. The change cannot be the results of the IVAW. That organization has fractured and become relevant only to those seeking humor. It's name is almost as much of a farce as its newfound opposition to the War in Afghanistan. While it initially was led by Viet Nam Veterans, a large portion of its peak membership near 1,000 were reported to have served overseas, but currently is led by those that haven't been to any combat zone.
It literally pushed out its own combat veterans. So it has few Iraq Veterans and its name has nothing to do with Afghanistan as it flops around looking for both credibility and a mission statement. The IVAW is little more than an interesting plaything for real Veterans to toy with over at "This Ain't Hell," and even they don't seem to find it very challenging.
And while Code Pink refuses to support the General's request for more Troops to win, they admit that the War in Afghanistan must be won, that the Women & Children of Afghanistan should never again be subjected to the atrocities of the Taliban.
So, would someone that supported the "just war" last year but not this month, please tell me, what changed your mind? What questions do you have about the war? What do you not understand about the realities in Afghanistan? The same Troops are fighting the same enemy. The enemy has not stopped killing unarmed civilians. The enemy has not stopped bombing schools. The enemy has not ended its deadly opposition to women learning to read. The enemy still desires to kill American Civilians but will settle on killing Muslim Civilians if they can't get to you.
The Coalition is still building schools and hospitals for costs below what Americans pay for houses. Our Troops are even more careful not to kill or injure bystanders than they ever have been. In fact, Our Troops are saving the lives of those injured by the enemy, kids, women, and farmers targeted by an atrocious enemy for simply being there.
The Afghan People are most apprehensive, not of tyranny, terrorism, death, or the US, but of abandonment by an American government that has a history of abandoning allies and Afghans specifically, twice before. The Afghan People are rightfully wary of defending themselves against terrorists, in alliance with us, because if we again abandon them, they know the price will be death or dismemberment at the hands of a brutal enemy with tyranny as its goal.
The Afghan People may be ignorant, but they're not stupid. They may not know how to read, but they know their history. They may not be honest, but they have Honor. And that Honor cannot be bought. They may accept corruption as part of daily life, but they will not suffer betrayal, nor soon forget it.
The American Body Politic sent General McChrystal to do a job. As with any boss, it would be wrong for them to not give him the tools to do the job they sent him to do. Can you imagine a Restaurant Manager telling a waitress to serve a table of ten and giving her 6 plates for the 10 meals? What would your reaction be if YOUR boss told you to do a job and refused to give you the tools necessary to get the job done?
The American Government has asked the Afghan People to stand with us against Terrorists, but elements within Our Nation are suggesting we should now abandon them to the fate those Terrorists would dish out on them. If someone asked you to help them fight a bully and then threatened to walk away while the bully pummeled you, what would you do? What would you do the next time that person asked you for help with a bully? What would you do if you watched that happen and then that someone asked you for help with another bully?
What would you do if you were a bully and saw that the biggest guy on the block would only defend others until he got a couple of bruises and then quit and run away? Would you, as that bully, be concerned if the big guy told you to stop beating up the kid for lunch money? Or would you realize that you could hit him a couple of times, maybe take a beating and then take lunch money from all kids in your school forever after?
Have no doubt that this is not over, not even if the American Body Politic loses it's resolve. In fact, if it turns tail, our enemies will be strengthened as they are not defeated. Hezbollah is currently the most organized and most dangerous terrorist organization in the world. They were unknowns until they blew up the American Embassy in Beirut. They were wannabes until they blew up the Marine Barracks in Beirut. They had no real support, until the United States permanently pulled out of Lebanon. And then they were overnight successes with widespread support for "defeating the undefeatable."
Perception is reality. The only force that can defeat the US Military is the US Body Politic. It can do so only with the tacit support of the American People. The American People will not support defeat of its Military, if they know the facts on the ground, if they know the stakes involved. If you are reading this, then you are interested in knowing the facts. If you know the facts, you can spread the word. Use the facts we publish here whenever you find someone ignorant of the ground truth. Have them ask any question they need. Show them what is going on in Afghanistan. Show them what the MSM is not reporting. Show them the good things Our Troops are doing. Show them the atrocious things our enemy is doing. Show them the defeats the enemy is suffering. Show them why this battle is not over. Show them why this war must be won.
And ask them to tell their politicians, of whatever party they belong, that they MUST support Our Troops, Our Generals, and Our Military. We need Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to Support Our Troops, to Support Victory, to Support National Defense, and to oppose Tyranny and Terrorism wherever it raises its atrocious head.War on Terror News©2009, ARM, all rights reserved.