Friday, March 30, 2007


Unserious Strategy

Charles Krauthammer points out the illogic of Democrat statements about “the real war on terror” in the Washington Post.

Krauthammer rightly observes that the stated basis for various Democratic posturing is both illogical, and wrong: that somehow Iraq distracts the US or keeps us from going after the “more important” war in Afghanistan. As Krauthammer notes, the US spends “more on defense every year than the rest of the world combined.”

The President’s war opponents have always vested the person of George W. Bush as the embodiment of the war effort, as if “Bush can’t fight two wars in two different places at one time.” They prattle on thus, as if it somehow takes the undiluted, complete attention of every soldier in the Army and every bureaucrat in Government, to fight two relatively small scale and mid-to-lower intensity conflicts at the same time. The world’s a simple place indeed to them. Or rather, the world’s complex, but they’re too simple to confront it.

That’s easily dismissed by Krauthammer as the lesser proof that Democrats are unserious. Democratic pronouncements on Afghanistan reveal that Democrats consider Afghanistan of greater strategic importance than Iraq, on the wrongheaded basis of their own consciences, rather than national interest, according to Krauthammer:

The Democratic insistence on the primacy of Afghanistan makes no strategic sense. Instead, it reflects a sensibility. They would rather support the Afghan war because its origins are cleaner, the casus belli clearer, the moral texture of the enterprise more comfortable. Afghanistan is a war of righteous revenge and restitution, law enforcement on the grandest of scales.

He’s right, of course.

The Democrats make no strategic sense because they refuse to think strategically -- from a military perspective, from solid knowledge-base in international politics, or for that matter, from a sound historical perspective. Their leading lights are militarily ignorant – they must turn to military novices (or ne’er do wells) such as Kerry and Murtha, or dally temporarily on the other side of the aisle with the unpredictable McCain.

Foremost Democrats show a remarkable ignorance of foreign affairs and global politics. They excel at schmoozing with foreign luminaries on the cocktail circuit, or in high-ego, high altitude settings like Davos or Aspen, and mistake that for actual international relations. (Well, I suppose they are, of a sort, if you think that the comings and goings and hobnobbings of the elite, top .1% of Global Intelligentsia should matter at all to the great unwashed rest of us.)

And of course, they misread the history of the 20th and emerging 21st centuries with almost humorous incomprehension. They thought bringing the US Military home from Vietnam “acknowledged a failed war” and ended an imperialist impulse, rather than surrendering in the face of military victory after long struggle, and then de-funding an ally, leaving it vulnerable to naked aggression, and decades long oppression for the region. They count themselves the real heroes, those who spit and marched and consorted with our enemies, rather than those they spit upon, who fought, who died, who languished, brutalized, in enemy prison camps. (Where, incidentally, they practiced real torture, rather than some milquetoast sensory deprivation.)

Global free market capitalism (ala Morton Friedman) has arguably saved more people and improved more lives than all of the world’s Political “isms” combined, and yet. For Democrats, as with the social democratic brethren the world over, Capitalism caused far more harm than all the Communists, Socialists, and other central planning tyrants all put together.

(They haven’t quite made their mind up about National Socialism and Fascism. As much as they like using some form of those words as preferred insult, they still find resonance in the old anti-Semitism that lies at the root of animosity towards the mini-American oppressor, Israel. They also show a marked proclivity towards the same kinds of extreme conspiracy mongering at the heart of both radical Islamic and Nazi theologies.)

I’ve ranted on off a single rift of the Krauthammer piece, which is surely worth a read the whole thing. So do.

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