Thursday, December 03, 2009

Leftists Should Support the Surge

UPDATE: below

President Obama decided Tuesday evening to augment coalition forces in Afghanistan, angering anti-war liberals (though they formerly said the opposite). I support the President's plan to add U.S. 30,000 troops. Here's two reasons why the left should too:
  1. The Afghan people want us to stay: Life in Afghanistan is improving, as even the New York Times recognizes. And a recent poll of Afghans conducted by the Asia Foundation reported that (page 40) 70 percent strongly or somewhat agree that local forces still need support from foreign troops. As Julian Glover says in the Guardian (U.K.), "precipitous retreat would certainly result in the collapse of everything we have sustained in Afghanistan, and the triumph of a foul insurgency that would inflict horror on the people of the country and that does not have their support."

  2. Women will suffer disproportionately should the Taliban triumph: As Trudy Rubin says in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
    The subjugation of women under the Taliban, who forbade them to work, attend school, or leave home without a male relative, once galvanized Americans' emotions. The freeing of women was a big achievement of the Taliban's ouster. But that issue is receiving little attention as the debate heats up over what our Afghan strategy should be.

    So I traveled to Suraya Pakzad's shelter for abused women in Herat as a reminder of the gains women have made, and the terrible price they will pay if the international community turns its back on Afghanistan. . .

    Most of all, she hopes Americans won't forget the women of Afghanistan. "The United States came to rescue Afghan women from a terrible situation," says Pakzad, "but the situation hasn't been changed as much as we expected. If they left now, with no guarantee of women's rights, the situation would go back to that of the Taliban years."
Why are progressives convinced that one can negotiate with Taliban extremists and we are hated invaders? Or is their pacifism and anti-Americanism more important human rights?


Lawyer and former US Army infantry officer (who recently returned from Afghanistan) Tom Cotton in the Weekly Standard:
Although we frequently hear that the fiercely tribal and proud Afghans instinctively rebel against foreign forces, I did not encounter this sentiment during my deployment. Afghans rarely objected to our presence, but they did complain that we haven't provided basic security. When I asked if they would accept more American troops in exchange for improved security, the overwhelming answer was yes.
(via Normblog)


OBloodyHell said...

> Or is their pacifism and anti-Americanism more important human rights?


GW said...

If we have learned nothing else over the past decade, it is that human rights is simply a tool, not an overriding value, for the left. When it suits their purpose, such as its use as a cudgel to strike at the US, then human rights occupies a preeminent position for the left. When it is inconveinient, such as the rights of Muslim women generally, Afghani women in particular (as you have noted), then it can be studiously ignored. One needs training in at least the basics of psychology to even begin to fathom the motivations driving these people.

OBloodyHell said...

> One needs training in at least the basics of psychology to even begin to fathom the motivations driving these people.

I recommend Dr. Sanity or Neo-Neocon. They both are professionals in that field -- Dr. Sanity was the mission psychiatrist for the ill-fated Challenger mission (neither a job without chops in general nor a trivial job under the resulting circumstances), and I believe Neo is a licensed professional psychologist.

They both can make clinically accurate diagnoses where they are called for.

OBloodyHell said...

Dr. Sanity is on hiatus right now for a move across the country, but for Neo, the Doctor Is In.