It’s a cold truth: War means putting our troops’ lives at risk

In his interview with “60 Minutes” last night, Gen. Stanley McChrystal laid out a change of strategy in Afghanistan that at first sounds counter-intuitive. Use less firepower against the enemy, even when that decision increases the danger to American troops. In his mind and that of Gen. David Petraeus, protecting the Afghan people from danger — whether that danger comes from the Taliban or ourselves — is more important than killing Taliban:

“This is something that takes a tremendous amount of understanding. What I’m really telling people is the greatest risk we can accept is to lose the support of the people here,” McChrystal explained. “If the people are against us, we cannot be successful. If the people view us as occupiers and the enemy, we can’t be successful and our casualties will go up dramatically….

“I knew this was an important issue, but since I’ve been here the last two and a half months, this civilian casualty issue is much more important than I even realized. It is literally how we lose the war or in many ways how we win it.”

The counter-argument was offered last week by Ralph Peters, a former Army officer and now a columnist on military affairs in the New York Post:

“When enemy action kills our troops, it’s unfortunate. When our own moral fecklessness murders those in uniform, it’s unforgivable.

In Afghanistan, our leaders are complicit in the death of each soldier, Marine or Navy corpsman who falls because politically correct rules of engagement shield our enemies.

Mission-focused, but morally oblivious, Gen. Stan McChrystal conformed to the Obama Way of War by imposing rules of engagement that could have been concocted by Code Pink:

* Unless our troops in combat are absolutely certain that no civilians are present, they’re denied artillery or air support.

* If any civilians appear where we meet the Taliban, our troops are to “break contact” — to retreat…

We need to recognize that true morality lies in backing our troops, not in letting them die for whacko theories.

The next time you read about the death of a soldier or Marine in Afghanistan, don’t just blame the Taliban. Blame the generals and politicians who sent them to war, then took away their weapons. “

The dispute is at the heart of a longer piece I’m working on, as well as a book-length project. I side with McChrystal: This is not a war that we can hope to win through brute military force; among other reasons, we can deploy sufficient brute force only by instituting a draft and putting hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground there, and that’s just not going to happen.

The alternative approach is that outlined by McChrstal. If the population sides with us rather than the Taliban — if we demonstrate to them that their lives are more important to us than killing our enemy — we have a chance of winning their loyalty. And yes, the hard truth is that more Americans are likely to be killed in the short term while carrying out that strategy.

To be blunt, that’s just the cold calculus of war. If you need to take a hill to achieve victory, you do so knowing that hundreds of your own people are likely to be killed. If you’re not willing to take that risk, if force protection is your highest priority, then it’s time to bring the troops home because you’ve already decided that the goal isn’t worth the price.

329 comments Add your comment

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:13 pm

we can deploy sufficient brute force only by instituting a draft and putting hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground there, and that’s not going to happen.

Or we could consult with Bushie who didn’t need a draft to defeat the same enemy in a very similar situation.

We are there to kill Taliban and prevent further terrorist attacks on our country, you know, like we were doing for 7 years straight before Obozo f’ed it all up by sending more troops.

duh

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:16 pm

Why don’t we send ACORN over there to be targets, if killing the enemy is not important?

Are you libs trying to get all of our troops killed?

Is that your purpose?

They can’t defend themselves, and it’s like the Taliban would NEVER, EVER fight behind women and children.

Ignorant.

democrats and National Security, we told you.

Taxpayer

September 28th, 2009
5:18 pm

I think that the conservative Republicans need to put their bodies where their mouths are, on the battlefield. Let’s see how they do.

GEORGE AMERICAN

September 28th, 2009
5:19 pm

RALPH PETERS OF THE NY POST (NOT THE COMMIE NY TIMES WHO NEVER REPORTED ACORN OR VAN JONES SCANDLES) HAS IT RIGHT, UNLIKE MMOST MAIN STREAM MEDIA LIBERAL SHILLS.

IF YOU SEE THE ENEMY OR THINK YOU SEE THE ENEMY, YOU GOTTA BLOW THEM UP. IF YOU DON’T, YOUR A BIG CHICKEN!!!

BLOWING UP THE ENEMY IS THE MISSION OF REAL AMERICANS!!!

N.J.

September 28th, 2009
5:21 pm

We didnt send them over there. Republicans did, remember?

If anyone should be sent over its not ACORN, but Freedomworks and America Votes for shredding Democratic voter registrations.

Fact remains, if they were not over there, the Taliban bullets couldn’t reach them.

Problem is we are killing the wrong people. The Taliban had nothing to do with the attack on America on 9/11, and they are only killing Americans because Americans invaded their country and started killing them first. There are PLENTY of countries that do not have extradition treaties with the United States and Afghanistan was one of them. The reason that America is having problems winning in Afghanistan is that we are killing Afghani’s and they never did anything to us.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:21 pm

Osama Bin Laden is beloved by the Afghan people, boy, doesn’t he fight fair and honorably, killing all those civilians in NY.

The democrats have fallen for their own stupid political propaganda, the “creating terrorists” idiocy, and guess who gets to die for it.

Our troops.

I can see it now, waves of women and children rushing forward with the Taliban shooting over their heads, and America’s finest, fleeing before them.

Yep, the world will love us.

Paul

September 28th, 2009
5:25 pm

LtColonel Peters has made some very good points in the past. On this one, I think he’s a bit off.

One of our objectives it to kill AQ/Taliban. They’re mobile. They’re not into the terrain-taking model. So when we make contact, we try to kill them. If they position themselves to cause civilian casualties, we’re responding to them. So we break contact? So what? We withdraw, they withdraw. Keep tracking them, when they get away from civilians, reengage and kill.

Civilians will see with their own eyes. Their Muslim brothers put them at risk. The infidels take risks to protect them.

It’s not all that counter-intuitive.

Brad Steel

September 28th, 2009
5:26 pm

The NY Post, huh?

Was it on the delicious Page 6 beside a naked picture one of the Kardashian girls?

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:28 pm

“Civilians will see with their own eyes. Their Muslim brothers put them at risk. The infidels take risks to protect them”

And there’s an even broader picture. Take a line through the Soviets experience in Afghanistan. If we get the people on our side…they’ll win the war for us.

Real

September 28th, 2009
5:30 pm

Collateral civilian damage while fighting an unconventional enemy is acceptable!!!

Taxpayer

September 28th, 2009
5:30 pm

Hopefully, Obama will do the right thing and get us out of these stupid wars that the war mongering Republicans have dragged us into. Sing along with me, family valued conservative christian Republicans, “Onward Christian soldiers, Marching off to war…” I can’t heeeeeeer youuuuuuuuu! This is your last chance to be war mongers. Sign up and get on over there before Obama ends all the fighting and you will be left with nothing but old Audie Murphy and John Wayne movies to feed your lust for death. Then again, you could always keep up that fight against health care reform so you can watch people die almost right out in your front yards. Now that has to get you all excited.

pat

September 28th, 2009
5:30 pm

It would be nice if obama had spoken to McChrstal more than once to assess the needs there. I guess lobbying for the olympics in Chicago is more important than this war that needs to end quickly.

This idea that the people their will or may support us is asinine. They will be supportive as long as we are useful to them and provide them with weapons (mainly), food, shelter and aid. Once that ends, they have no use for us anymore. Our cultures and values are worlds apart. In a land where woman are lower than cattle, beaten regularly and abused at a rate of 90%, where woman and little girls are forced to marry men 4 to 5 times their senior, where a woman can be killed for having an affair while the men are celebrated, do you honestly think we have any commonalities with them? You think we’re going to get along with the folks over there? You have to be on a great deal of that fine Afghan poppy if you think they are ever going to like folks like us.
They have no use for us, and I am fine with that. I wish them no harm as they are caught in a crossfire between us and al qaeda and the Taliban, however, we must meet our enemies with necessary force, period. We have tried this ginger, delicate approach for 8 years now and the war only drags on. We need to crush al qaeda and the taliban decisively and end this war as quickly as possible. Winning it decisively and quickly is the only humane thing to do.

I guess going to Denmark with a sale pitch to for the Olympics some how supersedes this issue and the suddenly much more alarming threat Iran poses. Speaking with the good general only once in 70 days is telling in that I don’t think obama takes Afghanistan very seriously and is content to let the situation drag on and continually degrade.

I am offended that Bush did not take Afghanistan seriously and obama takes it less seriously. The longer the war, the more people die, it’s really just that simple.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:30 pm

Schumer’s $1.65 million take from the financial services industry is nearly twice that of any other senator’s — and more than five times what the industry gave to any single Republican senator.-Politico

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, I can remember, not too long ago, when this was a crime against humanity.

thomas

September 28th, 2009
5:32 pm

Such an important issue. One would think that the Commander in Chief would have spoken to the Gen. McChrystal more than once since the summer.

Most certainly the President has spoken with the Gen. more than once since taking office? No he hasn’t only one time.

Really one would assume that if the Pres. only cares to directly speak with the main man in charge on the ground over there once. Maybe it is the President who has already decided that the goal isn’t worth the price.

md

September 28th, 2009
5:32 pm

” Take a line through the Soviets experience in Afghanistan. If we get the people on our side…they’ll win the war for us.”

US supplied stinger missles didn’t exactly help the soviets. But Iran seems to be playing the part of the US in this one.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:32 pm

“Collateral civilian damage while fighting an unconventional enemy is acceptable!!!”

As long as YOU aren’t the “collateral” – I take it?

thomas

September 28th, 2009
5:33 pm

Taxpayer,

How did republicans drag us into this war in Afganistan?

I thought Obama wanted to go, he said he did during the campaign.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:35 pm

“US supplied stinger missles didn’t exactly help the soviets. But Iran seems to be playing the part of the US in this one”

This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with my comment…which you quoted. Can you tie them together better?

md

September 28th, 2009
5:35 pm

“Hopefully, Obama will do the right thing and get us out of these stupid wars that the war mongering Republicans have dragged us into.”

As I recall, during Barry’s campaign he was an advocate of bombing our ally Pakistan if that is what needed to be done. Your sterotyping doesn’t work too well when Barry is included.

DejaVu

September 28th, 2009
5:36 pm

The overly restrictive rules of engagement (ROE), which put limits on where aircraft could fly, which targets they could attack, and how they may attack those targets, were a significant reason that American air commanders were unable to execute a successful campaign in Southeast Asia.

…These restrictions violated Air Force doctrine and tied the hands of air commanders that were tasked with the execution of the air war in Southeast Asia.

Many airmen who flew during the Vietnam War believe that victory would have been possible for the United States had there been less restrictive ROEs. …

md

September 28th, 2009
5:37 pm

“This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with my comment…which you quoted. Can you tie them together better?”

Getting the people on “your side” is always helpful, giving them stinger missles ups their chances of success.

Brad Steel

September 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

“Collateral damage” should be more appropriately called “dead innocents.”

“Collateral damage” is euphemistically inaccurate terminology for those who promote war.

pat

September 28th, 2009
5:39 pm

Oh yeah, and I suppose the big bad republicans flew the planes that attacked us on 9/11. Or I suppose it’s the big bad republicans who continually threaten us and call upon all their brethren to kill us all.

Your stupidity would be amusing if it weren’t so tragic.

Besides, Congress voted for the war and continually votes to fund it and well as you precious UN voted for it as well. Democrats, Republicans, Whigs, Libertarians, etc. Afghanistan is probably the most bi-partisan war in history.

Why don’t you write you liberal moon-bat congressmen to vote to defund the war? Obama and congress have the votes to stop it today. Why won’t they do it? The big bad republicans who don’t even have to votes to filibuster, could not stop the defunding of the war.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:40 pm

“Getting the people on “your side” is always helpful, giving them stinger missles ups their chances of success”

Ok, yes indeed. The Afghans have already shown themselves fully capable of dealing with a “super power” invader. If we can get them turning the fierceness to the “enemy within” they’ll be far more effective than we can ever be. But we DO have to win their support…and we can’t do that with indiscriminate “collateral” damage.

Paul

September 28th, 2009
5:41 pm

Taxpayer, you lalaland moonbat, you -

[[Obama will do the right thing and get us out of these stupid wars that the war mongering Republicans have dragged us into]]

You may wanna check the vote for going into Afghanistan. Then consider the President has full power to order an immediate pullout. Now.

thomas,

One can make the case that Pres Obama is actually honoring the chain of command. While he can talk to anyone he wants to, there’s another general and a SecDef over McChrystal. I imagine the good general is a pretty fair writer and laid out his case pretty well. And that his boss was in on it. And both answered questions as they came in from Gates.

I’d guess the Army probably respects that. Had it explained to me once this way: in the Army, if you have kind of high rank and you have a question you know a sergeant has the answer to, you ask the colonel. He’ll pass it down to his officer chain and the NCO in charge of the sergeant will get the answer and it’ll flow back up so everyone knows the answer and the colonel will relay it to the questioner.

May seem a bit odd, but I understand that’s their culture. See? Just as Gen McChrystal wants his soldiers to honor Afghan traditions, so too Pres Obama honors Army traditions.

If anyone with Army experience has a differing view, I’d be pleased to hear it.

md

September 28th, 2009
5:42 pm

“Many airmen who flew during the Vietnam War believe that victory would have been possible for the United States had there been less restrictive ROEs. …”

And if the weenies in congress had grown a pair and the MSM had reported acurately, chances are Vietnam would not have been considered a “loss”. Too bad our country couldn’t support the troops in the field.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:42 pm

Please.

If the Afghan people are intuitive enough to recognize our soldiers fleeing from the battlefield on their behalf, would they not also be smart enough to know who kills them on purpose and who does it entirely by accident?

I actually thought, all through the last seven years, that the democrats were whining about dead civilians not because they cared about dead civilians, but they were using them as a hate America stage prop.

Well, what do you know, I was wrong, the democrats really did believe their ignorant propaganda.

The Islamic lunatics kill more innocent women and children in suicide bombings in one week than we have killed all year.

Can’t you people think?

The “Strong Horse,” no?

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:45 pm

What message does al Qaida get from all this, hmmmmm?

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:45 pm

“If anyone with Army experience has a differing view, I’d be pleased to hear it”

It’s not just the Army, or any armed force, corporate culture is the same thing. If you have a problem with a co-worker that you can’t deal with you NEVER complain to your Supervisor’s boss. Even if you KNOW the Supervisor can’t, or won’t, do anything…you always go to them first.

Step

September 28th, 2009
5:46 pm

Tell them damn towelheads to get the hell out of the way while we’re trying to kill the bad guys.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:48 pm

“If the Afghan people are intuitive enough to recognize our soldiers fleeing from the battlefield on their behalf, would they not also be smart enough to know who kills them on purpose and who does it entirely by accident?”

and if you are a happy, celebrating wedding party and someone drops a bomb on you…it’s just a tad difficult to be objective about who is the “good” guy and who isn’t.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:51 pm

Hey Paul, I got your differing opinion for ya-

Retired Generals Slam Bush’s Iraq Plan – Democratic Underground

West Avenue

September 28th, 2009
5:51 pm

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:45 pm
“If anyone with Army experience has a differing view, I’d be pleased to hear it”

It’s not just the Army, or any armed force, corporate culture is the same thing. If you have a problem with a co-worker that you can’t deal with you NEVER complain to your Supervisor’s boss. Even if you KNOW the Supervisor can’t, or won’t, do anything…you always go to them first.

That’s the biggest load of crap I have ever heard. When I have a problem that I need addressed, I bypass all of those that won’t do a damn thing about it. YOU GO TO THE TOP IF YOU WANT RESULTS.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:52 pm

“Tell them damn towelheads”

Oooh! Big brave conned. But shake an ACORN at them and they all scurry away like mice, screaming “the sky is falling, the sky is falling”

Step

September 28th, 2009
5:53 pm

and if you are a happy, celebrating wedding party and someone drops a bomb on you…it’s just a tad difficult to be objective about who is the “good” guy and who isn’t.

If they are stupid enough to have a wedding party in the middle of a war zone, then they deserve what they get.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:53 pm

“When I have a problem that I need addressed, I bypass all of those that won’t do a damn thing about it”

I bet you do, too. How many promotions have passed you by?

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:54 pm

DoggoneGA- and if you are a happy, celebrating wedding party and someone drops a bomb on you…it’s just a tad difficult to be objective about who is the “good” guy and who isn’t.

doggone- Take your terrorist propaganda and stick up your….

American soldiers do not target wedding parties on purpose and if you say that %$#^% again, I’m going to wind up getting banned.

Step

September 28th, 2009
5:55 pm

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:52 pm

Oooh! Big brave Bozo. Hey everybody, Bozo here use the word “CONNED”.

YOWZA!

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
5:57 pm

“American soldiers do not target wedding parties on purpose and if you say that %$#^% again, I’m going to wind up getting banned”

“that %$#^%”

You don’t have the nerve to say anything that would get you banned. It doesn’t matter if it was deliberate or not…and I NEVER said it was…but it happened and it didn’t make us ANY friends.

Matilda

September 28th, 2009
5:57 pm

Good God, y’all! What is it good for?

West Avenue

September 28th, 2009
5:58 pm

I guess you are the play it safe kind of guy/girl that will never get anywhere in the corporate world or anywhere for that matter.

Hey doofus, we know you don’t have a job. You’re on here all day long, every day. So, until you do have that “corporate” job – STFU.

md

September 28th, 2009
6:00 pm

Personally, I say help the economy and our troops at the same time by putting a drone factory in ever state and small recon teams on the ground and blow the crap out of them from the sky. The most advanced military in the world should not be putting boots on the ground for the sake of numbers.

eagle scout

September 28th, 2009
6:01 pm

West Avenue ,, ” YOU GO TO THE TOP IF YOU WANT RESULTS.”

Oh really? You obviously have never been in the armed forces!

RollerGirl

September 28th, 2009
6:02 pm

These Pashtoon large protruding forehead creatures are not capable of giving us their hearts and minds, above and beyond some pavlovian lower animal learned response. Destroying their ability to be a problem is the goal. If that kills some or all of them, so be it.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
6:02 pm

“Hey doofus, we know you don’t have a job”

Your mind reading needs a tune-up, it’s not firing on all cylinders.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

September 28th, 2009
6:03 pm

Well, I’m with the rest of the Conservatives on this blog. Kill them all and let Satan sort them out. If a civilian gets in the way, well, that’s one dead civilian. And if their guvmint gets in the way, kill them too. Heck, we ain’t over there to make friends. We’re over there to kill and blow up people. It don’t do no good to spend all that tax money so our soldiers can have weapons and bombs if we won’t let them use them.

In a bar, if somebody questions your manhood, you don’t just walk away because somebody minding his own business might get hurt if you throwed a chair or something. You let the guy have it and don’t stop stomping till he ain’t moving no more. Well, same thing applies to our troops over there. If they need more coffins to bury the dead, I’m all for using our tax money for that.

This Obama and his general are just disgusting. Bunch of namby-pambys. I ain’t for leaving there till we’ve killed every Afghan in that country. Then they’ll have a free country and we can bring our troops home. With Honor. That’s my opinion and it’s very true. Have a good night everybody.

Paul

September 28th, 2009
6:03 pm

Report/Whine

Don’t you think that many of the engagements we have with Taliban make it pretty easy for us to press the attack or withdraw from the attack? That in a lot of cases there are very small towns, not much more than a few huts, really, that are either nearby or where the Taliban have chosen to take up position?

So don’t we have a lot of choice? And it we want to press on and kill them, what difference does a few hours make? In most of these cases it’s not like our guys are in danger of being overrun by Taliban hiding in villages. I don’t think anyone’s saying we target civilians on purpose, but when you have a 155 shell or a 500 pounder with a few hundred yard kill zone dropping close by, it doesn’t make much difference to the mom or dad or the future Taliban brother if it was an accident or not. So we fall back. They melt away (if we have our act together, drones can continue to surveil). We go back into the village, make sure everyone’s okay, hand out supplies, tell’em now that they’re safe we’re going to pursue the bad guys. Doesn’t that sound reasonable?

I just saw your 5:51 “Retired Generals Slam Bush’s Iraq Plan – Democratic Underground”

It’s not all that different from Pres Bush’s plan, is it? Y’know, I’m still amazed how so many of these generals have all these bright ideas to speak out years after they’ve got their last star and their careers and hundred K pensions are secure.

TnGelding

September 28th, 2009
6:07 pm

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
5:13 pm

Bush fiddled for over 7 years and now Obo has to make a quick decision? I don’t think so. The Taliban was never a threat to us. In fact, on 09/10 they were our allies in the fight to eradicate poppy production.

mike

September 28th, 2009
6:07 pm

Brad Steel –

““Collateral damage” is euphemistically inaccurate terminology for those who promote war.”

You mean President Obama uses that terminology?

“I was in the streets of Chicago again, this time speaking at a rally in opposition to war in Iraq. I did not oppose all wars, I said. I was a strong supporter of the war in Afghanistan.”

http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/the_war_we_need_to_win.php

eagle scout

September 28th, 2009
6:08 pm

It can’t get any better than this Colonel Paul holding counsel with General whiner over the best battle plan to defeat the taliban.

You two are a barrel of laughs.

N.J.

September 28th, 2009
6:09 pm

Enter your comments “Hopefully, Obama will do the right thing and get us out of these stupid wars that the war mongering Republicans have dragged us into.”

Like I said, Republicans start the stupid wars illegally, knowing that legally, we have to stay in them once they are started and then fix everything we broke as a result of the war. If we don’t not many of our allies will trust us as being consistent. The reason that the Turks didn’t allow us to use their bases for the invasion of Iraq this time is that the U.S. broke every promise it made to them last time which left their economy in a ruin, which they had barely come out of by 2001.

The result of the current Bush invasion of Iraq is that Turkey, where America once had a well over fifty percent percent popularity rating along with Americans who had the same rating, is now down to less than 9 percent in popularity in that country while Bush was in office. Having Obama has improved things a good deal which will make leaving Iraq a whole lot less expensive if the Turks allow us to withdraw troops though their country and overland into Europe rather than the route they had to take getting in:

Nor were Turkish views of America much better,” the report stated. In 2009, only one-in-six Turks had a favorable view of the US, compared with the support of 52 percent of the population in 1999/2000, according to polling for the US State Department. In addition, 42 percent of the Turkish public had a “very unfavorable” view of the US, by far the most negative of all countries included in the Transatlantic Trends survey. Again, only one-in-six Turks, about 16 percent, thought it was desirable for the US to exert strong leadership in world affairs.

http://www.turkishny.com/en/english-news/15153-transatlantic-survey-turkey-warming-toward-us-europe-but-still-.html

And currently Turkey is the Middle Eastern country that has the BEST opinion of the U.S.

mike

September 28th, 2009
6:11 pm

Redneck Convert –

Thanks yet another tedious version of your ignorant stereotype. It must be convenient to think that those who don’t share your political views are evil and dumb. It speaks poorly of you as a person, but I imagine it’s easier than having to support your positions on their merits. It’s so much easier to hate than think.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
6:12 pm

Paul- This is from Newsweek, embedded with our enemies of course

HAQQANI: Two days before the September 11 attacks on America, we were all celebrating the death of [Northern Alliance commanderAhmed Shah] Masood, [who was assassinated by Qaeda agents posing as television reporters]. His forces were already on the verge of defeat, so his death all but assured us of total victory in Afghanistan. But the September 11 attacks turned our cheer into deep concern. We gave those camels [a derogatory Afghan term for Arabs] free run of our country, and they brought us face to face with disaster. We knew the Americans would attack us in revenge.

Realizing the danger, I immediately sent my wife and children to Pakistan. The entire government started to fall apart. I never thought the Taliban would collapse so quickly and cruelly under U.S. bombs. Everyone began trying to save themselves and their families. When the bombing began, I changed out of my usual white mullah’s garb, put on an old brown shalwar kameez, and headed for Pakistan. I crossed the mountains on foot, and at the top I turned around and said: “God bless you, Afghanistan. I’ll never come back to you under our Islamic regime.”

AKHUNDZADA: When the bombing started, I was commanding some 400 fighters on the front lines near Mazar-e Sharif. The bombs cut down our men like a reaper harvesting wheat. Bodies were dismembered. Dazed fighters were bleeding from the ears and nose from the bombs’ concussions. We couldn’t bury the dead. Our reinforcements died in their trenches.

Any questions?

Paul

September 28th, 2009
6:12 pm

eagle scout

How’re those peanuts up in that gallery seating?

Jay

September 28th, 2009
6:14 pm

Gee, Reporter, so you’re substituting your own judgment for that of the generals, in this case the sainted Petraeus as well as McChrystal, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, former special ops commander and special forces officer, a real snake-eater, as they call him?

Yeah, he’s a real pacifist, that McChrystal. I’m quite sure you could explain to him his deficiencies as a man and warrior very clearly, face to face.

Yes indeed, I’m quite sure how that little encounter would turn out.

Paul

September 28th, 2009
6:15 pm

Report/Whine

No questions. It was a different time, a different place, an enemy with a different disposition.

It’s different now. We should, be too.

And if we ever find 400 AQ massed again, you can be pretty certain a few 500-pounders will be lasered in.

mike

September 28th, 2009
6:15 pm

N.J. –

“Like I said, Republicans start the stupid wars illegally”

Coming from a person who is clearly ignorant of history, an accusation of “stupidity” is pretty harmless.

The “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists” bill which gave authorization from the Afghan War was almost unanimous:

House of Representatives
420 Ayes,
1 Nay
10 Not Voting (the Nay was Barbara Lee – D-CA).

Senate
98 Ayes
0 Nays
2 Present/Not Voting (Senators Larry Craig – R and Jesse Helms – R)

And let me quote President Obama one more time:

“I was in the streets of Chicago again, this time speaking at a rally in opposition to war in Iraq. I did not oppose all wars, I said. I was a strong supporter of the war in Afghanistan.”

http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/the_war_we_need_to_win.php

N.J.

September 28th, 2009
6:16 pm

I will state it here and now. We can’t win in Afghanistan and we never COULD win in Afghanistan for any reason. It is impossible. It is as plausible for the U.S. to win in Afghanistan as it is for the United States to become an Islamic Caliphate. Isn’t going to happen, ever in anyway. The Soviets had a greater advantage when they were fighting in the place, a land border with the country and all sorts of short supply lines and roads into the country. All the Taliban has to do is wait. They have all the advantages. No amount of equipment superiority can defeat a nation whose native insurgency has the same ideological background as the people who live in it. The U.S. will always be seen as a foreign invader and will never be accepted.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
6:18 pm

When the enemy so much as chambers a round in his rifle, we should light up the whole entire area, with every means available, stupid, huge, ambivalent discharges of heavy munitions, a salvo from a battleship with 16″ shells screaming through the air like some train wreck of horror, Puff the Magic Dragon totally unrestrained in mindless anger.

And then finish it off with white phosphorus.

They’ll get the message.

And our troops will soon be home.

Anybody want to tell me which focus groups Patton used while he was liberating Europe?

eagle scout

September 28th, 2009
6:18 pm

Tell you the truth Colonel Paul there were no peanuts in the gallery when I served….They were called C Rations and they sucked.

Ever eaten ham and lima beans heated from your turbine….Didn’t think so.

Now you should be off to discuss battle plans with the great swami Whiner.

N.J.

September 28th, 2009
6:18 pm

And again, the Taliban are not only still there, no matter how many of them were cut down, they are growing in number and they control more and more of the country every day. The British were WAY superior to the American Colonists in 1776 and look where it got them.

mike

September 28th, 2009
6:19 pm

Jay -

What is up with the sneer about “the sainted Petraeus”? Are you mad because you were such an outspoken opponent on the surge.

BTW: Nice post yesterday. Can you please explain why a girl dying after wrongly believing that she could not afford health care is case of health care “rationing”? She received health care, including a helivac as soon as she asked for it.

TnGelding

September 28th, 2009
6:19 pm

He’s right about winning the hearts and minds, but you’re wrong about the number of troops needed and the need for a draft to provide them. We simply have to get the Navy and USAF more involved. When combined with the UAVs the uncertainty of when and where they would strike would send the Taliban and al Qaeda scurrying for home in fear. But would they reorganize once the carnage has ended?

Also, we don’t have to supply all the troops. Since they’re already there, let’s make this the showdown Bush pretended to be having in Iraq.

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
6:22 pm

He works for me now bookman, that’s how that works.

I’d first apologize for the “commander in chief” that I gave him.

Sacrificing our soldiers on behalf of a political slogan, yes, we would have a discussion.

Paul

September 28th, 2009
6:22 pm

eagle scout

“Peanut gallery” refers to people who watch something being discussed, whose sole contribution is to ridicule the discussion and not offer ideas.

Now that we have that out of the way, have you an idea to offer on Jay’s piece?

Report/Whine 6:18

I think we’ve pretty well stated our respective positions.

mike

September 28th, 2009
6:24 pm

“I think that the conservative Republicans need to put their bodies where their mouths are, on the battlefield. Let’s see how they do.”

Hate to have facts crash sown on your mindless partisan fantasies, but Republicans far outnumber Democrats in the service. According to the Military Times, the active serving armed forces is:

48.9% Republican
14.4% Democrat

45.8% Somewhat or very conservative
8.4% Somewhat or very liberal

So again, your mindless yammering is disproved by a simple Google search.

BTW: How much military experience does this guy have?

“I was in the streets of Chicago again, this time speaking at a rally in opposition to war in Iraq. I did not oppose all wars, I said. I was a strong supporter of the war in Afghanistan.”

http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/the_war_we_need_to_win.php

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
6:29 pm

I guess I shouldn’t have included all of the war porn in my earlier cut and paste, let’s distill this a bit-

When the bombing began, I changed out of my usual white mullah’s garb, put on an old brown shalwar kameez, and headed for Pakistan.

md

September 28th, 2009
6:30 pm

“It is as plausible for the U.S. to win in Afghanistan as it is for the United States to become an Islamic Caliphate. Isn’t going to happen, ever in anyway”

May want to check the bith rates of the worlds various demographics. With the decline of Christainity, it is very “plausible” for the “silent war” to be won in the US at some point in the future. May be a while, but if the birth rates continue to decline in the west, it is quite plausible to end up with a global “Islamic Caliphate” without a shot ever being fired.

Be careful with the terms “ever” and “never”.

eagle scout

September 28th, 2009
6:30 pm

I know what it refers to fool.

And, no I have no idea what to do. I served as a lowly warrant officer flying helicopters. No one at the pentagon has called for my advise. What would I know anyway!

And your credentials for making your suppositions?

md

September 28th, 2009
6:35 pm

Wonder which chickenhawk said this:

“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,”

And last I checked, Pakistan was an ally and a sovereign nation.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
6:36 pm

“Thanks yet another tedious version of your ignorant stereotype”

Nothing to see here. Move along. Just another Pavlovian response.

Ray

September 28th, 2009
6:37 pm

1. Turn the people against.
2. When they side with the enemy, carpet bomb the whole freaking toilet.
3. Every troops’ boot are back in the USA for an insane July 4th on the Mall – 2010.

Nations that can’t control their animals don’t need to be nations – not when one of said animals takes a bite out of us.

Jay

September 28th, 2009
6:38 pm

No Mike, Military Times does NOT say that is the partisan breakdown of the military.

It expressly states that is the breakdown of Military Times subscribers who responded to its survey,which is a very different thing. It further expressly acknowledges that more than half of those who responded were retirees, and that only 2,800 of the 8,700 respondents were full-time active duty. Furthermore, it states that “the group surveyed is significantly older than the military as a whole, and the survey group contains a higher percentage of officers than is present in the military.
Conversely, junior enlisted troops, women and racial and ethnic minorities made up a smaller share of the sample than of the military at large. While it is difficult to predict how those factors affect the results, those groups are generally regarded as more supportive of Democratic candidates.”

THAT’s what Military Times says. Someone other than a hyperpartisan would know that.

every mothers son

September 28th, 2009
6:42 pm

Gee Jay

Ya mean Mike is playing with the facts?

Who woulda thunk!

West Avenue

September 28th, 2009
6:46 pm

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
6:36 pm
“Thanks yet another tedious version of your ignorant stereotype”

Nothing to see here. Move along. Just another Pavlovian response.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE. MOVE ALONG. JUST ANOTHER PAVLOVIAN RESPONSE FROM THE RESIDENT DIRTBAG, DOGGONE/GA.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
6:47 pm

“Who woulda thunk!”

snicker!

Paul

September 28th, 2009
6:50 pm

eagle scout

[[And your credentials for making your suppositions?]]

The Internet is the true frontier of ideas. People are judged on what they post, the ideas they bring, not upon their current or past accomplishments.

As far as what I’ve done that qualifies an opinion? Maybe you’ll tie this into what I wrote earlier (I’ll give the Reader’s Digest version).

After WWII the rage among top tier hotels was glassed-in dining on the top level. One older but elegant hotel wanted to follow the trend. The owner called in an elevator firm to see about installing an elevator as all they had were stairs.. The representative proposed taking out a number of rooms to make room for an elevator. The number of rooms eliminated would greatly affect the break-even point. The architect said take it or leave it, that was the only option.

The doorman asked if he could offer an idea. “Put it on the outside of the wall. Glass it in. Let people see the city lights at night as they ride to dinner.” The rep said that was nonsense. Elevators didn’t belong outside of buildings. That had never been done.

Then he uttered the words: “What do you know? You’re only a doorman.”

The elevator representative was dismissed, the El Cortez in San Diego contacted another company and installed the first outside glass elevator in the world and had a wonderful run of business.

Because the owner knew ideas and creativity are open to anyone.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
6:50 pm

“THE RESIDENT DIRTBAG, DOGGONE/GA”

Awwww…that was so cute. Got anymore snuggle terms…or did that exhaust your vocabulary?

jconservative

September 28th, 2009
6:51 pm

Both Bush & Cheney said we were in Afghanistan to kill bin Laden. After that failed, the Bush administration put a plan on the table to negotiate with & buy off the Taliban. As far as I know that plan is still on the table. The Bush administration also decided we would nation build in Afghanistan. This is what the Obama administration inherited, a nation building project. And this is what McChrystal was handed, a nation building project.

After 8 years we are still in Afghanistan because we failed in our mission. In short, we have been defeated to date. And guys like
Peters can holler about combat tactics all they want. That is all they can holler about. They do not have a clue about how the Afghanistan
strategy spills into Pakistan. And how Pakistan spills into India. And how Afghanistan strategy spills into Iran, which spills into Israel.
Which then spills into Russian & China. These are all interconnected.
Peters cannot see past the battalion perimeter.

Bush could have pulled the NATO troops out of Afghanistan prior to the Iraq invasion. After the Iraq invasion he accomplished nothing in Afghanistan.

West Avenue

September 28th, 2009
6:53 pm

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
6:50 pm

Awwww…that was so cute. Got anymore snuggle terms…or did that exhaust your vocabulary?

Just another Pavlovian response from Doggone/GA

Taxpayer

September 28th, 2009
6:56 pm

thomas

September 28th, 2009
5:33 pm
Taxpayer,

How did republicans drag us into this war in Afganistan?

The same way they do everything. Sneakily and underhandedly, amongst other things. And, now that we want to get out, you just watch, the Republicans will complain about it and insist that we stay even though they thought that we should leave just the other day. Republicans are also a fickle lot.

I thought Obama wanted to go, he said he did during the campaign.

I doubt it. I think he had to do that in order to counter the lies being thrown around by the McCain campaign. It was just something that had to be done.

DoggoneGA

September 28th, 2009
6:56 pm

“Just another Pavlovian response from Doggone/GA”

Hey, how else are we going to identify each other?

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
7:02 pm

Good afternoon. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations, and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.-President Bush

Just clearing up some idiotic history revision.

Taxpayer

September 28th, 2009
7:06 pm

mike

September 28th, 2009
6:24 pm
“I think that the conservative Republicans need to put their bodies where their mouths are, on the battlefield. Let’s see how they do.”

Hate to have facts crash sown on your mindless partisan fantasies, but Republicans far outnumber Democrats in the service. According to the Military Times, the active serving armed forces is:

48.9% Republican
14.4% Democrat

45.8% Somewhat or very conservative
8.4% Somewhat or very liberal

So again, your mindless yammering is disproved by a simple Google search.

BTW: How much military experience does this guy have?

“I was in the streets of Chicago again, this time speaking at a rally in opposition to war in Iraq. I did not oppose all wars, I said. I was a strong supporter of the war in Afghanistan.”

Thanks for proving my case, mouthing mike, since the ones on the battlefield are hardly the whining mouthes that I was referring to (that would include you, mike). By the way, mike, I called you out for the LIAR that you are last night and, as usual, you ran away. Now go get your popgun and put it to good use.

mike

September 28th, 2009
7:07 pm

Jay –

“It expressly states that is the breakdown of Military Times subscribers who responded to its survey,which is a very different thing. ”

You are right. I misread the nature of the poll. My mistake.

That being said, It is still a good indicator that Democrats are far outnumbered by Republicans. Considering that red states are far overrepresented in the military, I have no problem believing that the poll is fairly accurate.

Apart from all of that, I love how you swoop in to address a post that was not addressde to you because you have an easy answer. At the same time you ducked the direct questions I asked you because you have no answer and you are little a man and too big a coward to admit you are wrong.

Let me ask again:

Can you please explain why a girl dying after wrongly believing that she could not afford health care is case of health care “rationing”? She received health care, including a helivac as soon as she asked for it.

Feel free to duck it again, coward. You know that your argument is utter garbage and that you are cynically standing on a dead girl’s corpse to shout your fear mongering partisan crap. Congrats, liberal Glenn Beck. You have your Teri Schiavo.

mike

September 28th, 2009
7:08 pm

Taxpayer –

You think I care that sad and lonely person who has no life in the real world shouted “LIAR” at me? LOL

Keep on barking, groupie.

Jay

September 28th, 2009
7:09 pm

Just to clarify, the numbers cited by Mike apparently come from a 2007 survey of Military Times subscribers. The raw numbers I cited came from a similar survey by Military Times in 2004.

The survey methodology and the audience surveyed (of Military Times subscribers) were identical in the two surveys, and the editors of Military Times noted the identical reservations and caveats in both.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

September 28th, 2009
7:10 pm

Well, I never!

TW

September 28th, 2009
7:18 pm

Gates – “The first legitimate strategy we’ve had in Afghanistan in 20 yrs.”

Well, there ya have it. Every single penny of w’s 400k/yr was nothing but welfare. Worse actually, being that he left such a hideous hole when he was done.

Oh, those tough ‘publicans…

mike

September 28th, 2009
7:21 pm

Jay –

Acutally, my poll was from 2007:

http://www.militarycity.com/polls/2007activepoll_politics.php

Of course, I could be like you and make a huge deal over a minor technical point, but I am not that petty.

I answered your “question” to me, yet you continue to duck the questions I pose to you. Pretty consistent behavior from the guys who loves to dish out the criticism but clealry can’t take any himself. Typical pundit.

What’s the matter Jay? Only want to engage when you have some trivial technicality to catch me on?

Well, since you are too much of a coward to address any question actually posed to you, let’s stay on this thread.

Do you really think the poll is so out of whack that a 48% to 14% split doesn’t translate to a serious disparity in the actual numbers?

Taxpayer

September 28th, 2009
7:21 pm

mike

September 28th, 2009
7:08 pm
Taxpayer –

You think I care that sad and lonely person who has no life in the real world shouted “LIAR” at me? LOL

Keep on barking, groupie.

I think your posts speak for themselves, LIAR. Further, you even continue your childish rants against another of my posts tonight by lieing about the results from a poll that you cite and even go so far as to attack Jay for responding to your lies on the basis that the post was not addressed to him. Well, I’m calling you out on that one too. LIAR, you absolutely do care about what I have to say (as for you, you sad and lonely person with no life, that is a different matter altogether) because you even admitted it by addressing me yet again and again and again. You are truly pathetic, mike. Rutgers graduate and former ‘Fortume 500 company’ executive, my a$$.

TW

September 28th, 2009
7:23 pm

Jay – thanks a bunch for correcting the liars on here.

mike

September 28th, 2009
7:24 pm

yep -

“Exactly. Bookman loves the censor button. When proven wrong, he ignores or censors. Him and CT should write for Pravda. But, then again, even Pravda has standards. Unlike the AJC.”

There is no doubt. He is always lurking around, waiting for chances to respond only when he is dead certain that he is right. If presented with a tough question he just ignores it.

I bet it ain’t quite what he was dreaming of when he was in journalism school. He is no journalist. He is the moderator and head troll of a nasty partisan blog. Glen Beck without the success.

mike

September 28th, 2009
7:25 pm

TW –

“Jay – thanks a bunch for correcting the liars on here.”

What was the lie. Show the quote.

I wouldn’t want to have to call you a “liar”. LOL

Normal

September 28th, 2009
7:30 pm

Study Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. Winning in Afghanistan has the same chance.
——————
Jay your retort to Whiner…a body cast comes to mind… ;)

mike

September 28th, 2009
7:30 pm

Taxpayer -

Here is the scoop.

You are among the least intelligent and most gullible people on this blog. I try to avoid speaking with you, mostly because I feel bad. It is like playing checkers with the mentally disabled.

What has become clear is that you take some kind of sad satisfaction out of trying to goad me into some pathetic back and forth of personal insults.

So I will be ignoring you for now on. Not because I am tired of you (although I am). Not because it is unfair to debate the mentally challenged (although it is).

I will be ignoring you because it will drive you crazy. So when you see me ignoring your nonsense, keep in mind that I am doing so knowing that it is really upsetting you.

mike

September 28th, 2009
7:31 pm

TW –

Looks like you are a “liar”. LOL

See how easy it is to call someone a liar? Don’t have to have any basis for it. You can just bleat it out.

Jackie

September 28th, 2009
7:32 pm

Here we go with the “keyboard warriors” again. They seem to think the crap they see on TV and in the movies happens to be real life.

You can tell by their comments they have not been a member of the US Armed Forces and will never distinguish themselves by wearing the uniform of this country.

An example of this patent nonsense is “send a battleship over and rain down 16-inch shells on all of them” to paraphrase. Do they know the range of those 16-inch guns and how does the battleship get to the location to fire those guns?”

TW

September 28th, 2009
7:34 pm

Why mike – what on earth makes you think I was talking about you? It’s not ALL about you, mike – really, you give yourself way to much credit…and what’s with dropping Glen Beck’s name? Keep it in the bed room, eh?…ewwwwwwww

Seriously, though, lay off of Jay. It’s blogs like this that keep sissy’s like you from getting it whipped at the bar :)

I Report/ Vast White Wing Conspirator (-: You Whine )-:

September 28th, 2009
7:35 pm

abnormal- So how did your Falcon’s prediction work out yesterday?