One of the greatest columns I ever read was one published by Mona Charen (photo above) in the days following the September 11, 2001 Muslim terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Her opening line was, “What we need now is courage”. It was truly one for the Ages.
Nearly twelve years later we still have troops in Afghanistan, fighting, dying and having their limbs blown off – for what?
Today I wandered into the Jewish World Review and read Charen’s June 4 column. The title is How Obama Gets Us To Forget His Failure In Afghanistan. She excoriates Barack Obama’s conduct of “his” war in Afghanistan. (Let’s not forget that George W. Bush is the one who got us into that campaign, then effected a de facto abandonment of same in order to invade Iraq.) Charen spends considerable energy defending George W. Bush’s rationale for the Iraq invasion. So, the question is, who’s the bigger fool – Bush or Obama? Mona Charen says it’s Obama. I say she’s wrong. Here are some astonishing, and disappointing, excerpts from her column:
…Perhaps Bush was wrong to go to war in Iraq. If so, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Joe Biden and many other Democrats were equally mistaken. But President Bush at least knew what he was about in going to war.
George W. Bush had no idea what he was really doing when he went to war in Iraq (which is now re-embroiled in the same old internecine Sunni vs. Shiite Muslim civil war which has raged for centuries on end). Bush’s dangerously misleading speeches following the 9/11/01 attacks, which told us that Islam is a religion of peace, indicated either gross ignorance of Muslim history and doctrine, or an abject misunderstanding of them. Whichever the case, his advisors on Islamic affairs included operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, introduced to him at the White House on September 26, 2001 by Grover Norquist. More from Charen’s column:
He made his case forcefully to the nation — and the argument did not rest solely on Saddam Hussein’s possession of WMDs. He aimed to transform Iraq and then the entire Middle East, preempting vicious states and terrorists from obtaining or using WMDs and offering to the oppressed populations of the region an opportunity for self-government.
And therein, ladies and gentlemen, are revealed not only Bush’s foolish disregard of Muslim history, but the deeply disappointing indication that Mona Charen, herself, has done little, if any, homework in Islam 101 since all of this horror began. Had she done some research on the Islamic Legacy of Jihad, she’d not be nearly so forgiving of George W. Bush’s blunders, because she’d have to realize what Bush failed to grasp in his ignorance.
The eventual spread of freedom would undercut the malign appeal of extremists and would reverse decades of U.S. policy that had winked at Arab despotism. It was an idealistic, if in retrospect, unduly ambitious agenda (and I say this as someone who supported the war). But President Bush cannot be faulted for failing to grapple with the inevitable costs or risks of war.
Idealistic agenda, indeed. There was never going to be anything resembling Western style “freedom” in the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq, because to a Muslim the very word means “perfect slavery to Allah”. And when given the opportunity to write their own Constitutions, through the blood shed by American soldiers and Marines, the people of both nations defined their countries as Islamic Republics. Worse, both Constitutions enshrined Shariah as the supreme source of law, including clauses which forbid passage of any legislation that is contrary to Muslim law.
…President Obama doesn’t want us to notice, but he prosecuted his own war in Afghanistan. It was a “war of choice.” He surged 33,000 troops to the country to risk and sometimes lose their lives between 2009 and 2010, and then he looked the other way. Against common sense (and the advice of his generals), he accompanied his announcement of the surge with a date for its conclusion. It was an engraved invitation for the Taliban to wait us out and for our allies on the ground to make the best deal possible with the enemy. It was also an invitation for Americans to lose their lives in vain…
All of the American lives lost in this war were lost in vain. Since our troops pulled out, Iraq is in a state of chaos. As soon as the last American troops leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will be back in there. George Bush got us into the Middle East morass through his ignorance and misunderstanding of Islamic history.
Barack Obama keeps us there because he does understand Islam’s history, even as he lies to us about its true nature.
He was raised as a Muslim. He knows this war cannot be won as we are fighting it. He doesn’t intend to win it. He is systematically turning the entire Middle East over to the Muslim Brotherhood, which fully aims to destroy our civilization.
Mona Charen asserts that Obama is wrongly defending his failure in Afghanistan. Really? It depends on what one believes he really intends to accomplish. So, who’s the bigger fool – Bush or Obama?
Read Charen’s entire column.