Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mr Obama Its Taliban Not Al Qaeda


by Ron Spangler

As a Senator and Presidential Candidate Mr Obama along with Senator John Kerry and other Democrats repeatedly accused President Bush of taking his eye off the ball in Afghanistan. They constantly reminded America how important it was to defeat the Taliban and deny Al Qaeda safe haven in Afghanistan. Now everything has changed for President Obama.

He announced in March 2009 that he had a new strategy for Afghanistan and this was a war that we could not afford to lose. He appointed General Stanley McChrystal as the new Commander on the ground in Afghanistan and assured him of his full support. After Gen McChrystal gave his report and assessment of the situation on the ground President Obama back peddled and is now seeking advice from others like Vice President Biden. Meanwhile we are losing more troops in combat than we have since we went into Iraq.

President Obama will not acknowledge that it is the Taliban we are fighting in Afghanistan, not Al Qaeda. He and Vice President Biden seem to think it is only Al Qaeda that is a direct threat to America. I would like to remind them and the rest of the Democrats that without the Taliban running Afghanistan, Al Qaeda will have very few places to hide. Most of the Muslim world is tired of Al Qaeda and will not let them hide and attack America from within their countries. They have seen how Al Qaeda lost in Iraq and what happened when a determined America refuses to give up.

In speech after speech President Obama and his spokesmen will not say anything about the Taliban in Afghanistan. When they are asked about Afghanistan and the fighting that is going on, they always refer back to beating Al Qaeda. Its the Taliban that have been attacking our troops. Its the Taliban that is trying to overthrow the Afghan government and force all of NATO out. It will be the Taliban that gives Al Qaeda a safe haven in Afghanistan if we capitulate and leave with our tail between our legs.

I have made comparisons between Afghanistan and Vietnam. There are also differences. The military today has better equipment and technology and it is a all volunteer military that believe in the mission. If they are allowed to fight and they receive the support from both the politicians and the public they can defeat the Taliban and destroy the remnants of Al Qaeda in Pakistan. It will not be a short casualty free war in Afghanistan, no war is ever casualty free. It will take time and determination the same as it took to defeat Germany and Japan in WWII. President Obama must come clean with the American people and get them behind the war.

He was right when he said this is a war we cannot afford to lose and most Americans understand this. If he thinks he can win public support by saying it is all about Al Qaeda and dismissing the Taliban he will lose the public, Americans are not stupid. Its time President Obama, Vice President Biden and the rest of the Democrats came to grips as to the real enemy in Afghanistan. Like happened in Vietnam it will be the politicians that will lose this war not our military.

As a veteran myself I hate sending our young men and women to fight and die in foreign countries. However unless we are prepared to accept another 9/11 we must finish what we started. It was the Taliban government that allowed Al Qaeda to train and plan the attacks on America. If they regain control they will feel emboldened to help Al Qaeda attack us again. The Taliban and Al Qaeda will seek revenge on our allies and Pakistan for actions they have taken against them during our time in Afghanistan. President Obama must stop the misguided thinking that we only have to defeat Al Qaeda to call Afghanistan a success.

There is a reason why Vice President Biden did not win in his run for President. Just like his idea of separating the different factions in Iraq by partitioning off the country was stupid, so is his idea that you can win in Afghanistan with a small special forces and airpower strategy. This is a police action attitude and similar to the attitude prior to 9/11. The world is watching what happens in Afghanistan the same as they were watching in Iraq. The situation in Iraq is winding down and unless President Obama does something stupid like an immediate withdrawal, Iraq will go down in history as a success. If he does not listen to his commander on the ground but decides to listen to civilians with no combat or military experience Afghanistan will go down as a failure. If this happens it will not only be President Obama that looks weak and timid it will be America. If we as a country look weak in the eyes of our enemies and our allies then our enemies will attack and our allies will be reluctant to help us in our next hour of need.

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