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The Expansionist
Sunday, August 01, 2010
 
"The Antiwar Left". I had some time to fill this morning while waiting for Liquid Plumr to work on a drain, so was channel-surfing, and surfed into the end of Fox News Sunday, something I would certainly not seek out. But you should know what the rightwing punditocracy is saying, if it doesn't drive you crazy.
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I was astonished to find myself agreeing with neocon Bill Kristol, who criticized the lack of will of some segments of the American public on the Afghan war. He didn't say, as I said here July 14th, that the "deadliest month" in Afghanistan entailed trivial numbers of dead as against our major wars, but he did say that the people who are so impatient about the slowness of the task of restoring Afghanistan to stability, in which it would not permit its territory to be used to train enemies of the United States, would have demanded the U.S. end its participation in World War II in late 1942, as soon as the landings in North Africa met unexpected resistance.
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Some blonde woman then dredged up a mythical "antiwar Left" that wants the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan even if that should result in the Taliban's recapturing control of the country. There is no such thing as an "antiwar Left" that favors return of the Taliban. There are, alas, some fools who think that we can withdraw from Afghanistan WITHOUT the Taliban returning to power. That is not an issue of ideology, only of stupidity.
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The Taliban is a monstrous movement that unites several things the Left detests: theocracy, intolerance of all kinds, violent oppression of women, and murder of gay men. There is, consequently, not one single Liberal on Earth who favors return of the Taliban to control of Afghanistan. When it comes to Afghanistan, there is NO "antiwar Left".
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Iraq is an entirely different story, because Iraq is an entirely different country of entirely different nature. That's why it has a different name: "Iraq", not "Afghanistan".
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Before the attack upon Iraq ordered by Israel, Iraq was one of the most progressive and most secular countries in its region. It had a substantial Christian community, and Saddam Hussein's Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, was a Christian. Women had an enviable position in Iraqi society, unlike in Iaq's neighbors. Iraqis were, as the Middle East goes, well educated, modern, tolerant, and secular, happy to have mosque and state separate.
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The "antiwar Left" is now, and has always been, opposed to the U.S. war against IRAQ, not Afghanistan. Iraq did not attack us; Afghanistan under the Taliban did. If President Obama has not ended the ill-considered, Radical Zionist aggression against Iraq by 2012, yes, he might very well face opposition for the Democratic nomination from Liberals, and not just on Iraq. But ALL Liberals favor whatever reasoned measures may be necessary to bring Afghanistan into the 21st Century.
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You see, Liberals really do believe in the ideal commonly expressed as "liberty is indivisible". They want the same freedoms for everyone on the planet as we have here and as codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Afghanistan is a signatory. We make no exceptions for local cultures, and do not accept the idea that any culture has the right to deny fundamental human rights. We do not compromise on human rights. We do not align ourselves with corrupt governments that play pattycake with warlords who would impose the standards of the Middle Ages upon the modern world, not in their own immediate vicinity, not by extension of violence abroad.
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It is "pragmatic" rightwingers who are always eager to sell out American principles: to "go along to get along". They subscribe to such despicable notions as "he may be a bastard, but he's OUR bastard". They feign powerlessness to change ingrained cultural attitudes, or habits of mind, even tho many cultures have changed in fundamental ways over time. The United States went from permitting black slavery to having a black President in 145 years, with midpoint stops at integrating the armed forces in 1948 and desegregating schools in 1954. Mexico City and the entire country of Argentina went from entrenched, antihomosexual machismo to gay marriage. Spain went from fascism to socialism in a few decades; South Africa, from apartheid to black-majority government; and on and on.
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If John Kerry is making negative noises about Afghanistan, he should be confronted:

Do you really want the Taliban to return to power in Afghanistan, Senator? Are you really so naive as to think that the people of Afghanistan, who fell to the Taliban once, will be able to defeat them without our help this time? How, Senator, is Afghanistan so miraculously healed and empowered now that it can defeat a radical-Islamist insurgency that controls much of the country outside the cities to this day? Would not U.S. withdrawal GUARANTEE the swift triumph of the Taliban, and the return of the Taliban to its evil ways of destroying human rights wholesale, and training enemies of the United States for missions on our own territory, or for attacks upon U.S. embassies, corporations, and individual citizens all over the world? How can you have reached age 66 without having grown up and accommodated to the harsh realities of this violent world? Stop daydreaming, Senator. The Afghan people PLUS U.S. and other NATO forces are having an almost impossible task defending against Taliban attempts to recapture control of the country. How on EARTH could you realistically expect the Afghan people WITHOUT outside help to defeat the Taliban? You're talking nonsense.

So we have to assume that you think it's just fine if the Taliban takes back Afghanistan, closes schools for girls, consents to have women violently suppressed, even murdered, by their husbands, or have angry husbands or spurned boyfriends throw acid in their faces; kills people who wish to convert out of Islam; kills homosexual men; and violates every single clause of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If that is your stance, own up to it, and we'll know how to regard you, and how to dispose of you at the polls.

(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,413 — for Israel.)



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