Thursday, August 16, 2007

It Is Not The War In Iraq/Afghanistan

I believe we have seen the opening lines in a new commentary which the Bush apologists are trotting out to justify the war in Iraq. The new logic conflates the war in Iraq with the war in Afghanistan. The goal is to make it seem that those who want to withdraw from Iraq also want to abandon Afghanistan, even though overall support for the war in Afghanistan remains steady.

The newest koolaid drinker (spiked to be sure) is Christopher Hitchens who has the temerity to proclaim in his newest screed:
These objections sometimes, but not always, amount to the suggestion that the "real" fight against al-Qaida is, or should be, not in Iraq but in Afghanistan. (I say "not always," because many of those who argue the difference are openly hostile to the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as to the presence of coalition soldiers in Iraq.)
Just who could Hitchens be referring to? Is there even one Congressional critic of the war in Iraq who has expressed this opinion? Instead of using the term "many" Hitchens would be more honest by pointing to a small minority.

Hitchens' statement is perverse because the predominant opinion from critics of the Iraq war stands in direct opposition from that which Hitchens claims. The vast majority of those opposed to the war in Iraq support increasing aid to Afghanistan, and reinforcing our troop presence there. We understand that Afghanistan is where Al Qaeda plotted the attacks, and we want to successfully finish the job there.

I feel like following each of these obvious truths with "duh". We need to finish the job in Afghanistan, duh. Iraq did not attack us, duh. Loyal Bushies should stop conflating the wars, duh.

Is it not odd that Hitchens' misrepresentation of the prevalent opinion amongst those he disagrees with was given to us on nearly the same day that Rudolph Giuliani made essentially the same claim in his Foreign Affairs article? From Giuliani's perspective, to consider withdrawal from Iraq is to consider withdrawal from Afghanistan:
We cannot predict when our efforts will be successful. But we can predict the consequences of failure: Afghanistan would revert to being a safe haven for terrorists, and Iraq would become another one -- larger, richer, and more strategically located
In fact Giuliani mentions Iraq and Afghanistan in the same sentence through out his article, as though these two distinct wars are one and the same. As though the reasons for going into both nations were one and the same. Never mind that the nation had to be brought to reluctant support of the invasion of Iraq by a systematic campaign of lies and deception. The Bushies now want to conflate the two wars making it seem that not supporting Iraq means you don't support Afghanistan. Of course if you support the effort in Afghanistan, in the new paradigm you must also support the war in Iraq.

In this light, it may make sense for the neocons to bring Iran into the fray and sort of join up the separated war fronts with conflict stretching, uninterrupted, from Jordan in the west to Pakistan in the east. But as is my wont, I digress!

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