Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Give Obama a map, someone!

I admit to being very confused. Obama says that we shouldn't be wasting our time in Iraq, since that country is not a 'central front in the war on terror', despite the fact that Osama Bin Laden said it was. But OK, let's assume Obama's right. Obama says that we should instead focus on Afghanistan, whence came the attack of 9/11, and on Osama Bin Laden himself.

The war in Afghanistan obviously requires more, serious attention than it has received thus far. But even if you accept Obama's analysis of the war on terror, his approach makes no sense. Osama Bin Laden isn't in Afghanistan anymore, he's most likely hiding out in the wilds of Pakistan. Obama once volunteered to attack Pakistan; does he still advocate that? If so, shouldn't he let us know? His choice of Afghanistan doesn't even make sense if what he means is the danger to U.S. forces from a resurgent Taliban. That danger is real, but the Taliban weren't the ones who attacked us.

Aside from these difficulties (which I'm sure Obama would dismiss as 'distractions'), Obama is making a very serious political blunder. Afghanistan is way harder to fix than Iraq: it's much more remote, had a more primitive culture, suffered much more destruction, has a huge safe haven for the enemy just across the border in Pakistan - and, on top of all that, has a huge illegal drug trade. Making victory here the sine qua non of your anti-terrorist strategy is quite a reach.

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