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Calvin Freiburger

Ann Coulter: Retreat in Afghanistan?

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Posted on October 19 2009 2:06 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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I’m a big Ann Coulter fan, and agree wholeheartedly with David Swindle’s view of her as the most valuable piece currently on the Conservative Chessboard.  But recently on “Geraldo at Large,” she came dangerously close to calling for a U.S. withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan.

Ann makes a good point (elaborated upon in her latest column) about the Left’s arbitrary distinction between Afghanistan as a “war of necessity” vs. Iraq as a “war of choice” being a headache entirely of their own making, but there’s far more at stake on the battlefield than the Obama Administration’s PR woes.

Coulter’s argument seems to be that the main purpose of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is to draw jihadists into a “flytrap for Islamic crazies,” where they’ll promptly be killed by our armed forces.  It makes sense to continue this in Iraq, a relatively pro-Western nation receptive to regime change, but not in Afghanistan, where not only is the general populace far more sympathetic to the terrorists, but other strategic problems exist as well. Coulter explains in her column:

Afghanistan is a brutal battlefield, largely invulnerable to modern warfare — something the British and Russians learned. But as our military under Bush showed the world in 21 days, scimitar-wielding savages are no match for the voluntary civilian troops of a free people.

Bush removed the Taliban from power, captured or killed the lunatics and, for the next seven years, about the only news we heard out of Afghanistan were occasional announcements of parliamentary elections, new schools, water and electricity plants.

The difficult choice Obama faces in Afghanistan is entirely of his own making, not his generals’ and certainly not Bush’s. It was Obama’s meaningless blather about Afghanistan being a “war of necessity” during the campaign that has moved the central front in the war on terrorism from Iraq — a good battleground for the U.S. — to Afghanistan — a lousy battlefront for the U.S.

There is grave cause for concern about the nation’s extremism (recall that, five years after regime change, the Karzai government almost executed one of its citizens for converting to Christianity), but on the other hand, based on his time spent there, Michael Yon believes there’s still “considerable good will” we can tap into with the right strategy, and regardless, local temperament doesn’t erase the consequences of granting our enemies free reign to restore Afghanistan’s pre-9/11 status as a state sponsor of terrorism.

President Barack Obama is showing enough signs that he lacks the resolve to see our mission through; the last thing conservatives need to do is provide him with excuses to abandon it.

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