Is the administration setting up a Vietnam in Afghanistan? *UPDATED*

I’ve said it a million times and I’ll now say it for the million and first time:  You fight wars to win.  If you’re not committed to winning, leave.  If you don’t leave, and fight a half-assed war, you end with dead soldiers.  That’s what happened in Vietnam, and that’s what Obama and Biden are planning to see happen in Afghanistan.

Although a liberal assured me I shouldn’t worry.  He said that a “vast majority” (and who knew 53% was a vast majority?) of Americans voted for Obama and Biden and that those two can therefore be trusted to make the right decisions.  I suggested, more politely than this idiot deserved, that Obama’s and Biden’s profound lack of military experience meant that Americans trusted them to following the generals (whom Americans do trust to know how to wage war), rather than to go their own way.  “Oh, no,” he responded.  “We have to have faith in Obama.”  When I hit that religious wall, I knew all rational discourse was over.

Trust Jennifer Rubin, of course, to explain exactly what the problem is with the advisors to whom Obama is listening.  Having given Biden a fair hearing, Obama’s now turned to someone else:

The bad news is that Kerry is Obama’s new best adviser. What this boils down to is chiseling on the troops by dragging the process out so as to “diffuse the political problem of asking Congress to fund 40,000 more troops — at about $40 billion — all at once.” Because, with a trillion dollars needed for a health-care bill the voters don’t want, we plainly don’t have $40B to win a critical war, right? And Obama can’t be expected to persuade Congress to do what is needed to win the war, so “diffusing” — denying his general the troops he says he needs — is the way to go.

My advice, and I never thought I’d say this, is that if you are a young person contemplating a military career, wait four years and see who our next president is. The current president has no care for your welfare. And if your enlistment is up, take the skills you’ve learned and go elsewhere.

UPDATE:  Apropos my final suggestion, maybe military service is still worth the greater risks the Obami are creating.  In a National Review Online interview, Dan Senor and Saul Singer, authors of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, explain why the military is such an essential part of Israel’s incredible economic vitality:

LOPEZ: What’s the secret of its success?

DAN SENOR: Our book dives into many interacting factors, but one of the most important is the training and battlefield experience that most Israelis receive in the military. The military is where many Israelis learn to lead and manage people, improvise, become mission-oriented, work in teams, and contribute to their country. They tend to come out of their years of service (three for men, two for women) more mature and directed than their peers in other countries. They learn “the value of five minutes,” as one general told us. They even learn something more uniquely Israeli: to speak up — regardless of ranks and hierarchy — if they think things can be done better.

Certainly that jives with what I’ve seen of people who enter and leave our military.

When I was growing up, one of the neighborhood boys was a slacker before that term was invented. He was a bright kid who lay on the couch, watched TV and drank beer. When his parents kicked him out, he ended up joining the military because he thought it was a way to avoid “real” work. The military was the making of him. It gave him the discipline he’d sorely lacked before. When he got out, a long time later, he became one of the early dot com millionaires. He was never one of the huge players, but he also had moved so far beyond the couch slacker that it was hard to believe the two were the same people.

UPDATE II:  Please see a further discussion in the comments section to this post regarding the pros and cons of staying, not in the military, but in Obama’s military.  I think my point is valid, but I’m awfully impressed by the arguments coming in from the other side.

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  • expat

    Book – I have zero mititary experience, but it seems a no brainer that a CIC doesn’t announce to his allies and to the enemy that he hasn’t a clue about what to do next. I probably learned this stuff watching shows like the Lone Ranger and Gunsmoke as a little kid.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Absolutely, 100%-right, Book. The difference with Vietnam, though, is that our enemy in Vietnam had no plans of attacking us in our homes on our shores the way that Al Qaeda and their Taliban allies did on 9/11.

    I am with you, though…either fight to win decisively or get out. And, by “winning decisively”, I mean crush and destroy them so that they beg for unconditional surrender. No more false peaces that prove merely to be interludes to more war (e.g., Treaty of Versailles, Korean Armistice, Vietnam “Paris Peace Accords”, Oslo Accords, Iraq Cease Fire (1st Gulf War).

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    Vets for Freedom – November 5th in DC

  • JKB

    We must remember that the military betrayed Obama and the Dems last year. They and their mouthpieces (CNN, MSNBC, etc.) had the Iraq war all but lost. Unfortunately, the military didn’t get the word and pushed forward to near-stable state. It forced Obama to double down on Afghanistan creating the dilemma he’s in now.

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    The most interesting — even darkly amusing — point about it is that in their deep fear of having another Vietnam and thereby turning Obama into LBJ, they seem to be on track to getting another Vietnam and thereby turning Obama into LBJ.

  • CollegeCon

    Not to be overly antagonizing, but I honestly found this:

    “My advice, and I never thought I’d say this, is that if you are a young person contemplating a military career, wait four years and see who our next president is.”

    to be frankly disgusting. Its not about who’s president, or what party is in power. If anything, its more important than ever that good people join, so the military can be strong in a difficult time. Basing a decision to enlist on the political party and president in power strikes me as profoundly wrong.

  • Bookworm

    Have to disagree, CollegeCon. I believe in military service. Normally I would say that the party in power doesn’t matter. But this time around, it’s this specific president who matters.

    To date, his conduct demonstrates that he’s creating a scenario in which American forces are going to be targets. My current concerns about a military career, are not about patriotism or service. They are about an unconscionable loss of life that will be attributable purely to the President’s ideologically driven decisions to disarm the military and leave them alone in the battlefield to die.

    Let me explain this in more personal terms. Since he was two, my son has been fascinated with the military. Since he was eight, he’s been unwavering in his commitment to enter the military. If things go on in this way, I don’t doubt that he will indeed join up. I’ve always been encouraging, despite knowing that the military is a high risk career. If it’s his passion, I’ve felt, he should follow it. I think the military will be good for him, and he will be good for his country.

    Having said that, if my son happened to be of military age under a president precisely like Obama — one who declines to take his generals’ advice; who looks to John Kerry, Joe Biden and this week’s version of Valerie Jarrett or Bill Ayers for for strategic guidance; who caters to the enemy’s prejudices and passions; who speaks of his own troops in the cruelest and crudest terms, as he did during the campaign when he called them baby killers; and who resists any steps to define his troops’ goals, to equip them, to support them with additional personnel, or, alternatively, to withdraw them entirely to safety — I would argue vigorously against my son joining the military.

    It’s one thing to take the known risks associated with a military career. It’s another thing entirely to put yourself into the hands of a Commander in Chief who hates you, who hates what you do, and who willingly will sacrifice you to political and ideological expediency. That’s not serving in the military. That’s immolating yourself on the altar of a Leftist’s politics.

  • Ymarsakar

    You’re starting to get the kind of motivation required to truly beat the enemy, Book.

    Always before, the Left had hate and used other Americans as the fuel. This didn’t make them better fighters, citizens, politicians, or lawyers. It made them better narcissists and enemies of America. It didn’t make them more successful at battle, but it made them never give up, so whatever good opportunities cropped up to hurt Americans and foreigners, they were on it. They didn’t rest, because they had hate. THey didn’t forgive, because they had hate. They didn’t give up their fight, even in the face of numerous setbacks, because they had hate. Their hate gave them the motivation to keep on fighting until their enemies were obliterated.

    So far, I have not seen a comparable hatred of Leftists from conservatives as I have seen vice a versa.

    John McCain doesn’t hate the Left. He hates torture. Bush doesn’t hate the Left, he hates the terrorists. You see how this works. It is never an even playing field. It is not a fight between Marines that hate Al Qaeda torturers and AL Qaeda torturers that hate US Marines. It is asymmetrical, this fight between the Left and America, and conservatives and the Left. That’s why it is dangerous to America’s political process. The process was supposed to be symmetrical. You weren’t always going to win, but at least you had a level playing field. We don’t have a level playing field. That started going bye bye even during WWII.

    to be frankly disgusting. Its not about who’s president, or what party is in power. If anything, its more important than ever that good people join, so the military can be strong in a difficult time. Basing a decision to enlist on the political party and president in power strikes me as profoundly wrong.

    It strikes you as a dangerous precedence, something you are right to be afraid of. But that does not affect the justice or injustice of the act. Loyalty among humans must always go both ways.

    The military doesn’t become strong by feeding bodies into the meat grinder.That destroys morale, causes corruption, and destroys actual institutional war fighting knowledge. Read back on Vietnam. It’s one thing if that happened due to mistakes. It is quite another to inflict such a wound on the nation on purpose. One is a tragedy and avoidable, the other is evil and anti-Constitutional.

    The military doesn’t make policy. If you want to keep the military strong, elect less stupid and corrupt politicians. The single most important reason why Leftists wanted conservatives put into the military to ‘fight their war’ is because once in the military, you have Absolute Zero say in terms of changing policy. If the Left’s treatment of McChrystal hasn’t taught you that, I’m sure you’ll get another lesson soon.

    Human beings have free will. The oath the military takes is to first defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, then to obey the CinC and the legal chain of command. If a citizen believes that he cannot honestly satisfy the top two conditions, he should not enlist and utter an oath he knows he probably can’t keep. That’s another reason not to join.

    Plenty of people refused to re-enlist under President Clinton’s military budget cuts because they saw how horrible conditions started to get. And they weren’t even in a continuous war time operation. People’s lives are their own. No American, especially the government, can tell people by what criteria they will live their lives. Volunteers are volunteers because they volunteered to take the risks, not because they were coerced, threated, or shamed into it.

  • Ymarsakar

    He was never one of the huge players, but he also had moved so far beyond the couch slacker that it was hard to believe the two were the same people.

    I don’t think Obama wants to create another Vietnam. I don’t think they want to avoid another Vietnam, however. Vietnam, after all, was the source of most of theLeft’s power in the last century.

    Yea, last century.

    What they will do, is to get as many Americans killed as they can. It’s on purpose. It’s for the greater good. The more Americans that die, the more they can take control or blame Bush.

    The reason why Obama is going to send in a trickle of troops, enough to kill more Americans but not enough to save lives in the long term, is precisely because of how the military produces good men and women through training.

    He’s going to stop that, or at least slow it down. And feeding them into the furnace is one very nice way of doing just that.

    The positive reasons for those going into the military are the exact reasons Obama won’t want you out of the military alive, competing with him in politics or the economy.

  • Charles Martel

    It may come down to the U.S. military being the only thing standing between us and fascism. If so, I would want the armed forces to have enough motivated men and women who will not be afraid to stand up to Obama and his sociopath friends.

  • Bookworm

    I’m very torn here. I want a strong military. I believe in the military. I believe in the wars the military fights. I think Charles is right that the military may be the last bastion. But . . . But . . .

    Can I in good conscience say that people should enlist in and stay in a military headed by a CIC who, on matters of attitude, fears them, dislikes them, insults them, weakens them, denigrates them, likes about them; and on practical matters ignores his generals in favor of buffoons with no military, strategic or tactical credentials whatsoever, understaffs the military, under-arms the military, denigrates the military and its goals to the enemy, and generally surpasses mere incompetence and wanders into the realm of active malevolence? (And that is one hell of a long sentence.)

    Believing in the institution doesn’t mean I think our troops should be sacrificial lambs to their own leadership.

  • Charles Martel

    Book, yes. But what else can we do? Obama and his louts are determined to cripple the military by corrupting it with cronies and ideologues, destroying its esprit de corps, and starving it for money and materiel.

    If he succeeds, we are doomed. But what happens if he cannot quite achieve his ends because there remains a hard core of men and women who will defend the Constitution within the military? At least we will have a weapon, besides our own civilian courage and arms, with which we can resist.

  • Ymarsakar

    Obama won’t be relying upon the military or the MP to enforce his policies. At best, the military can refuse orders to support crackdown operations like WACO or kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez, but the nature of the military is that they go with the flow. The chain of command is followed. It would have to take a sufficient motivating force to make the generals themselves collude in actively opposing civilian policies, which it is in itself dangerous as it overrides civilian control.

    Any civilian resistance will have to be civilian in nature to be legitimate under the eyes of the Constitution. The military cannot and probably will not take the lead, even if the cost is casualties in excess of 9/11, per day. They can provide support for peaceful protests, by providing security for the area, but that’s unlikely to be tasked to any military unit.

    It all depends on what target is being cracked down on. As we saw with Democrat controlled segregationist South, repressive methods can backfire… if the media has an interest in reporting it.

  • NavyOne

    Two nights ago, I was sitting in the back of our bus along the flightline. We were heading off to another mission. My guys were upbeat (I lead a team of about 8 guys.) I like to keep things loose and loud before we fly. Blowing off a little steam helps relax us when we need to be really focused later.

    So the topic came up of flag burning. One of the new guys says: I would not want to live in a country where I can’t burn a flag. And he looked at me and said: Right?

    I forget how exactly I replied, but I disagreed with him quietly. He was a prior sub guy and bubbleheads are always a little different.

    He then went on to pontificate about how he does not support the reasons we went to war in Iraq. We were about four hours away from flying a mission over the place and he was getting all political. I immediately changed the subject. . .

    He is a poster boy for Obama’s military. I say this in regard to pictures he has posted around the barracks, his loud converstaion, etc. I have no problem with him expressing his beliefs, what I question is his discernment. I have a lot more rank on him, but he has a loose tongue and extremely poor judgment. I shudder to think of him in charge of anything. If all the solid Sailors leave the Navy and leave it to folks like him, we are sunk as a fighting force.

  • CollegeCon

    One wonders why, if he has such a problem with the current military and its goals, he bothered to join in the first place.

  • NavyOne

    “One wonders why, if he has such a problem with the current military and its goals, he bothered to join in the first place.”

    He joined the Navy in 2000. . .

  • Ymarsakar

    It’s impossible for all competent and experienced leaders to leave the military. that will never be the problem.



    I hope that he is the exception and not the rule.

  • Ymarsakar

    One of the notable things about General Petraeus’ promotion is that he was now put in a spot where he would decide which of the numerous officiers in the service would be promoted. That, just as in any political or bureaucratic hierarchy, is enormous power to change the entire face of an institution and its future.

    Obama doesn’t need the presence or absence of officers captain or below, using infantry ranks. All he needs to do is to ensure that his generals are put into place, and then they can start the transformation of the military from the top down.

    You only need infiltration from the bottom if you are the insurgent and the enemy is the status quo occupier. In this nation of ours, the Left is not the status quo, not the insurgent.

  • Ymarsakar

    first not=now, second not=not


    Thanks Y – for clearing and cleaning that up for me.