"“We must never forget,” he (Obama) said. “This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.
“So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people.”
The speech, to an audience of 5,500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and their families, was in pointed contrast to Mr. Obama’s frequent criticism of the war in Iraq as “a war of choice.” The president on Monday repeated his pledge to withdraw all troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, saying, “And for America, the Iraq war will end.”" NY Times
So, how is this different from the deluded propaganda that the Bush Administration served up about Iraq for years and years?
The sub-text in these remarks is the fantasy that has been circulating among minimally informed senior officers and staffs, a fantasy that insists that the Muslim fanatics of the Al-Qa'ida network are a credible existential threat to the United States. As the fantasy goes, the yearning of the very small number of dangerous zealots to restore the medieval empire of the 'umma on a global basis has some chance of realization. Power Point presentations have been written by shady consultants that support the idea that "the Muzlims" want to restore that supposedly theocratic "uber" state under the name of the "Caliphate," (khilafa) and to reduce such existing countries as Pakistan, Egypt, Denmark, etc. to mere commanderies (emirates) of the "Muzlim" world empire. An example of such a briefing for the JCS is at the bottom of this post.
Well, people in Hell want ice water, too. The yearning of the zealots does not equate with capability now or in the future. The Bush Administration did not like Husni Mubarak's "pharonic democracy" in Egypt, but his insistence on suppressing Islamist groups has kept these people from power in that country. Hopefully, the Danes can do as well. The idea that this small group of crazies is an existential threat to the US would be funny if it were not so very clear that the same kind of nonsense was "sold" to the American people before and during Iraq.
Park your own propaganda influenced fantasies at the door and let's remember – Iraq did not have WMD. Iraq did not have a working relationship with the Sunni crazies. Iraq did not participate in 9/11. We are leaving Iraq without having changed anything there except that we put the Shia Arabs in charge of whatever parts of the country that they can hold. We improved the security situation in Iraq by applying the age old method of "divide and conquer" to the qalaxy of leaderless (in terms of central command) insurgent grops that we faced. It had nothing to do with the purple thumbs.
Now we have the same kinds of propaganda fantasies being sold to the American people and to a malleable executive branch. We are now told by the president himself that governance and development in Afghanistan are vital American national interests. We are told that the plight of Afghan women is a vital interest of the United States. Such statements imply a long term commitment to the "modernization" of Afghanistan. Such statements imply an ever moving process of "mission creep" no matter what sort of reception McChrystal's "strategic review" receives in Washington.
And, lastly there is the theocratic police state in Iran. It is being suggested to Americans that; the government of Iran (Shia), the Pushtun dominated Taliban melange (Sunni), and Al-Qa'ida (Sunni) are all really the same thing. I heard Hillary say that a few months ago. Obama implied it yeasterday. What rot! But, it is selling.
Ask yourself. Where is this foolishness of "caliphates" and "existential threats" coming from. THINK!! pl