(Wayne Allyn Root) – I describe myself as a Reagan Libertarian. My heroes are Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. I am a strong supporter of the brave men and women who risk their lives and limbs to defend our freedom. I would never hesitate to defend America or her interests around the world. I am not shy about retaliating against terrorists, or other enemies of America.
Although President Bush violated the Constitution by never bothering to ask Congress for an official declaration of war (and shame on him for it), I supported him on Afghanistan, the training ground and epicenter of Al Queda and their attack on America on 9/11/01. However, over the past two years my views have changed dramatically. Despite my conservative, pro-military background, I no longer support this war.
I believe President Obama has made a grave decision that will result in a never-ending commitment to a war that America can neither afford, nor win. Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan is a country comprised of people without national identity, with only family and tribal loyalties. They have no interest or desire to build a democracy. America has no business in attempting to force them to do so, and I, for one, am unwilling to commit American lives and treasure to support a corrupt group of war lords. Let them fight their own battles.
I would not risk the lives of my young sons on this tragic game plan. Would you? Would Obama? Would any of the gung-ho Republicans who have come out in support of Obama’s war expansion plans? I don’t think Karl Rove or Newt Gingrich would send their sons. I know that Mitt Romney has never sent any of his 5 sons. But they certainly have no problem sending your sons with enthusiasm.
If we are going to fight this war, we had better be able to answer the simple question: “Why are we in Afghanistan?” While watching the NBC Evenings News on Wednesday night, I heard two very disturbing statements by 4-star General Stanley McCrystal, the commanding general of our war efforts in Afghanistan. First he stated we were there “not to conquer, not for glory, not for money…but rather to help the Afghan people shape their future.” Is that why we’re there? Silly me. I thought we were there to punish and destroy our enemies in the war on terrorism. Even our generals are now recruited into Obama’s politically-correct world.
I have to assume that neither President Obama nor General McCrystal have ever read the United States Constitution? Because nowhere in that brilliant contract with the citizens of America does it say the government has the right to sacrifice American lives to “help other people in far-away lands shape their destiny.” The destiny of the Afghan people is their concern, not ours. We have no right to tell them how to live their lives, nor will they listen. After we leave, whenever we leave, they’ll surely go back to the way things were before we got there.
The second statement that General McCrystal made was to quote Winston Churchill. He said, “This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. It’s the end of the beginning.” Really? Is that our plan? We’re only at the end of the beginning of a long grueling war. That’s certainly not what President Obama said on Tuesday night. He seems to think we are already near the end of the war and setting dates right now to depart. If the President and his own generals are that far apart in their visions and game plan, I fear we have created a recipe for disaster. Obviously the soldiers (the “boots on the ground”) agree. One soldier boldly went on camera for NBC News and said about Obama’s 18 month deadline for leaving Afghanistan, “That’s a joke.”
First Obama waited months to support our troops with the reinforcements his generals said were needed; now he’s set a deadline to end the war that our own soldiers think is a joke. This was a deadline set purely for political reasons, based on political calculations (the war must be ended before the 2012 elections).
As anyone with managerial experience or just plain common sense will tell you, once a decision for action has been made you hire the best, most experienced people you can, provide them the resources they need and get out of the way. Is that what’s happening? Obviously not. This isn’t a war run by generals, this war is run by incompetent lawyers and an inept group of community organizers based in D.C., who have instituted “rules of engagement” that handcuff our own brave soldiers in the name of political correctness.
The “rules of engagement” set by Obama will lead to a disaster. They’ve already led to a Vietnam-like drop in morale. Don’t believe me? Ask the brave Navy Seals team that now face court martial for slapping an Al Queda terrorist leader after capturing him. The same terrorist who coordinated the burning and hanging of the bodies of Americans on a bridge in Iraq. The poor man got a boo boo- a bloody lip while in custody of our Navy Seals. Now they face prison. Think that leads to winning a war? That’s not a war I’d let my sons participate in.
So why exactly is President Obama expanding the war, when candidate Obama was so loudly and strongly anti-war? Because this cold, calculating politician sees this war as another excuse to expand government, increase spending, and increase the power of his office. To Obama, the war in Afghanistan is no different than the twin frauds of universal healthcare and Cap and Trade. They are all “opportunities” to expand spending to the point that the federal government is all-powerful.
Obama’s plan is the opposite of Ronald Reagan’s. Reagan wanted to cut taxes to starve government and free the American people (and the capitalist system) to exercise individual initiative and personal responsibility. Obama’s plan is to raise spending to levels that will bankrupt the country, weaken the faith of the American people in capitalism, and force massive tax increases to redistribute wealth- thereby creating a socialistic nanny state with government in charge. The war in Afghanistan is just another “opportunity” to grow government bigger; make big corporations, lobbyists, special interests, and defense contractors fat and happy (who will then contribute to Obama); and redistribute the wealth faster.
Universal healthcare will be funded by a “wealth tax”, a dramatic expansion of Medicare and Medicaid taxes passed on to the states, and soon a VAT tax paid by every consumer. Cap and Trade will be funded by massive new taxes and mandates on business and dramatic increases in every consumer’s utility and gasoline bills. And, the expansion of the Afghanistan War will be paid by yet another “wealth tax.” These are all opportunities to spread Obama’s Socialist agenda.
It’s all been part of Obama’s plan from day one. It was all explained by Rahm Emanuel who famously said “Let no opportunity go wasted.” We cannot afford this war. We cannot afford to nation-build, or to be the world’s policeman. We cannot afford the lives lost or the treasure. To paraphrase my hero Ronald Reagan, “Mr. President, END THIS WAR.”
(Mr. Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate)