The Obama administration's raison d'etre for the Afghan occupation -- the purported dismantling of Al Qaeda and elimination of breeding-ground conditions for transnational militants -- is as self-defeating as it is abstruse, an assessment proven out by this past weekend's terror strike in Portland at the hands of a Somali-born operative who tried to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony (and, although mentionable, said attack's FBI inducement is a polemic for another day).
Even more chilling and vague is the neoconservative camp's broader aspirations for perpetual war based on euphemisms such as "taking the fight to the terrorists" and "keeping them on the run".
The Neocon's logic, also employed to justify the Iraqi excursion, is that U.S. offensives in Islamic nations will strike fear into the hearts of freedom-hating Muslims wherever they may find sanctuary the world over, while the notion these forays might have an antipodal effect, creating more terrorists than they vanquish, is an incomprehensible absurdity to devout patriots, and nonsense that would only be espoused by liberals who hate America.
Matthew Hoh, former marine captain and foreign officer, laid out in a recent Intelligence Squared debate why Obama's Afghanistan strategy defies commonsense:
Al Qaeda is a collection of individuals. It's not a formal military organization that we can defeat with conventional forces. And think about it. Look back at the last 10 years of their attacks. Their most recent attack, a lady who took two parcel bombs and FedExed them from Yemen. Look at the attacks of the last three years in this country in the sense that they're done by individuals, small cells, it's a decentralized organization that will not be affected by the presence of brigade combat teams occupying Southern Afghanistan. So nine years ago 19 men hijacked four airplanes. We're now in Afghanistan 109 months later with 100,000 troops spending over $100 billion a year.
Plus, many terrorism experts have claimed most of the 9/11 planning took place in Hamburg and not Afghanistan; thus, it's fair to wonder why the U.S. is not conducting night raids in Germany.
Meanwhile, out of ignorance, Islamophobia or both, right-wing hawks portray the "war on terror" as a cultural clash between Western Judeo-Christian and Islamic civilizations, while generating a level of fear that makes proactive aggression seem rational: let's kill the lunatic Muslims before they ruin Christmas.
If anyone doubts this, just ask New Orleans Governor Bobby Jindal, a Christian fundamentalist and an emerging great Republican hope, whose ideas on national security should make every U.S. citizen "Praise Jesus" that Jindal has denied harboring Presidential ambitions (or so he claims).
Jindal endorsed the "take it to them" national security stratagem, stating it clearly on Meet The Press and other news shows, while showing a distaste for empathizing with our "sworn enemies" -- them Muslims.