Friday, June 24, 2011

Collateral Damage

The anti-Iraq War crowd has repeated the claim that Iraq distracted us from winning in Afghanistan. Well, ever since we won in Iraq they don't claim that since now they want to lose the only war we have, but you get the point. President Obama has already effectively undermined that contention that Iraq distracted us from Afghanistan. And now,  one of his senior officials does the same while defending the aggressive withdrawal timetable:

"We haven't seen a terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan for the past seven or eight years," said a senior administration official in a briefing given to reporters in Washington before Obama's speech. "The threat has come from Pakistan over the past half-dozen years or so, and longer."

Huh. So despite the failure of the Bush administration to pour troops into Afghanistan after overthrowing the Taliban regime and scattering al Qaeda, we haven't seen an al Qaeda threat from Afghanistan since perhaps 2003? Or 2004? Just when the Iraq "distraction" was kicking in? Are you saying that had we drawn down troops in Iraq in 2004 to focus on Afghanistan or even declined to invade Iraq in 2003 that we'd have had no impact at all on the Taliban question because the threat was in Pakistan? Oh, and without those American troops in Iraq, Iraq would be either still under Saddam (or one of his evil spawn) or under al Qaeda or Sadrist rule--or broken apart in civil war.

I can't imagine this is the conclusion that the senior administration official wanted drawn from that statement. But how can you avoid the logical consequences?