Nothing illustrates the folly of Obama’s foreign policy better than his administration’s attempts to “reach out” to the radical Islamists of the Taliban in the hopes of negotiating a peaceful end to the civil war in Afghanistan.
The New York Times reports that, “…American generals and civilian officials acknowledge that they have all but written off what was once one of the cornerstones of their strategy to end the war here: battering the Taliban into a peace deal.”
Let’s be real – this was never intended to be “peace’ in the sense that at the conclusion of negotiations, a stable political settlement based on the democratic principles of majority rule and rule of law would prevail.
It was always intended to be a political fig leaf for the Obama administration to declare victory and come home, much as the U.S. did at the conclusion of the Paris peace negotiations that led to the American pullout from Vietnam.
And why would the Taliban want to negotiate with the U.S. anyway? Their goal is not to gain political power in the remote country of Afghanistan, but to re-establish a base from which to prosecute a worldwide jihad against western culture and values.
And of course they already know we are leaving Afghanistan in 2014 if Obama is re-elected.
The NYT went on to note that, “Among America’s commanding generals [in Afghanistan], from Stanley A. McChrystal and David H. Petraeus to today’s John R. Allen, it has been an oft-repeated mantra that the United States is not going to kill its way out of Afghanistan. They said that the Afghanistan war, like most insurgencies, could only end with a negotiation.”
With respect to the generals, this isn’t “most insurgencies.” This is a Seventh Century religious and cultural war.
Americans are uniquely unqualified to be engaged in a religious war. The very idea of a religious war goes against our history as a sanctuary for the religiously oppressed – the Pilgrims coming to New England and Catholics coming to Maryland to find religious freedom – and it goes against the Constitution that enshrined that history into the very law that governs our government.
So if we can’t bring ourselves to fight a religious war, at least we can recognize it as a war of ideas against what is the 21st Century’s new totalitarian movement.
This is a war of ideas, not just with radical Islamists, like the Taliban, but with concepts deeply embedded in Muslim culture. These are ideas that Muslims are prepared to use violence to advance and to impose upon the entire world – if that doesn’t fit the definition of totalitarian what does?
It is time our leaders, both civilian and military, recognized that Afghanistan isn't a typical guerrilla war or insurgency, it is one front in a larger religious and cultural war, and they must join the battle on those terms.