Friday, February 8, 2008

Taliban Hear French Are Coming, Break out the Silverware

Not since the Ethiopians beat back Mussolini's then modern Italian Army of artillery, tanks and planes with spears, has a third world indigenous population been so unafraid as the Taliban was this week to the news that the French are considering deploying a whopping 1,000 troops to Southern Afghanistan. See Time Magazine article at,8599,1711267,00.html?xid=feed-rss-netzero

The news of the French possibly entering the fray some six years late, is clearly attributable to the fiasco that is the Bush Administration foreign policy and its refusal to at least consult and listen to, though not necessarily follow, the advice of our allies. Even Dr. Phil knows that most people just want to be listened to. But the arrogant posture of the Bush Administration and its "you're either with us or against us" mentality has made us weaker in the war on terrorism despite all the chest beating on behalf of Republican presidential candidates and their followers.

I certainly don't mean to imply that we are ungrateful to those NATO country allies such as the Canadians and the Dutch, who along with us have borne the brunt of the fighting in Afghanistan despite the fact that our planes have killed almost as many Canadians as the Taliban. I also think it was a sign of the desperation that is the Bush foreign policy that Defense Secretary Gates had to publicly shame our NATO allies this week before we started to get any semblance of cooperation on the crisis that is now Afghanistan.

This crisis in Afghanistan could have been averted of course had we not started to withdraw our special forces and other troops right before the final push on Tora Bora where we had Bin Laden all but trapped, to get ready for the disastrous and illegal invasion of Iraq. Now we are left with publicly blackmailing our allies for even minimal military support in a just war of counterinsurgency at a time that is hopefully not too late.

Reading the Time magazine article this week I got this image in my mind of the Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders spreading out a red and white checkered blanket and setting out silverware from a wicker picnic basket somewhere in the remote reaches of the Hindu Kush mountains, getting ready for fine French cuisine.

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