Spencer on Our Failure in Afghanistan

Shortly after President Obama announced a drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a group of jihad/martyrdom suicide bombers entered the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul last Tuesday, murdering at least 10 and terrorizing an untold number of others.  Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid declared that the jihadists had “gone through several stories of the building and they are breaking into each room and they are targeting the 300 Afghans and foreigners who are staying.”

This latest jihad attack was emblematic of a failed mission.  American troops are leaving, having accomplished little or nothing in terms of establishing a stable and democratic government in Afghanistan, despite the loss of thousands of lives of noble and courageous American military personnel who deserved better from those in command, and the wanton waste of billions of dollars.  The Taliban, toppled from power eight years ago, is still a potent force.  The Taliban is so strong that even President Hamid Karzai has made overtures to it, as has Obama.  Eight years after it was toppled from power, its claim of Islamic authenticity strongly resonates with the Afghan people, and provides an ever-renewable wellspring of material, financial and moral support for these vicious thugs as they bomb girls’ schools, music stores and other outcroppings of Jahiliyya—the infidels’ society of ignorance.

The Karzai government that Americans have fought and died for is little better.  Two American administrations have spoken about bringing democracy and freedom to Afghanistan, and yet have not been able or willing to face the fact that the foremost obstacle to those goals is Islam, which respects neither.

George W. Bush oversaw the implementation of an Afghan Constitution that enshrined Islamic law as the highest law of the land.  Yet Islamic law is nothing like the democratic principles that Bush had taken us into Afghanistan to defend (over here) and establish (over there).  Sharia institutionalizes the oppression of women and non-Muslims, extinguishes the freedom of speech, and denies the freedom of conscience.

Was that what we were fighting for?

Nonetheless, America continued to pour out her blood and treasure for this repressive state, with no clear objective or mission in view other than a never-defined “victory.”  What would victory have looked like?  What could it possibly have looked like?  Did the Hamid Karzai regime ever allow women to throw off their burkas and take their place in Afghan society as human beings equal in dignity with men?  Does the Karzai government, or any Afghan government that would follow it, ever intend to guarantee basic human rights to the tiny and ever-dwindling number of non-Muslims unfortunate enough to live within its borders?  Of course not.  And no matter how long American troops stayed in Afghanistan, no Afghan regime was ever going to do such things.

Two successive U.S. administrations have now pursued futile and disastrous policies in Afghanistan and elsewhere because they are wedded to the unexamined dogma that Islam is a “religion of peace,” and that believing Muslims want Western-style free societies.  They have foolishly disregarded the nature of Islam as a political system as well as a religion, and never considered the likelihood that most Afghans would reject the idea of a secular government, free elections and equality of rights for all people as a blasphemous rejection of the way that a proper Islamic society should be ordered.

With the withdrawal of the American troops, there will be many more Taliban actions like the one at the Intercontinental Hotel on Tuesday night.  That is an abomination.  But it is nothing that we could have ultimately prevented anyway.  America’s misbegotten Afghan adventure shows the catastrophic human cost of our national unwillingness to face the unpleasant truths about Islam.  It costs us lives and money, and makes us even more vulnerable to jihad attacks than we already were.  It’s time not just to bring the troops home from their foredoomed mission, but to begin a searching and encompassing reevaluation of all our national policies regarding Islam and Islamic states.

But Barack Obama will never do that.  Quite the contrary:  Last week an administration official revealed that he was planning to establish ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that is dedicated in its own words to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house.”  It’s little wonder that Obama would want to talk to them:  He’s doing such a fine job of that already.


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