Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ackerman Wants Bush Dead, Not to Mention a New Counterinsurgency Plan

I've received an e-mail notification from the Center for Independent Media directing me to Spencer Ackerman's new piece at the Washington Independent, "Recasting the War on Terrorism: A Progressive Coalition Wants Obama to Be More Than the Anti-Bush."

First thoughts?

Well, no shit Sherlock, if you'll pardon the expression. I don't normally resort to
urban slang, but since Ackerman's a wannabe punk hipster with a supremely disgusting repertoire of profanity, so I'm sure readers will understand.

For the substantive record, Ackerman should be known by his words, for example
this passage from July:

The Iraq war is and has always been an obscenity, a filthy lie born of avarice and lust for power masquerading as virtue. This is what imperialism looks like. But the age of empire is over. The same hubris that led Bush into the Iraq disaster led him to miscalculate, again and again, over how to entrench it. But now he is impotent, unable to impose his will, and the nakedness of his attempted imposition has led the American and the Iraqi peoples to wake up and end his nightmare. May his war-crimes prosecutor be Iraqi; may his judge be American; and may he die in the Hague.
I wrote of Ackerman's post at the time:

This is the highest stage of moral relativist anti-Americanism, topped-off with a flourish of abject secular demonology.
And given our potty-mouthed Flophouse freak's piece today, delivered to me via my blog profile contact-information (the editors really need to check my archives before sending stuff out to American Power), I have no reason to suspect Ackerman's abandoned his nihilism. He writes, for example:

Buoyed by high expectations for the first year of Barack Obama’s administration, an informal coalition of progressive national-security and civil-liberties experts are urging the president-elect to redefine the war on terrorism.

Eight years of the Bush administration’s approach to counterterrorism have yielded two open-ended and bloody wars; a massively expanded security apparatus, and spending on defense far outpacing outlays on domestic programs, even during a crisis-plagued economy.

Yet while liberals have spent much of this time opposing the Bush administration’s agenda, many of their proposals for Obama go beyond merely rolling back President George W. Bush’s policies — withdrawing from Iraq, shuttering the Guantanamo Bay detention complex, abolishing torture — to offer new areas of emphasis, like stabilizing Afghanistan, an Arab-Israeli peace and a re-envisioned balance between security and liberty.

Through white papers delivered to the Obama transition team, new reports and interviews with reporters, this loose affiliation of progressives is saying it has a real opportunity to recast the U.S. effort against terrorism in fundamental ways.

Consistent with the broader progressive agenda of achieving global security through multilateral cooperation, economic development and respect for human rights, the past few days have seen a series of proposals urging rejection of the Bush administration’s militarism. To the degree these various progressive groups have a concerted goal, it’s to influence the transition with specific liberal ideas for new directions in the war on terrorism.
You can see why one might hardly be dumbstruck in reading this, given the quadrillions of bytes of BDS spewed over the last eight years of the current adminstration.

But more than that, MSM reporting is even highlighting the building leftist backlash to Obama's centrism. For example,
today's Los Angeles Times reports that the antiwar left is worried that Obama's selling out the antiwar surrender enthusiasts to the "people who supported the war from the beginning," a reference to folks like Senator Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

The left wants nothing less than the utter emasculation of American power, with increasing "multilateralism" the buzzword for legitimizing the extreme globalist internationalism of the contemporary left. The flaky imprimatur of the "Washington Independent" does nothing to sanitize the disastrously relativist agenda of Ackerman's "loose affiliation of progressives."

The truth is we're losing in Afghanistan right now because of the weak-kneed nature of the current multinational force.
As Michael Yon wrote last week, de facto victory is at hand in Iraq, notwithstanding the likelihood of the odd deadenders mounting spasms of nihilist mayhem on the Iraqi people. But Afghanistan needs an infusion of resolve, not a progressive coalition of the sniveling:

A new president will soon begin to make critical decisions about Iraq and Afghanistan, the economic crisis at home, and countless other matters. While the Iraq war began, then boiled, and finally cooled before President-elect Obama will be sworn into office on January 20, 2009, the Afghanistan-Pakistan spectacle is just getting started. He was always a fierce opponent of our involvement in Iraq. And, as with so many Democrats in the Senate, he argued frequently, during the campaign, that we should have been focused on Afghanistan all along, because it is the real incubator of the international terrorist threat. Timing being everything, our new president will get his wish. Afghanistan now moves to center stage. The conflicts in Afghanistan and between Afghanistan and Pakistan have the simmering potential to overshadow anything we’ve seen in Iraq. Here are a few things I hope he understands:

Our enemies are winning. The enemies know it. We know it. Who are they? The Taliban, with its deep local roots, is enemy number one. Al-Qaeda is hanging around to make trouble. Some Paks, who don’t want to see a thriving Pushtun state on their border, are our enemies. They fund and shelter the Taliban even though we rely on them to help us defeat it. Nothing is straightforward in this part of the world. We have other enemies in Afghanistan who hate the Taliban.

Most of our allies are not very helpful. With the exception of the British, Canadians, Dutch, and a few others such as the Aussies, we are not fighting this with an “A-team” of international allies. With a few exceptions, our allies on the ground are comprised of several dozen countries that mostly refuse to fight. The bulk of NATO amounts to little more than a “Taliban piƱata.” The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is proving nearly worthless and provides no credible threat to armed opposition groups (AOGs) in Afghanistan. Most of the NATO member countries seem to break out in a cold sweat at the mere mention of “Taliban.” They piled in when the war looked easy and largely humanitarian. But now that it’s getting harder and more dangerous, they would like to pile out.

To ensure that we have influence over the outcome, we need more soldiers in Afghanistan, and fast. They need to be U.S. forces, British, Canadian, and Aussie; we cannot depend on NATO in general and they don’t know how to fight anyway. Unless President-elect Obama knows some kind of magic spell, he will not be able to persuade most NATO countries to do the right thing. Springtime 2009 will likely bring very heavy fighting in Afghanistan. We will not have credible negotiating positions while we remain outgunned by a bunch of old rifles and dinged-up RPGs.
Yon pinpoints the resources needed to finish the job: more firepower and the will to use it - something not likely to be realized with the progressives' mushy calls to "legitimize" a beefed up deployment through the utopian defense bureaucracies of "NATO countries."

The leftists will continue to wet their shorts as long as the coming Obama administration makes concessions to the realities of military power.

The fact that the same people who pushed for an American defeat in Iraq are now hoping to "multilateralize" the deployment in Afghanistan shows that Obama is indeed moving right, and this in turn is one of the most reassuring signs that Obama's earlier campaign pledges were largely junk fodder for the masses, and that perhaps he's actually shortened the daylight between his ill-considered antiwar nonsense and the precepts of actual foreign policy responsibility.

That same responsibility, of course, is something of which Spencer Ackerman knows nothing.


Tapline said...

Wow! This is quite a posting....much insight. I am willing to wait for Mr. Pres elect to take the reigns of power and see what transpires. We can just go on his campaign promises for now...We will see what action he initiates....stay well...

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks Tapper!

Tom the Redhunter said...

You are dead right about our erstwhile allies not being worth much in Afghanistan. Not only aren't they willing to send many troops, but they usually burden them with such strict ROI (rules of engagement) that they are relegated to safe areas or guard duty.

As such, we have a split command; ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), the NATO led operation, and OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom), the U.S. dominated one. A split command, of course, violates basic rules of warfare, but we're stuck with it.

I don't want to tarnish all of our allies, though, because a few do not so burden their troops; Australia, Canada, the UK, and The Netherlands.

However, even there they are not sending enough troops.

We see why if we look at defense spending. In the U.S. we are, I think, at 3.9% of GDP. The average in Western Europe is 1.9%. Note that these figures are half of what they were during the Cold War.

Obama ran as the guy who would restore relations with our allies. Now we'll see if he can deliver.

AmPowerBlog said...

Tom: Those are exactly the allies that Yon praises.

Right Truth said...

Ackerman is obviously one of those level headed, well informed Americans who voted for Barack Obama. hehehehe

Seriously, I don't suppose Ackerman has bothered to go see what has happened in Iraq? Maybe he had been in touch with some Iraqis? No? How about some military? NO???

Michael Yon has done marvelous work in all his reporting.

I'm predicting it won't be long before Obama will see the light (well maybe a crack under the door), and realize the weight of the job he has been elected to serve in. When he doesn't please all his voters, and he can't please them all, they are going to turn on him like (dare I say white on rice?).

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AmPowerBlog said...

No need to apologize, Grace.

I don't really care for Ron Paul all that much, but we can disagree on that one.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...


I disagree with you on pinning the wmd case on reliance to "torture". WMD reasoning was based upon a number of CIA mistaken intell; but there's a lot that was found to be true, via the Duelfer Report.

Preemption was never intended to become "the norm" in U.S. foreign policy. Iraq was a unique case, and the decision really based upon 12 years of a war that never really ended. Given the events of 9/11, it was decided that Saddam and his love for wmd, his hostility to the US, and his proven record and willingness to work with Islamic terrorists (don't believe the nonsense about "secular" Saddam rejecting religious fanatics) made him a threat.