Saturday, December 5, 2009

There was one a place known as Dien Bien Phu

A place where a European power attempted to impose its will on a contry far away from its borders.  Oh, I think that the French had gotten over the "Mission Civilitrice" nonsense at that point, but the thought was still there.

Froggie controlled Hanoi and Haiphong, while the Vietmihn attacked the periphery and worked furiously to squeeze the supply lines.  Sound familiar?

Now, there are a lot of things still lacking from the equation.  Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap were ruthless geniuses.  Time has lent them this patina.  It remains to be seen if the Pushtun can come up with a leader of their caliber.

So, we had better start reading and thinking.  Our peace-prize toting president has delayed the inevitable by saying we will begin pulling out in 2011.  But truthfully, I give that statement the same credence I would give the promise that a teenage boy gives a teenage girl.

From what I have seen and what I have read, the Pushtun do not appear to have the word "quit" in their dictionary.  I believe that the Russians and the Brits might have some advice for us concerning the chances of the Pushtun laying down and doing what they are told.

What we had better start asking is "what are our strategic goals for the area?"  Right now it appears to boil down to two:
  • Kicking the Taliban and Al-Qaeda's ass.
  • Providing safety to the Afghanistan People
I can't say that either of these are legitimate goals for a foreign country.  I would posit that these are the sole responsibility of the Afghani people.  The Taliban were the de facto, if not de jure government of Afghanistan before we decided that wouldn't do.   But this comes down to one point that I wish to state over and over again.  If a country puts together a government to rule its people, does another country have the right to remove that government? 


Publius said...

Hell no.
Dreams of empire die hard, and they leave a bitter taste.

tweell said...

If we get attacked by that other country (and we did, albeit by sorta deniable proxy), then yes, we do have the right to remove that government.
Alas, we are too nice to do this the right way.