Last night President Obama, the Commander-In-Chief, announced his long awaited decision on how we will prosecute the war in Afghanistan, the "central front in the war on terror." Has it really been since July that we have waited? Time sure flies when you are in a war, especially a "war of necessity." I listened, took notes, and came away chilled by what I heard. President Obama declared it is in our "vital national interest" to deploy an additional 30,000 troops to the "epicenter of terror" at the "fastest possible pace." Then there was the not so secret part of the plan. Don't tell the Taliban, or Bin Laden, but we will begin pulling out of Afghanistan in July, 2011.
Mr. President, I beg to differ. Our vital national interest is to win this war, to defeat an enemy who has sworn to destroy us. That vital national interest is not served by deploying more troops, and in the next breath, telling our enemy when we will leave the field of battle. Whatever else he is, Bin Laden is no dummy. Knowing now that more troops are coming, and that just about the time they all arrive, they will begin leaving, Bin Laden will (a) rush his troops into battle knowing they will be slaughtered, or (b) follow the Prophet Mohammed's advice that when you are weaker than your enemy, pull back, regroup, and wait to strike from a position of strength. Perhaps he will follow Mao's advice that the guerilla, in order to succeed in war, must be like the fish in the sea, hiding until his enemy is weak, and then striking.
Mr. President, this is not a recipe for victory, it is a timetable for retreat. This is lots of young men and women from Western Colorado, and all over America in body bags. This is lots more people in Afghanistan and Pakistan even more determined to hide their hero, and celebrate his victory over the "Great Satan." Bin Laden wins just by living.
What is just as tragic is the way this "strategy" will be viewed by the young men and women now, and soon to be, in harm's way. President Obama told us last night this isn't another Viet Nam. I beg to differ. President Nixon ran for office in 1968 telling us he had a plan to end the war in Viet Nam. Once that was announced, no American soldier wanted to be the last one to die. Yet almost half the names on The Wall were added after President Nixon told us, and told our enemy, the war was all but over. President Obama has just delivered a crushing blow to the morale of our military.
Let me propose another way to win this war. Declare a cease fire. Stop the killing. Every time we kill an Afghani, we create twenty-five more terrorists. The way to beat a bully like Bin Laden is to humiliate him. We don't need or even want an American to kill him, or capture him. We want the sea of sympathetic people where he is hiding to dry up. We want a young woman of his own religion to get so disgusted, she turns Bin Laden over to his own people, and they kill him. We need to drink three cups of tea.
Greg Mortenson, a humble man from Montana, is the most highly respected American in the Hindu Kush. Last March, the President of Pakistan hung the Star of Pakistan, their highest civilian award, around his neck. He is only the third foreigner to receive the award in Pakistan's history. Greg was nominated for the same Nobel Peace Prize just awarded to President Obama. In my mind, Greg would have been a much better choice. Greg raises pennies for peace, and then builds schools for young women in one of the most dangerous places on earth, the Tribal Zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has built more than a hundred of these schools. Read Greg's book, Three Cups of Tea, check out his website. We need to empower the young women of the Hindu Kush, help them create a better life for themselves, and their children. Show them what it means to be free. Then they will bring Bin Laden to us.
We have a far better chance of winning this war by doing what Greg has done, winning the trust and respect of the people, than by telling Bin Laden we are coming to destroy him, but we will be leaving in July, 2011, whether we find him or not.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Last night in Steamboat I held the first of many Town Halls I will have as a candidate - which already is one more Town Hall than the incumbent John Salazar has ever bothered to hold.
I listened to people, and I want to hear you as well. I've promised to listen, learn, and lead but I need your help. Join my campaign as a volunteer; contribute financially if you can; write to me with you concerns and thoughts. And don't lose faith, we will win in November and in the long run because failure is not an option. Rangers lead the way.
Tired of unresponsive "representatives" who do as they're told?
Governance is too important to leave in the hands of politicians. We need to hold our representatives feet to the fire. We must watch every bill, demand that they read it fully and listen to us. We must be relentless in our civic duty because we have been asleep too long.
- Bob McConnell
- Steamboat Springs, CO, United States
- I'm a conservative Republican who ran for Congress in Colorado's Third Congressional District in 2010. Though I lost the primary I gained an amazing insight into how politics works, and I met hundreds of wonderful, concerned citizens. Let's stay engaged in the mission. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep the faith.