Does everyone remember what happened when we withdrew from Vietnam?
… resulted in the imposition of a monstrous police state, the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent South Vietnamese, the incarceration in reeducation camps of hundreds of thousands more and a quarter of a century of abject poverty imposed by crackpot Marxist economic plans, which continue to this day. This, too, is the responsibility of the so-called antiwar movement of the 1960s.
But who’s going to expect the Left to properly understand history?
No, in neo-communist filmmaker Michael Moore’s new open letter to President Barack Obama (published at, where else, Huffington Post) he urges a withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan, completely blind to the consequences:
Don’t be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn’t be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can’t change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.
The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can’t be won over by abandoning the rest of us.
President Obama, it’s time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, “No, we don’t need health care, we don’t need jobs, we don’t need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, ’cause we don’t need them, either.”
We can abandon Afghanistan and it can revert to being an Islamist police state run by the Taliban. It can return to being a safe haven for those who want to destroy America, exterminate the Jewish race, and create a world in which marrying children and mutilating women’s genitals are the norm.
War is indeed hell — not that I’m in any way qualified to make that judgment. (Read Karen Northon to get a more informed view. Patriotic heroes like Leo Thorsness also have a thing or two to say on the matter.) But which is worse: war or a totalitarian police state? Which was worse in the ’60s and ’70s: the Vietnam war or the Communist police state which followed? Which is worse today: the Afghanistan War or an Islamist police state?
Here’s the confrontation that needs to be had. Moore and other so-called “progressives” consider conservatives to be “greedy.” The Left thinks we should withdraw our troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and then spend that money on universal healthcare and federal jobs programs. To do otherwise is to be “greedy.”
The practical result of this would be Islamists being empowered. More women would be shoved into forced marriages, their faces mutilated with acid, and their lives spent hidden in burqas. More gays would be executed for being gay. An ideology bent on world domination would be further empowered. And why would this happen? Because “progressives” want government to give them money and make their lives easier.
And conservatives are the “greedy” ones? How does that work?
Because I’m an ex-leftist I know what some of the responses are going to be to the above argument. So let’s just preempt a few of them them right now:
1. The Marionette argument: “Dave, we can’t be Team America World Police. We can’t afford to send troops everywhere to stop every dictator.” Well duh. And no conservative is saying that we should. But we can recognize that the Islamist ideology is a threat that we cannot allow to grow stronger by retreating in Afghanistan. Are the US and Afghanistan better off with us continuing to fight? Or is it better for both countries that we surrender and head home so that ? There is an obvious answer here.
2. The Chickenhawk argument: “Oh yeah? You think we should fight in Afghanistan? Then you go over there and fight.” This is, of course, an ad hominem logical fallacy, but as I’ve demonstrated before true believers of all ideologies fail to grasp the difference between this and legitimate intellectual discussion. Upon encountering the Chickenhawk argument you should immediately realize that you’re dealing with someone who is unable to think rationally.
3. The Oversimplification argument: “Come on Dave, you’re oversimplifying when you talk about the Left. It’s not one monolithic entity and not all progressives think one way.” This is correct, but beside the point. There are plenty of dissenting views on the Left. (See this Michael Tomasky piece in which he goes after Moore for his open letter.)
And when I’m critiquing leftist activists and polemicists I’m not generally attacking citizens who merely identify with the Left, watch Keith Olbermann, and occasionally donate to MoveOn.Org. The radical core is significantly different than the by-and-large apolitical masses. This is a subject I hope to address at greater length at some point in the future.