(/sites/default/files/uploads/2012/09/obama-afghan-speech-w-cp-77.gif)David Plouffe, Obama’s former campaign manager and current senior advisor, claimed this week that the Romney campaign is built “on a foundation of absolute lies.” Speaking of absolute lies, there is the lie being put out that the War in Afghanistan has been won by the Obama administration.
Under the category of “TAKING THE FIGHT TO AL-QAEDA,” the Obama campaign website boasts that Obama refocused efforts on defeating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. This would have proven surprisingly easy as Al Qaeda in Afghanistan had already been defeated by the Bush Administration.
As documented in my Freedom Center pamphlet, “The Great Betrayal”, Obama’s campaign promise in the last election to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was false because Al Qaeda had already shifted its operations away from there.
In 2009, General Petraeus, while serving as head of U.S. Central Command under Obama, said that Al Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan. Intelligence estimates before that and afterward put the possible number of Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan at around 100. Obama’s surge of 100,000 troops was clearly not needed to fight 100 Al Qaeda terrorists at a ratio of 1,000 soldiers to each Al Qaeda terrorist.
The National Security page of the Obama campaign repeatedly talks about Al Qaeda, but it makes no mention of the Taliban at all. This is a strange omission as American soldiers have spent the past few years taking severe casualties fighting the Taliban, not Al Qaeda. Still it is natural for Obama not to want to talk about the Taliban because his goal of pushing them back with the Afghanistan Surge failed.
Obama is running on Bush’s successes in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda, while completely ignoring his own failures against the Taliban. It is as if Dewey had won the 1944 Presidential election and then taken office in 1945, after the liberation of Paris and the Battle of the Bulge, and insisted on taking credit for the defeat of Germany while ignoring the existence of the Japanese front.
Obama had always presented his Afghanistan Surge in the most dishonest of ways. In his West Point address in 2010, he had claimed that the Surge was necessary to stop Al Qaeda from seizing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
“Since 9⁄11, al Qaeda’s safe-havens have been the source of attacks against London and Amman and Bali. The people and governments of both Afghanistan and Pakistan are endangered. And the stakes are even higher within a nuclear-armed Pakistan, because we know that al Qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them.”
Al Qaeda was no longer capable of launching global attacks out of Afghanistan and the odds of it getting its hands on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, without the cooperation of Pakistani authorities, were slim to none. But the same media crowd that worked itself up into a frenzy over Iraqi WMDs never mentions Obama’s claim that the Afghanistan Surge was necessary to keep Al Qaeda from getting its hands on Pakistani nuclear weapons.
Two years later in his address at Bagram Air Base, Obama insisted that the entire mission was there to deny Al Qaeda the opportunity to use Afghanistan as a base for further attacks. “The goal that I set to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild,” he said, “is now within our reach.”
Al Qaeda had of course rebuilt and was operating around the world. It was massacring dozens on a monthly basis in an Iraq abandoned by Obama. It had gotten its hooks into Africa and its Boko Haram allies had murdered over a thousand people in Nigeria. Al Qaeda’s lone wolf operatives guided out of Yemen had tried to carry out several attacks in America. But Al Qaeda was not a serious threat in Afghanistan.
The soldiers that Obama was addressing knew it and knew what a worthless lie his boast of defeating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was.
A few days ago, Obama appeared at Fort Bliss in Texas, and claimed, “We pushed the Taliban back. We’re training Afghan forces. The transition to Afghan lead is underway.” In the real world, the Taliban have been pushing forward and the training of Afghan forces has been aborted because of multiple shooting incidents.
Shortly after Obama flew out of Afghanistan, the Taliban carried out a major attack in Kabul and shortly after his speech at Fort Bliss, the Taliban carried out more attacks near a US base only forty miles from the Afghan capital. This is not anyone’s definition of having “Pushed the Taliban back.” The soldiers on the ground know it. The voters still don’t.
Upping the ante, Obama bizarrely decided to attack Romney for not mentioning Afghanistan. “I put forward a specific plan to bring our troops home from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. We are in the process of doing that right now. And when I say I’m going to bring them home, you know they’re going to come home. “
But we don’t actually know any such thing. Obama had promised to bring the troops home out of Iraq, but when the deadline came, he renamed the mission and declared that the remaining 50,000 soldiers were only there in an advisory capacity. As even Politico pointed out, Obama’s Afghanistan plan is not specific and does not bring all the soldiers home.
Obama and his people have been saying that the War in Afghanistan is over. It’s not over in the sense that it has been won or that anything has been accomplished. Just like in Iraq, it’s over because Obama has decided that it’s politically convenient to pull out now or at least to claim to be pulling out now.
Two American soldiers have already died in Afghanistan in September. Thirty-eight died in August. Two hundred forty-five have died so far this year. Taliban attacks have taken place close to NATO bases. By the end of this year twice as many soldiers will have died during the drawdown phase this year alone than were killed in Afghanistan in the last year of the Bush administration.
There have been 34 “friendly fire” attacks by Afghans this year. Twelve such attacks in August alone. Karzai continues to treat international forces as the enemy and denounces the United States at every turn.
Obama’s attempts to make peace with the Taliban failed. The Strategic Partnership Agreement being touted by his campaign is completely meaningless and is nothing but a placeholder for a Bilateral Security Agreement that does not yet exist. What it really does is continue funneling money to the untrustworthy Afghan National Security Forces while barring the United States from using Afghan territory to launch attacks into Pakistan—a concession that his campaign is naturally not touting.
The War in Afghanistan has been lost. Obama’s Surge was a horrifying disaster that cost nearly 1500 lives and isn’t through yet. American soldiers were dispatched without proper support for a task that could not be accomplished without decisive air and artillery support. Now after bleeding them for years and while bombs are going off in Kabul, Obama is retreating and claiming victory.
The dead and their families deserve better than Obama’s Afghanistan lie. So do the living.
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