Sep 10 2009
Caught our recently-returned Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler’s take the other day on Afghanistan: West lacks stomach to deal with Afghanistan: Fowler
Notwithstanding that the headline ascribes a view to Fowler that he doesn’t appear to hold, the statement itself is untenable anyway.
Try these headlines on for size:
West lacks stomach to deal with Nazis
West lacks stomach to deal with Empire of the Sun
West lacks stomach to deal with Soviets
Our societies have beaten fascists before and we did it when the thugs had the manpower and resources of empires. With all due respect to our honorable soldiers in the field and innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, compared with previous world-ranging conflicts against evil, the fight against the Taliban is a cake-walk.
Getting down to brass tacks of casualty rates, Canada sacrificed over 45,000 braves to help in the liberation of Europe and Asia. The loss of life by our soldiers fighting for Afghanistan’s freedom has thus far been limited to about three platoons. It’s cliche (and true) that every life is precious, but in the world of realpolitik, a lack of casualties by our side seems to distinguish this conflict from previous wars, contradicting the common portrayal of Afghanistan as a hopeless military quagmire.
The Taliban are not the Wermacht. They can be beaten. So long as virtually all Afghans reject the Taliban and are willing to fight for their freedom, we should have the courage to stand by them. I know we do.