I?m going to own up to it. When we went to Afghanistan, I wanted it to be what it was advertised as: A search and destroy mission against Al Qaeda. When it became an attempt to build a nation in a place and with a populace which has never been a nation, I said it was time for us to come home.
But I whispered my position. I rationalized my whisper because I didn?t want to discourage the troops and their families and stand with my President. In reality I was a coward.
With Iraq, I opposed it from the beginning. If we had intel where there was WMD activities, bomb it and go back to our base (or authorize our allies like Israel to do it). But from the very beginning, President Bush and Congress (both parties were virtually indistinguishable) believed we could make Iraq a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. By rebuilding Iraq into a democracy, they believed it would spread peace and love throughout the region.
On Iraq, my whisper was turned into firm and resolute opposition to the decision but again whispered reluctant assent to the Colin Powell Doctrine (We broke it. We must fix it.) with regard to the surge. I was again a coward.
On the Afghanistan surge we are in the midst of, my voice was louder based on our ?success? at nation building in Iraq, which has a history of being ungovernable. But cowardly, I wasn?t very loud.
Now, while we are about to set ourselves on a path to do the same with Libya, I won?t be a coward.
MR. PRESIDENT, THIS ISN?T OUR FIGHT. STOP IT NOW.
SENATOR?S THUNE AND JOHNSON, IF THE PRESIDENT WON?T STOP THIS BEFORE THE POWELL DOCTRINE HAS TO BE INVOKED, WILL YOU PLEASE DO IT?
Liberal Michael Kinsley (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52051.html) and conservative Joe Scarborough (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52062.html) both have interesting perspectives for all of us to consider.
Unfortunately, because we never got to have a national debate before Congress on this matter, the die may be cast. Obama has imperially committed our troops and treasure. And, as Joe points out, Obama led us off the cliff and Congress (neither party) seems to have asked the question, ?Huh, where are we going, why are we going there, and what are we going to do when we get there?? http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51682.html
And what most frustrates me is we learned a lesson from Vietnam which stuck for 30 years. Today, we can?t even learn from Iraq and Afghanistan when they are so fresh on our minds and experience. Conservatives, it is ok to admit our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan turned out to be more than we thought. Liberals, it is ok to admit Obama isn?t perfect on every decision.
Even if you won’t admit anything, we shouldn’t be involved in Libya. In your hearts you know it. Don?t be a coward. It isn?t fun. I know.