October 9, 2009

Of All People: Lara Logan Supports McChrystal, Warns of Grave Dangers in Afghanistan, Ridicules Appeasers

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 11:01 am

That there has been little love lost between yours truly and CBS correspondent Lara Logan over the years is not exactly a secret (see here, and a previously linked Fox News story here).

I don’t know what has happened in past couple of years to knock some sense into Logan (“good war” Afghanistan v. “bad war” Iraq? Motherhood and/or marriage?). But her clear-headed, passionate, alarming interview with CBS News’s Bob Orr about the situation in Afghanistan is a must-see (HT Hot Air). In the process, she leaves a number of leftist myths and fantasies, including the crap about how pursuing war aggressively only helps the enemy in their recruiting, in shreds on the floor.

Following an interesting back story about our Secretary of Defense’s apparent intent to water down what Obama ultimately got to see, the Logan interview goes from about 1:35-8:30 of the video (don’t waste your time with what follows, which is about a Ralph Nader book):

If I were only reading and not seeing the words that follow and didn’t know who was saying them, I would almost believe they came from Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney instead of Lara Logan.

Here’s a transcript of most of the interview:

LOGAN: General McChrystal has been very clear that there is a very short window here, probably 12 months, to turn this thing around.

…. They really can’t afford to deliberate for very long about this ….

Right now, everyone agrees that the momentum is on the side of the insurgents and the terrorists. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean they’re winning. It doesn’t mean every time there’s a battle that they win. What it means is that the public perception, the flow, the increase in insecurity, everything is on their side right now. It’s going the way they want it to.  And that is what McChrystal has to stop.

…. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are very effectively using civilian casualties in their propaganda against the U.S.

…. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are clearly at war with the U.S. They’re not concerned with counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, call it whatever you like. They are at war, and McChrystal has to fight that war. And to do that, he has to have troops to secure the people, and also not to give up ground to the enemy, which is what they’re going to do if they withdraw from these small combat outposts in the remote areas. They’re going to say, “Here, have the mountains, have the valleys, have all these places that are hard to get to.” Oh where by the way, there aren’t huge numbers of Afghans, but there are many Afghans scattered across these remote areas. And oh yes, as well, that’s where Al Qaeda had their training camps before. So let’s let them come back in and plot more attacks and do whatever they want in those remote areas, while we concentrate on building schools and roads that are just going to get blown up? It doesn’t work. You have to fight the war as well. You can’t just do counterinsurgency.

…. It’s very clear to the soldiers on the ground that they need more help.

…. (characterizing Joe Biden’s so-called “counterterrorism” strategy) Absolute disaster. …. No way it would work. Because you can’t do any of those things if you don’t have security in most of the country. And let’s not forget, the violence now spread, from the south and the east of Afghanistan. It’s in the north, it’s in the west, it’s everywhere. It’s in the provinces surrounding Kabul. I mean, it’s like, what kind of a wake-up call do you need to say that you’re still at war?

And so this idea that you can separate the things is just ludicrous. That’s why I think, General McChrystal has gone and made everybody angry by his speech in London saying, “This is what I need, and nothing else is going to work.”

Because you know what? You can be asked to give 10 options. But if you know that only one of them is going to work, only one’s going to work. And even then, he’s not guaranteeing that’s going to work. So I don’t understand why no one would listen to the man you put your faith in, and said “He’s the guy who’s going to do this for us. You’ve got to give him what he wants.

ORR: … (If) they cede Afghanistan back to the Taliban, does Al Qaeda then have safe haven again in Afghanistan?

LOGAN: Of course. Without hesitation. You know, one very important point to make. There are a lot of Pashtoon apologists out there, Taliban apologists who are advisers to this White House, and to this administration. And they’re saying, “Oh you know the Taliban’s fight is not with the U.S. You give them power, bring back the moderate Taliban, and everything will be okay. It’s nonsense. It’s the worst advice we could ever get from anyone.

First of all, the Taliban have no intention of sharing power, and they have every intention of bringing Al Qaeda along with them, and giving Al Qaeda safe haven again. They absolutely do have a problem with the U.S. They want to see the U.S. fail. It’s very important to note that talks with “moderate Taliban” (makes “quote marks” gesture) have been going on since 2003. It’s 2009, six years later. What have those negotiations and talks brought? Absolutely nothing. So that is one of the biggest lies ever on this whole situation right now. There are no moderate Taliban that matter in this fight.

And for the U.S. to give Al Qaeda the victory, I mean the philosophical victory, the physical victory, the tactical victory, on every single level would be catastrophic in the War on Terror. It would be the greatest recruiting advertisement ever for Al Qaeda. And on top of that, you’re leaving their top leadership intact? You’re leaving Osama Bin Laden there to come back and do what he wants? …. The Afghan intelligence minister put it best when he said to me, “There’s no glory in defeat.”

I think I detected an “I almost can’t believe I’m saying this” expression on Logan’s face before she went into that final paragraph.

I wish I was as apparently confident as Logan appears to be that we have “a commander in chief who wants to do the right thing.”

Posted in revised form at NewsBusters.org.

Obama’s Nobel

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:41 am

I can’t top what Michael Binyon at the UK Times Online wrote, so I’ll let him take over for a moment:

The award of this year’s Nobel peace prize to President Obama will be met with widespread incredulity, consternation in many capitals and probably deep embarrassment by the President himself.

Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.

Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.

…. they can no longer separate hopes from achievement. The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished.

Geez, and he isn’t really even black (“Mr. Obama is only 6.25% African Negro”), except by twisted, pathetic self-definition.

Kaus is right that Obama should turn the award down. It would actually be an impressive move. The odds of it happening appear to be zip, zero, and nada. The tragedy is that Obama, if he doesn’t already, will more than likely convince himself that he really does deserve it.

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UPDATE: Mary Katharine Ham at the Weekly Standard tells us who the Nobel Committee passed over.

UPDATE 2: Real Clear Politics has 7-plus minutes of priceless Rush audio with Dittocam video. Rush is right that this is an attempt to emasculate our foreign policy beyond what has happened already in just 8-1/2 months.

Latest Pajamas Media Post (‘Honey, They Gave Away the Internet’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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Snarky Comment: Perhaps ceding control over the Internet to “the rest of the world” is the real reason why Obama has been handed (I would say “won,” but even his most fevered fans can’t seriously argue that this man has yet done anything to advance the cause of peace) the Nobel Peace Prize.

It will be interesting to see what Saturday Night Live does with the Nobel news.