Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: We are at war with the losers
Posted on 11/16/2001 4:16:49 PM PST by Pokey78
THIS war is in trouble. We're bogged down, getting nowhere and staring at a Vietnam-style quagmire. The Taliban's grip on the country remains total. These famously tough warriors of iron resolve are unlikely to be. . .
Whoops, sorry, that was last week. Just let me punch up this week's Conventional Media Wisdom. Ah, here we go. Things are moving too fast. There's a dangerous power vacuum. The Taliban, being famously tough, etc, have pulled off a brilliant double-bluff by abandoning every major city and lever of government. Their grip on selected southern and western caves remains total. The Northern Alliance are too vicious, unfairly targeting enemy soldiers instead of just killing unarmed women and homosexuals. The collapse of the burqa market will devastate the Afghan fashion industry.
The removal of 90 per cent of Afghan beards could leave vital supply routes choked with facial hair. The re-introduction of music has raised serious fears that many Western aid workers will become disc-jockeys on KBUL ("No Beards, No Burqas, No Bee Gees"). The Pushtuns will be pushed out, the Tajiks will be tragic, the Uzbeks want their Uzis back, and in Punditstan and Rootkhazia many Western commentators are cut off from reality, facing a bleak winter unless they can find a new title for Afghanistan: The War We Can't Win before Random House stops the cheque.
Here's Maureen Dowd in The New York Times on November 7, moaning that the Northern Alliance "smoke and complain more than they fight" and look "sillier and sillier". "Let's cut the chitchat," she urges. Here's Maureen on November 14, aghast that the Northern Alliance are bloodthirsty thugs: "Some Alliance soldiers looted dead bodies for valuables," she squeals. "We give the Northern Alliance an air force and they embarrass us with savage force." Alliance field commanders, having acted so impressively on Ms Dowd's earlier advice, must wonder if she's going for the Pulitzer for columnar whiplash.
Funnily enough, in all their droning about it being impossible to colonise Afghanistan, the Leftie know-it-alls failed to notice it was already a colony: the Taliban was propped up by bin Laden's money, Islamabad politicians and military recruits from Pakistan and the Arab world, plus a few British and American Muslims. The dead in the streets are mostly foreign Taliban soldiers killed by Kabul civilians. If they were foreign British soldiers, most Western Lefties would be delighting in a popular uprising against a colonial oppressor.
And then there's the grandees such as Arthur Schlesinger Jr who, being an Ivy League history prof, knows that Afghanistan is in the same general east-of-Martha's-Vineyard direction as Vietnam. "Our leaders gambled on the supposition that the unpopularity of the regime would mean the bombing would bring about the Taliban's rapid collapse," he wrote in The Independent this month. "Vietnam should have reminded our generals that bombing has only a limited impact on decentralised, undeveloped, rural societies."
The history guy has missed the point. From the Second World War on, most local squabbles - from Vietnam to Grenada - were proxy wars for the great game between Communism and the Free World. The difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan is that, as the Taliban were heading for the hills, the President of the Russian Federation was kibbitzing with Dubya in some Russo-Texan Borscht Belt routine. In this war, all the major powers are on the same side - America, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, even China.
The only countries that aren't with us are the basket-cases - Iraq, the Sudan, Cuba, North Korea - a handful of irrelevant loser states that contribute nothing, economically, culturally, technologically. We are at war with the world's losers. And losers tend to lose. If bin Laden really spoke for the entire Muslim world, we'd be in trouble. But, as we now know, Osama bin Loser doesn't even speak for the Muslims living 10 miles from his cave. Some jihad.
True, Mullah Omar has told the BBC that relocating to a cave is all part of the master plan for "the destruction of America", which "will happen within a short period of time". Dream on. That background noise is approaching Delta Force commandos playing Celine Dion's Greatest Hits really loud.
Let's make it easy for Professor Schlesinger and Co, and spell it out. In liberated Kabul, people are very happy. In Pakistan, anti-American protests are poorly attended. In Iran, the Ayatollahs are more worried about pro-American demonstrations. In the recent Bangladesh election, Islamic fundamentalists got less than five per cent. In repressive Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud has instructed its vile press to support America. Two months after the bloody attacks on American cities, the government that supported the men who did it has been overthrown and its troops are corpses in the dust. It's early days, but that alone is cause for all Americans - and Britons - to rejoice. Even journalists.
Last week, President Bush said, "Let's roll." We're rolling.
But, wait.......weren't "they" saying just last week that the bombings had only made Osama bin Laden MORE popular in Afghanistan?
The left's worst nightmare: Mark Steyn and Ann Coulter marry and have children.
OMG, they should be bribed, pressured, coerced, whatever into doing just that once regardless of their personal feelings for each other; the world NEEDS their offspring.
No one writes as he does; no one can condense a situation the way he does.