Campus Media Response: Obama Repeats Bush’s Self-Sacrificial Sins in Afghanistan

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Is Obama making the same mistakes in war as Bush?
The Daily Collegian
University of Massachusetts–Amherst

Dear Editors,

Matthew Robare says that President Obama has not delivered “hope” or “change” in foreign policy, as he promised. Robare is correct: Obama has not distinguished himself from Bush on the war.

Obama repeats Bush’s mistake, not because he is party to some imperialist conspiracy, but because he assumes that to stop Afghanistan from serving as a staging ground for future terrorist attacks, we must build and secure the Afghan nation. He believes that to win the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people, we must offer them infrastructure and jobs, security and “democracy.” To achieve this, our soldiers must risk their own lives to ensure that Afghan civilians are never harmed.

Obama repeats Bush’s mistake because he assumes that we have an obligation to secure prosperity and freedom for Afghans who have never sought to earn either for themselves, and that our troops should die to deliver this unearned gift.

The rationalization for this suicidal policy is that by enacting it, we maintain our own security. But do we need to build an entire distant nation to prevent terrorist attacks that might originate on its soil? And since when do we pacify our enemies by paying tribute to them?

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison knew better. When Barbary Pirates threatened American sailors, Jefferson and Madison were determined not to pay tribute. The alternative was not to perpetually occupy Tripoli and Algiers and “rebuild” their infrastructure. Instead the United States overwhelmingly retaliated against the capitals of the Barbary
states, and threatened to do so again if more attacks ever originated from their soil. After 1815, American sailors were safe.

Both Obama and Bush could learn from the giants who preceded them.

Sincerely,

Valery Publius
www.the-undercurrent.com

Photo by The U.S. Army on Flickr

Posted by on December 15, 2009. Filed under Campus Media Response, Winter 2009-10. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
  • Alex

    I’m disgusted and scared at how this is not an obvious position to take.

  • Alex

    I’m disgusted and scared at how this is not an obvious position to take.

  • Jean Bertrand

    Very interesting and thought provoking. Thank you for publishing this and producing such an excellent blog. Keep up the good work, without people like you the Internet would be a very boring place!

  • Jean Bertrand

    Very interesting and thought provoking. Thank you for publishing this and producing such an excellent blog. Keep up the good work, without people like you the Internet would be a very boring place!