John Guardiano writes at the FrumForum where you'll find the neo-con vision for America. Neo-cons infected the Bush administration and they're still promoting their militaristic philosophy. Guardiano brushes aside the non-interventionist, peaceful, free-trade Republicans as a small, insignificant group of rightwing neo-isolationists -- the real problem, says Guardiano, is that Obama hasn't articulated the goals and the benefits of winning -- sounds familiar, doesn't it? You would think that someone praised as a great speaker who gives a speech everyday would have delivered every imaginable Democrat message there is by now.
Guardiano conflates non-inteventionism with isolationism, and surely on purpose, given that isolationism was discredited long ago -- plus, he adds "rightwing" for good measure. You want to make sure that no one mistakes rightwing isolationists for serious non-interventionists who believe America should not get involved in nation-building using the lives of brave young men and women as building blocks.
Americans aren’t defeatists; they’re winners. They like to fight and they like to win, as Patton once reminded us. Our people will endure casualties in pursuit of a just and winning cause. But what rightly infuriates the American people is the sense that our political leaders are using our military to fight and die in a hopeless and unnecessary war.
Americans like to fight and win? Maybe some people like for our soldiers to fight, bu most people are afraid to fight, have no interest in fighting, or prefer peace and trade to fighting. Guardiano doesn't establish a justification for the war, and, yes, people get infuriated when lives are wasted on hopeless and unnecessary wars. If Obama can't convince the country this is a just and winning cause, maybe it's because it isn't.
What does it mean to be a member of the "internationalist and interventionist Right"? Obviously Guardiano and the neo-cons want to force democracy on other people.
Guardiano goes on:
The truth, though, is quite the opposite: In the absence of a clear and unshakable American commitment to do whatever it takes to win, the Afghan people are worried that we’ll bug out on them and abandon them at their maximum hour of need. Consequently, they have been reluctant to fully embrace us and to trust us. This is a real problem and obstacle because in a counterinsurgency campaign, the people are the center of gravity; they are the prize to be won.
The prize to be won -- scary stuff. I suspect they don't embrace us because they don't want to be our prize. Guardiano's chest-thumping about "winning" at all costs is like a bad WWII movie. What is there to win? al Qaeda is gone and we can't stay there forever to ensure they won't return, but even if they do, they're in other countries -- are we at war with Afghanistan or al Qaeda? Are we supposed to follow them into other countries as well, then rebuild those nations with their people as more prizes?
Guardiano also minimizes the economic cost by comparing it to the outrageous cost of the welfate state. That's like saying the Mercedes you bought but couldn't afford is inexpensive compared to a Gulfstream jet.
This type of mentality will destroy the Republican Party, but that's something we can get over -- this mentality will destroy the nation -- something we can't get over. We need to use the military wisely, not get all Patton-like about winning just to win. The only way we can "win" this war is to return to free trade and go about our business in peace, with a strong defense and a swift, punishing response if attacked. But attack, punish and leave -- they'll get the message. They've already got the message.