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05:54 PM on 09/01/2009
Some will of course ask 'Why does George Will
hate America?' But, when he's right, he's right.
Now & then it happens.

One problem though, when the USSR bailed out of Afghanistan,
their whole country soon fell apart. There's a gang of politicos
who worry that could happen to US also.
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04:44 PM on 09/01/2009
Not to spoil a narrative, but I suspect most of the calls from people of "Where was he when Bush was President?" are from people who've never bothered to read his column. They already "know" what he had to say on the topic.

But in all fairness to Will, he's been a reasonably consistent opponent of nation building efforts. He went after Bush Sr. for Somalia, Clinton for the Balkans, Bush II over Iraq and to a lesser extent Afghanistan, and now Obama for Afghanistan.

A quick google of various columns that's he's written for the Post regarding Iraq shows a very pessimistic view of the likelihood of success for bringing democracy to the middle east. Some examples:

May 2004: basically calling it a pipe dream
July 2004: saying that both Bush & Kerry are delusional about "success"
Sept 2006: support John Warner's assessment about the iraq fiasco

If you actually bothered to read the Washington post, you'll find that he basically writes about 3-4 articles a year going off on reinventing a nation, often talking for instance of the implausibility of a few thousand troops here and there patrolling areas the size of Texas.

But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good rant.
08:10 AM on 09/02/2009
Then maybe he should have run for POTUS...
Do I Have to be Nice ?
08:13 AM on 09/02/2009
Title: "A War Still Seeking a Mission"
George Will, Sept. 11, 2007

Evidently George was not a supporter of the 'Surge' in Iraq and was one of a few Conservaitives openly critical of the initiative.
A higher double standard.
04:38 PM on 09/01/2009
Why is it if you choose a career of commenting on everything that happens in politics, you get attention whether your opinion is ridiculous or not? How can a commentator be respected when he is an biased as Will?
04:32 PM on 09/01/2009
Then George could blame Obama for losing a war. And he would do that in a NewYork minute!
What I would like to see is our forces getting Ben Ladin. Then what would the ChickenHawks turned defeatists do?
04:14 PM on 09/01/2009
If McCain won the election would Will still be taking this position?
Absolutely not. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the only thing conservatives can agree on is taking the opposite position of this Administration. Even if it completely contradicts everything they have said and written for the past 9 years.
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04:20 PM on 09/01/2009
Probably. He took Bush I to task for nation building in Somalia, Clinton for Kosovo, Bush II for Iraq, and now Obama for Afghanistan.

He really is not a fan of nation-building.
08:23 PM on 09/01/2009
He should have left his pom-poms at home in 2003 when he rallied for the war in Iraq
05:02 PM on 09/01/2009
You nailed it. Now Scarborough is an anti-war activist. But, he does love torture.
04:13 PM on 09/01/2009
I am so sick and tired of the call for withrdraw from Afghanistan. I am even more sick and tired of the U.S. invading other countries and not dealing with the consequences and the aftermath. If we withdraw, it will only have a detrimental effect on the Afghan citizens. We invaded the country to defeat the Taliban, so we need to stay until we defeat the Taliban.
01:02 PM on 09/02/2009
[We invaded the country to defeat the Taliban, so we need to stay until we defeat the Taliban.]

How do you propose to defeat them when every time you bomb a wedding party or a funeral all the surviving fighting age males become Taliban?
Liberal. Pro-Israel. Recovering atheist.
04:09 PM on 09/01/2009
Am I being too cynical, or is this George Will's attempt to divert attention from health care?
-i dont buy the big lie
04:06 PM on 09/01/2009
yes sir --general george will,sir ---we'll get on it right away sir-----you are an accomplished war strategist
ground troops out --more drones in ---thank you general for taking time away from you busy day to win the war for us.
03:07 PM on 09/01/2009
We are fighting Islamic Supremacists all over the world, whether in Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Afghanistan--anywhere and everywhere.

Will initially supported both Iraq and Afghanistan, but demonstrates a severe lack of persistence in the face of hardship.

"Mr. Will has earned the reputation as one of the finest columnists alive, and one of the better ones our country has ever produced. I have admired him in the past, and I learn from him still. But on Iraq and Afghanistan, he has been wrong, unreliable, and unsteady.

In 1983 the French journalist and intellectual Jean-Francois Revel wrote How Democracies Perish. It was a withering critique of the West’s loss of nerve and will in the face of the totalitarian threat it faced. In his book, Revel wrote, “Democracy tends to ignore, even deny, threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed to counter them.” In a column praising Revel’s book, George Will wrote, “Defense of democracy depends on pessimists who are not defeatists. It depends on spirited realists such as Jean-Francois Revel.”

Now, like then, America needs spirited realists, not defeatists. We need individuals who believe a nation must be willing to fight for what is right even when it is hard. We need people who are going to resist the temptation to eagerly support war at the outset and then prematurely give up on it.

What we need, in other words, is what George Frederick Will once was."
--Peter Wehner
02:45 PM on 09/01/2009
While I agree that we should leave the Middle East, I have a problem with Will. He sits on his pompous arse, expounding about what President Obama should do. Where was all this advice when the doofus in chief was taking the country to the edge of a cliff with tax cuts for the wealthy, unnecessary invasions, torture etc? He just spouts all this hot air, and thinks he is the smartest man on the planet. Why not run for office, find out how difficult the job is with repubs. blocking every move, just for the sake of politics. He needs a new head of hair, seems to be glued on too tight.
04:21 PM on 09/01/2009
Also, he dishonors the bow tie. Only Sen. Paul Simon (RIP) could wear a bow tie with dignity -- outside of formal occasions where the full tux requires it, of course.
02:44 PM on 09/01/2009
Who is this guy? And why does anyone listen to him or people like him? And I must say this is why the American people upset me so. This is also why Bush/Cheney should be prosecuted.

Listen, does anyone still remember 9/11 and why we went to Afghanistan in the first place. At a minimum Osama and his first lieutenant must be captured or killed. If by the lies told by Bush/Cheney we have waited to long to cut off the cancer caused by these two misguided terrorists then so be it. But they must go so that there legacy and fate are no longer present for others to access or aspire to.

As for people like Mr. Will who were all for leaving Afghans to fight alone, in favor of fighting for command of oil and power in the middle east then why are Americans still listening to such a voice (gluttenous punishment if you ask me).

Why let criminals like Cheney continue to speak or be heard in authoritive voice when everything you've learned and continue to learn has been a lie.

Be Proud Americans, Stand up for what you believe, Persue the truth and Fight for what is Right, not for an ill conceived Idea of what is Right. These are the virtues of our fighting men and women. After 9/11 there was no doubt as to why we were there, but there was always doubt about why we went to Iraq.
02:20 PM on 09/01/2009
Dang! George is going hippie on us.
03:12 PM on 09/01/2009
The same George Will who kept supporting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq now says it's time to accept defeat. Go figure.
-i dont buy the big lie
04:01 PM on 09/01/2009
he did say genius is knowing when to stop the proceeded to say now is the time to stop --

ergo ----
02:09 PM on 09/01/2009
We are not fighting AQ in Afghanistan, we are fighting Taliban. And until we can solve this disconnect, I don't foresee a victory.

AQ is a terrorist organization and can be defeated. Taliban is an ethno-religious movement and is much much harder to pacify. Pakistan can not root it out, it can only prevent it from spreading.

In Afghanistan it's even worse. It was a mistake to start the Afghan war. At the time we could have forced them to give us Osama and drop their alliance with AQ. Now it may be too late.

Perhaps extensive nation-building and creating local alliances can help, but a new "surge"? I don't want to discard it, but I'm not too optimistic either.
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03:14 PM on 09/01/2009
You correctly see the disconnect between fighting AQ and the Taliban/radicals/ insurgents/militants and so forth.
But you miss the obvious conclusion. The 'enemy' of our policymakers is all of them, everyone and anyone who opposes US military occupation!

The 'war' is about power politics, global strategy, dominance of markets, pipeline routes, military bases, and war profits. Just ask Brzezinski or Gates and the other inner circle of policymakers. Bush admitted it was about control of oil. Obama is too politically slick to be so truthful.
02:08 PM on 09/01/2009
George Will has only one goal: to see Obama defeated.
02:00 PM on 09/01/2009
Whether AStan was ever "winable" is open to debate. But IMO whatever chance we had was blown in the early days when we had AQ and its leadership somewhat bottled up in Tora Bora. But insteard of trying to finish that job the big guns and the infantry support was already being moved for the coming invasion of Iraq. We or I should say the Bush Admin blew it.

AStan became an after thought.

And today it has become VN.

I do hope that all of you "must stay" folks are well aware of where your military recruiter's office is. For you or your kids. habve nothing to add to this discussion except for your own unwillingness to do the job you claim must be done.