Of all the arguments for pulling out of Iraq, its comparative unimportance vis- a-vis Afghanistan is the least serious.
And not just because this argument assumes that the world's one superpower, which spends more on defense every year than the rest of the world combined, does not have the capacity to fight an insurgency in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. But because it assumes that Afghanistan is strategically more important than Iraq.
Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents. One is in Afghanistan, a geographically marginal backwater with no resources, no industrial and no technological infrastructure. The other is in Iraq, one of the three principal Arab states, with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure which, though suffering decay in the later Saddam years, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e. wrong) hands. Add to that the fact that its strategic location would give its rulers inordinate influence over the entire Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states. Then ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question.
Al-Qaeda has provided the answer many times. Osama bin Laden, the one whose presence in Afghanistan presumably makes it the central front in the war on terror, has been explicit that "the most serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War that is raging in Iraq." Al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has declared that Iraq "is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era.''
And it's not just what al-Qaeda says, it's what al-Qaeda does. Where are they funneling the worldwide recruits for jihad? Where do all the deranged suicidists who want to die for Allah gravitate? It's no longer Afghanistan, but Iraq. That's because they recognize the greater prize.
The Democratic insistence on the primacy of Afghanistan makes no strategic sense. Instead, it reflects a sensibility.
But that is the fundamental emotional and irrational character of today's Democrats, who would rather wallow in their hatred of Bush to compensate for their own lack of integrity and gumption. These hallow women and metrosexual men that make up the Democratic leadership are immature, petty, and self-serving. Even combined, they fail to achieve a level of maturity superior to the most confused adolescent. What they desire more than anything is popularity. They repeatedly choose to do what is easy instead of what is right as they focus on the trivial and the ephemeral so that they can score points.
Their irresponsibility is turned into some sort of virtue, as they prance about claiming to do the "will" of the people. The same "will" that voted in George Bush in 2004 in the only poll that matters (but that didn't count).
Leadership means doing what is right, even if it is not popular. It means putting the interests of the country above one's own narcissistic needs. It means taking the time to understand the realities on the ground and applying sense, not emotion or wishful thinking to the problems that face us. It means working together for a US victory, not in saying with adolescent snarkiness that this is a "Republican war". What a bunch of children.
Gagdad Bob writes and I must agree with his diagnosis:
Ontologically, leftism is "the substance of nothing," which is why politically it is the party of nihilism. There is no leftism without the intoxicated celebration of tearing down, of thanatos, the death instinct. When I say Democrats are the party of death, I mean it quite literally, but as always, in a way that the leftist cannot possibly understand. This is why, when they read this, they will have the subjective experience that I am "hitting" them instead of teaching them. Which is why they keep coming back, because they wish to be hit, as it gives them sanction to hit back -- which is what they wanted to do to begin with.
Not only is the leftist destructive, but his primary unconscious identification is with a destructive or absent object instead of a nurturing one. Bear in mind that I am mainly talking about activists and true believers; respectfully, the majority of Democrats are basically too stupid, too busy, or too informed by habit to know what they are supporting, but have simply internalized a "ruling cliche" repeated endlessly by the MSMistry of Truth, such as "Democrats are for the little guy" or "Republicans only care about the rich." But the true leftist believer is a sick soul and a dangerous person, probably a sociopath, not in terms of the DSM, but in terms of their unconscious mental structure.
In the sense I am discussing, the sociopath is someone who, for whatever developmental reason, was not safely ushered into the human community by benign parental objects, but was excessively frustrated or traumatized, leaving them deeply alienated and cynical.
The immature Democrats are completely unable to lead, particularly in difficult times when sound judgment, moral clarity, and an ability to tolerate ambiguity and are essential. Indeed, in so many ways they have become the "party of death" but have managed to satisfactorilly disguise that reality within a faux compassion and concerned sensibility. In truth, they care for nothing but their own power.
I do not say this lightly, but I cannot be sanguine about the terrible toll their immaturity and malignant narcissism will take on this country and the world if they manage to get their way. Their profound irresponsibility and obtuseness is only highlighted by the fact that they have carefully, in advance, set it up so that even if the worse comes to pass, they will deliberately shirk any responsibility for their actions and externalize the blame onto the usual suspects.
But we will all end up paying the price for their dangerously juvenile inability to appreciate that their actions and willful denial of reality will result in serious and catastrophic consequences.