Remember the ruckus coming from the liberal left during the George W. Bush administration?
From Cindy Sheehan at “Camp Crawford” protesting Bush’s home, to full Hollywood productions accusing Bush and Dick Cheney of promoting an American empire, “war for oil” was the battle cry. It fueled the presidential bids of dove-ish Congressman Ron Paul and any number of Democratic contenders including Barack Obama.
History is now clear that Obama did not wind down the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan as significantly as promised. As a point of fact, he was downright vague about his stances post-2008.
Then came 2016, and Donald J. Trump. One year in, Trump had promised a large share of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan would be coming home. And now it seems all but a handful to assist our allies will “come home by Christmas,” the President said via Twitter on Tuesday — the 19th anniversary of Operation Enduring Freedom’s launch.
We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
And from the antiwar left and the libertarian movement … crickets.
The president’s tweet suggests that the U.S. would be completely removing all U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan since 2001, though Trump’s remarks are contrary to what National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said just hours earlier, speaking during an event at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas Wednesday.
“When President Trump took office, there were over 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan. As of today there are under 5,000 and that will go to 2,500 by early next year,” O’Brien said, according to a report by Reuters.
Around 2,400 American soldiers have been killed in the fighting in Afghanistan and an estimated 20,000 have been injured, FOX reported.
From the hip: Some may criticize Trump for his foreign policy. From his handling of NATO, to the successful drone strike against Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, to critiques of him leaving the Syrian conflict to Iran, Turkey, and Russia, it’s Geopolitics 101 that there’s never a perfect solution.
But if we’re to take the Wayback Machine to 2004, you would think that simply refraining from U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan was enough to elect John Kerry as president in the minds of the anti-war cabal. But as we also know about geopolitical reality, it’s more complicated than political rhetoric.
In the meantime, COVID-19, stimulus, police policies, and election integrity are the main issues on the presidential campaign trail. The liberal left is just as shrill on these points as they were about pulling out of the Middle East during the oughties. How many of the issues that we face now will be resolved in 19 years — or maybe 19 weeks? Like anything, time will tell. The abandonment of the left’s anti-war rhetoric stands testament to the fickle nature of media age politics. It’s best to ignore the hype, no matter what election year it is.