Palin Goes Rogue on Afghanistan
Will Keola Thomas – Afghanistan Study Group
In Alaska, they say the only difference between Sarah Palin and a pitbull is lipstick. But on Tuesday, former Gov. Palin showed that unlike the famously obstinate pitbull, she knows when to let go.
In response to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s comments threatening unspecified “unilateral action” if coalition airstrikes on civilian homes were not halted, Palin posted a statement on Facebook questioning the United States’ continued commitment to the regime in Kabul.
“If President Karzai continues with these public ultimatums, we must consider our options about the immediate future of U.S. troops in his country. If he actually follows through on his claim that Afghan forces will take “unilateral action” against NATO forces who conduct such air raids to take out terrorists and terrorist positions, that should result in the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the suspension of U.S. aid. I still firmly support our mission in Afghanistan, but we must have the support of the host government. Our troops’ mission will be compromised and their safety endangered if the Afghan government threatens us.”
This is new territory for Palin and, as ASG co-founder Steve Clemons notes, it may be another sign that Palin is breaking with stay-the-course stalwarts like her former running-mate Sen. John McCain and “trust me we’re winning” neocons like Bill Kristol.
Kristol took a swipe at Palin in this regard during an interview with Politico’s Ben Smith:
“The surge in Iraq works. The surge in Afghanistan works…And now, everyone (even Palin, to some degree) decides, hey, time to back off? It’s foolish substantively and politically.”
Actually, it’s substantively “foolish” (putting it lightly) to throw billions of dollars and thousands of lives after a failed strategy and expect victory to follow.
And politically, Gov. Palin can take comfort in the knowledge that the conservative base is with her in questioning the logic of an open-ended commitment to a corrupt regime in Kabul.
The poll numbers support this conclusion. But Palin could also look to the 682 comments submitted in response to her Facebook post. If anything, Palin’s supporters are way ahead of her in demanding an end to the war.
From the comments:
Chris Cremeans My son is there. He is increasingly frustrated because his hands are basically tied. Let them do their jobs or BRING THEM HOME. Proud Army Mom.
Ashley Raber Dalland Its hard to read things like this cause my husband just deployed to Afghan, I would be more than happy if they pulled our troops out let them fight their own war if they dont appreciate our help. Sarah you are amazing!!
Jim Hinkle 1507 American Troops dead, $419Billion in American resources spent to date. Nine years in, we still don’t have and exit strategy, and this puppet is trying to tell us how to conduct the war. WHY ARE WE THERE? Time to plan our withdrawal.
Pat Hall I used to support our mission in Afghanistan – even when my grandson was there – but I no longer support it. We’re not getting anywhere. We’ve been there too long and have lost too many young men. Every time I hear of another one of our troops being blown up it breaks my heart. Enough is enough. And now – we’re being threatened by the Afghani govt????? We need to get out NOW.
Dave White We can support out troops without putting them in unwinnable situations, It’s time to bring the boys home, glad to see Sarah beginning to make that case..
Todd Arnold I’m moving to Afghanistan to get some US federal aid…sure as hell not getting it here!!!!!
Shayna Lee I think it is time to bring our troops home. It was time to bring our troops home two years ago, instead of escalating. I don’t know what we are doing in Afghanistan or hoping to accomplish.
Amy Weaver Jopson Sarah, I don’t know how or why you support the “effort” in Afghanistan. My husband is there & the majority of the troops realize everything they are doing is in vain! Our troops are dying in vain! We need to get out NOW!
Charles Zachary Belcher I have a son fighting with the Marines in Afghanistan. If we do not know why my son is risking his life, then bring him home early. Please do not risk my son for a government that does not want NATO there fighting for freedom and liberty.