And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.
How many times in the last century have these concluding lines of C. P. Cavafy’s famous 1898 poem, “Waiting for the Barbarians,” been quoted? How many modern intellectuals have pondered the subversive implications of that sophisticated question?Read more
White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked at today's press briefing, in the context of the Boston bombings, whether U.S. bombings in Afghanistan last month that killed civilians were "terrorism." Carney gave a long answer, but never says "no."Read more
State Department employee Anne Smedinghoff was killed in Afghanistan last weekend. At first reports suggested the young diplomat was part of an armed convoy that was bombed, but new reports say that she was actually on foot. And that the group she was with got lost on its way to deliver books.Read more
Who are the Hazaras and why are they marked for annihilation in Pakistan? Two frightful terror bombings, taking 185 lives and wounding hundreds more, were reported from the city of Quetta, near the border with Afghanistan, and the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, in the first two months of 2013. They were followed by a similar massacre in Karachi, Pakistan’s main port, in March. Prominent Hazara individuals have been assassinated in Karachi and Lahore. And the ordeal of the Hazaras is hardly new.Read more
As conservatives wrestle with the question of their movement’s commitment to national security, one young war veteran made the case for a strong national defense and Ronald Reagan’s entreaty that America pursue “peace through strength.” Speaking Thursday morning at CPAC, freshman congressman Tom Cotton of Arkansas tried directly to appeal to those conservatives wary and weary of American wars against radical Islamic terrorists.Read more
President Obama’s decision to withdraw another 34,000 troops from Afghanistan over the course of the next year is unwise. It greatly increases the risk of mission failure in that important conflict, jeopardizing gains already made in the Taliban heartland in the south and compromising the ability of Afghan and coalition forces to finish the fight against the Haqqani Network in the east. It also increases the risk that al Qaeda will be able to reestablish itself in limited safe havens in Afghanistan over time.Read more
At the Munich Security Conference today, Vice President Joe Biden revealed that President Barack Obama "doesn't want to go" to Iraq and Afghanistan. The audience laughed.Read more
In Germany for the Munich Security Conference, Vice President Joe Biden sounded relieved. "Read more
President Barack Obama gave a shout out last night at an Inaugural ball to our "comrades in arms" in Afghanistan. After hearing from troops in Afghanistan through a video a satellite, the commander in chief said, "Read more
Bill Kristol, with Brit Hume, Bob Woodward, and Evan Bayh, yesterday on Fox News:Read more
In remarks with Afghan president Hamid Karzai at the White House this afternoon, President Barack Obama said the U.S. has fallen "short of the ideal" in Afghanistan:
"So, you know, I think that, have we achieved everything that some might have imagined us achieving in the best of scenarios? Probably not. You know, there's a human enterprise, and you know, you fall short of the ideal," said Obama.Read more
When Senator Barack Obama was running for president back in 2008, he accused the Bush administration, his opponent Senator John McCain, and their supporters of taking their eyes off the ball by fighting a war in Iraq and ignoring the “necessary war”—the war in Afghanistan. Well, four short years later, by Obama’s lights, Afghanistan is no longer the necessary war but a war to be ignored, a war to be “ended” regardless of the strategic consequences of doing so precipitously.Read more
ABC’s White House correspondent, Jake Tapper, is known in some circles as a contentious or even difficult reporter. In others, he’s hailed as perhaps the most objective journalist covering the president, more willing than most of his colleagues to push Obama and his aides with questions that are likely to make the administration uncomfortable. His new book is far from the White House, situated in a U.S. military base in a deep valley in Afghanistan close to the Pakistani border where American troops have been dispatched—or as it appears, stranded—to take on the Taliban.Read more
Marine Lance Corporal Christian Brown is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, who lost both of his legs and a part of a Marine Lance Corporal Christian Brown is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, who lost both of his legs and a part of a finger after stepping on an explosive device in the war-torn Helmand Province last year. The Washington Post reportsthat on Sunday, Brown was treated poorly on a DRead more
The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
—Winston Churchill, tribute to the Royal Air Force,
House of Commons, August 20, 1940
President Obama heads abroad Saturday for a four-day visit to Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia. One assumes the president was going to add on to this trip a visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which would certainly be the fitting and proper thing to do.Read more
With Barack Obama’s reelection, withdrawal of U.S. and other NATO combat troops from Afghanistan in 2014—except for trainers of an Afghan national army—remains high on his agenda. The leading rival Islamic powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are meanwhile competing for future influence over the mountainous Central Asian country.Read more
Mitt Romney’s aim was to present himself with the demeanor and grasp of foreign and national security issues of a president of the United States. He succeeded. President Obama sought to make Romney appear unqualified to be president and commander in chief. He failed. And that was the story of the third and final presidential debate.Read more
It's been acknowledged that Vice President Biden's criticism of Paul Ryan in Thursday night's debate for the Wisconsin congressman's support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rings hollow, since Biden, when he was a senator from Delaware, also voted for the wars. Here's what Biden said Thursday:Read more
In the Thursday night vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden criticized Congressman Paul Ryan for voting to "put two wars"--those in Afghanistan and Iraq--"on a credit card." But as the Washington Free Beacon points out, Biden's suggestion that he didn't vote for those wars is simply false:Read more
Things are getting ugly in Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents somehow managed to penetrate the coalition’s main base in Helmand Province, Camp Bastion, and blow up six Marine Corps Harrier jump jets and damage two others, making this the greatest single-day loss of American warplanes since the Vietnam war. (The Harrier squadron commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, was killed in the attack.) Another Taliban suicide bomber struck in Kabul, killing a dozen people, including contract workers for the U.S. embassy.Read more
Yesterday, speaking at a campaign event in Florida, Vice President Joe Biden said, "Read more
President Obama's address at the United Nations was at times eloquently aspirational, and for the most part conventionally unobjectionable. But there was one sentence that gave away the fundamental lack of seriousness of the Obama worldview: "We have begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014."Read more
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