Bryan Fischer
On Afghanistan: give up nation-building: not our job, won't work
By Bryan Fischer
June 23, 2011

Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at "Focal Point"

There's a considerable amount of thrashing about even among Republicans as to what our strategy ought to be in Afghanistan. But there is a North Star by which we must navigate, a North Star sadly ignored by both President Bush and President Obama, who have chosen instead to navigate by wandering stars which have no fixed position.

Our North Star should quite simply be this: the United States military should not be involved in nation-building, period. It's not a proper role for our military. On top of that, building any kind of nation we'd want to leave behind is impossible in a Muslim nation, and it's way past time to recognize that.

The purpose of the US military is to kill people and break things so that the American people can sleep safely at night. Its mission is not to build political structures, water systems, or schools, or hospitals, or police forces or even foreign militaries, as laudable as those goals might be.

If Muslims want those things in their country, we'll invite them to come to America so we can show them how we've done it and introduce them to our history, our heroes, our values, our traditions and our God. They can take the lessons they learn here and go back home and build their own version of the American dream if they want to. We're not going to do it for them.

Our armed forces should have a clearly defined military objective and when that objective is accomplished, we declare victory and come home. Examples of military objectives: dethrone Saddam, remove the Taliban from political power, execute Osama bin Laden. Once those clear-cut objectives are achieved, we declare victory and leave.

The much-criticized "Mission Accomplished" banner hanging behind President Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln was exactly the right banner. We had toppled Saddam, pulled own his statue, and left him scrambling from one hidey-hole to the next. That was our mission — to neutralize the threat Saddam posed to the United States — and since it had been accomplished, it was time to bring the troops home.

Nation-building in either Iraq or Afghanistan is none of our business. Saddam was our business, since he posed a threat to the U.S. The Taliban was our business, since they provided cover and assistance to bin Laden.

But what kind of nations were built in the wake of the neutralizing of Saddam and the Taliban was none of our business. We should have let the Iraqis and the Afghanis build whatever kind of nation they wanted. We should have just informed them, on the way out of town, look, whatever nation you build is up to you. But you better be sure you don't put another Saddam or Taliban in place who attacks us, because if they do, we'll be back and the next time it will be without mercy.

It is particularly impossible to build any kind of nation we'd want to leave behind in a Muslim country. Freedom is in the DNA of Americans, because of the influence of Christianity. We hunger for it and we will bleed and die for it.

But tyranny is in the heart of Muslims, because of the influence of Islam. They hunger for it and they will bleed and die for it.

It is impossible to build a republican form of government in a country whose religion teaches domination and control and which allows for no dissent or debate. It's impossible to build a nation which has any respect for religious liberty in a Muslim country. Its religious leaders teach their followers that they have a sacred, solemn obligation to slit the throats of infidel Christians. How do you create an atmosphere of religious freedom in that environment? It cannot be done.

If we are going to build a nation, the minimum we should leave behind is a nation which provides genuine protection for Christians and preserves their freedom to worship the Christian God openly and freely. Freedom of religion was the very first of the unalienable rights given to us by God that the Founders protected in the Bill of Rights.

Our presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan have made things worse, not better, for our brothers and sisters in the faith that built America. Half or more of the Christian population in Baghdad has fled for safety, and Muslims are hunting down the ones that are left neighborhood by neighborhood and house by house. What kind of nation is that? But that's the nation we're leaving behind.

American blood is too precious and American treasure too valuable to be spilled and spent in a fruitless attempt to build nations in parts of the world that have no respect for our fundamental values.

Our next president will certainly encounter threats and attacks from Islamic nations during his time in office. It is imperative that he reject the nation-building ideology of President Bush and the aimless dithering of President Obama.

When we must respond to an attack from a Muslim country, our agenda and mission should be crystal clear: we will project the force of the United States military as long and as intensely as necessary to obliterate the source of the attack or the threat, and then we will bring our troops home. We will leave behind one simple message: it's your country, build whatever nation you want. But don't give us a reason to come back, because if you do, it will not be pretty.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

© Bryan Fischer


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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