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What Does Winning Mean in a Forever War?
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When a Wall Street Journal editorial warned this week against any precipitous U.S. withdrawal that might imperil our gains in Afghanistan, an exasperated President Trump shot back:

“Could someone please explain to them that we have been there for 19 years. … and except at the beginning, we never really fought to win.”

Is that true? Did we “never really” fight to win during our 19-year war in Afghanistan, except when we first ousted the Taliban in 2001?

At one point in this longest American war against al-Qaida and the Taliban, Barack Obama surged 100,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan.

The issue here is with the terminology.

In the forever wars of the Middle East, what does “winning” mean?

To those of us who grew up in the mid-20th century, victory was Gen. MacArthur standing on the deck of the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay as top-hatted Japanese diplomats signed the articles of surrender.

Victory was unmistakable and irreversible.

Five years after V-J day, however, came Korea, a war that lasted three years and ended in deadlock, stalemate and a truce along the 38th parallel, where the North-South war had begun in June of 1950.

Vietnam also came to be called a “no-win war.”

Though U.S. troops never lost a major battle, and every provincial capital was in Saigon’s hands when we departed in 1973, the United States is said to have “lost the war” when the North Vietnamese army overran the South and Saigon in the spring of 1975.

That was a geostrategic defeat but not a military defeat.

America’s problem, in this century, lies in our concept of “winning.”

While U.S. military forces can crush any Middle East adversary, as we showed in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, we have been unable to realize the fruits of the victories our armed forces produced.

We have failed to reorient the defeated nations to our way of thinking. We have failed to win the peace.

While we can defeat our enemies in the air and on the seas and in cyberspace, we cannot persuade them to embrace secular democracy and its values any more than we can convert them to Christianity.

John Locke means nothing to these people. As for our Bill of Rights, why would devout Muslims, who believe there is but one God, Allah, and that Muhammad is his only Prophet, tolerate the preaching of heresies in their countries that can cause Muslims to lose their souls?

Millions of Muslims are familial, tribal, nationalistic, resistant to foreign intervention and proudly anti-Enlightenment.

With our “democracy crusades,” we have been trying to conquer and convert people who do not wish to be converted. Moreover, we lack the patience and perseverance to change or convert them.

As imperialists, we Americans are conspicuous failures.

Moreover, with us, the national interest inevitably asserts itself.

ORDER IT NOW

When it comes to spending lives and treasure indefinitely we find we have no vital interest in whether these lands we occupy are ruled by monarchs, democrats, dictators or demagogues, and we lack the staying power to occupy these countries until they accept our ideas and ideals.

If they don’t attack us, why do we not just leave them be?

Our enemies in the Middle East do not defeat our military. They outlast us. They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers willing to give up their lives in suicide attacks. They are willing to fight on and trade casualties endlessly. They do not subscribe to our rules of war.

They tire us out, and, eventually, we give up and go home.

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not ours.

They are not trying to change us. We are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

Woodrow Wilson famously declared of our neighbors to the south, “I am going to teach the Latin American republics to elect good men!”

Wilson forgot the kernel of truth in the ethnic slur of his era, that you cannot grow bananas and democracy on the same piece of land.

If it is a contest between armed forces, America wins. We can impose our will on the country but cannot win their assent. They resist until we tire of trying to educate them.

Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.

What will the Taliban do when we leave?

They will not give up their dream of again ruling the Afghan nation and people. And they will fight until they have achieved that goal and their idea of victory: dominance.

And if 100,000 Americans fighting beside the Afghan army could not force them to surrender, then why should they settle for half a loaf and accept a compromise now?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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  1. Anon[368] • Disclaimer says:

    Winning means killing so many of them: men, women, and children, that even the whisper of the word “Americans” will send shivers down the spines of grown men for a thousand years, like Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun. That’s winning. In Afghanistan it means at least ten million Afghanis dead.

    If a country is not willing to do that, and I would hope the United States is not willing to do that, then they (we) should go home and leave the Afghans to murder each other without our assistance. If they return to supporting terrorism or go whole hog in producing opium, perhaps the US should decapitate their entire government and let the next batch of losers give governing a try. I just don’t think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it’s hopeless trying to “win.”

  2. SafeNow says:

    Immigrants from NE Asia whom I have known readily and genuinely embrace U.S. civics, democracy, the constitution, and the rule of law. Maybe they are just plain smarter, and more decent, than the people in Afghanistan.

    A Quibble: The adjective “precipitate” means sudden or swift. Thus: precipitate withdrawal. “Precipitous” means steep, as when you say: This graph shows the precipitous increase in obesity over recent decades.

    • Troll: GazaPlanet
    • Replies: @follyofwar
  3. I’ve long since concluded, there is no president who can withdraw the US from the Forever Wars. Obama couldn’t. Trump can’t. Biden/Harris/Oprah/Gabbard/Pence won’t.

    There are a half-dozen permanent US policies that Americans don’t get to vote on, and the Permawar is one of them.

  4. Anon[151] • Disclaimer says:

    My God, Buchanan, I am staggered by the arrogance of this column. Where in the name of all that’s holy did you ever get the idea that America has the right to impose on anyone, from Afghans through to Venezuelans, your (perceived) systems of thought, values and democracy? How many American soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan can even speak the local language? Understand the local customs? None!!! They swan around in their sunglasses and battle gear thinking that they are they return of the Terminator and wander why the locals absolutely hate their collective guts! It’s time that you collectively learned that America is NOT the world’s sheriff and that, as Benjamin Franklin said “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still”.

    • Agree: bluedog
    • Disagree: JosephB
  5. Pat is not entirely wrong — he hints at the explanation for failure:
    “As imperialists, we Americans are conspicuous failures.

    Moreover, with us, the national interest inevitably asserts itself.”
    As Imperialists there has never been anything but the (Elite) “national interest”.
    In short, these so called “losing” wars have been wars of aggression — ie “bad” wars. All Pat’s talk of conversion, democracy etc is just so much nonsense.

  6. swamped says:

    “While we can defeat our enemies in the air and on the seas and in cyberspace, we cannot persuade them to embrace secular democracy and its values any more than we can convert them to Christianity”…although they might be better persuaded to convert to Christianity – traditional Christianity – than to embrace secular democracy and its “values”. Why would anyone want to embrace homosexuality, transgenderism, rad-feminism, opioids, prozac, inequality, broken homes, mass shootings, mountainous debt, corrupt media, puppet politicians & the rest of the filth & perversion that passes for “values” in secular democracies like America or Western Europe? Indeed, why would anyone in these decadent countries even want to defend these venal “values”, let alone try to spread them around the world like the Chinese plague?
    No, “they are not trying to change us”…but maybe they should.

    • Agree: follyofwar
    • Replies: @SteveK9
  7. anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:

    The break from Team Red cheerleading for the next Most Important Election Ever is no mere coincidence. This is another good example of Mr. Buchanan’s bipartisan, Exceptional! propaganda.

    Though U.S. troops never lost a major battle, and every provincial capital was in Saigon’s hands when we departed in 1973, the United States is said to have “lost the war” when the North Vietnamese army overran the South and Saigon in the spring of 1975.

    Nothing can be entrusted to these children.

    John Locke means nothing to these people.

    As though more than 5% of “us” even recognize the name.

    They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers willing to give up their lives in suicide attacks. They are willing to fight on and trade casualties endlessly. They do not subscribe to our rules of war.

    On he drones.

  8. anonymous[112] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Exceptional! comment. Many of “us” are unaware that but for the GWOT, Afghanistan would “go whole hog in producing opium.” Can you specify how “we” have suppressed cultivation since 2001?

    • LOL: Rurik
  9. As the British and French ultimately found out it costs more to run an empire than to loot it. So the long retreat ensues. One would have thought that the Americans might have learned this from history, but no! After all they were ”the exceptional people, they stood taller than the others and saw further.” Errrm, no they didn’t. Like their forbears they got bogged down as well getting into debt which was only bailed out by their insistence that they would not convert the dollar into gold.

    Human nature and stupidity has got a long track-record and it isn’t going to end anytime soon.

  10. Pat Buchanan asks a pertinent question: “If they don’t attack us, why do we not just leave them be?”
    That is a morally reasonable position. But historically every war is driven by national interest more than anything else. And because of this every empire so far has come to pass.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

    • Replies: @T. Weed
  11. @Anon

    I don’t think this column means what you think it means.

    • Replies: @Michelle
  12. bob sykes says:

    The US Army got its ass handed to it at Ia Drang, two whole airmobile battalions chewed up. The 1st Bat., 7th Cav lost 80 killed and 124 wounded, but the 2nd Bat., 7th Cav. lost 150 killed and about 230 wounded. Neither battalion was combat-effective after the battle, and the NVA kept possession of the battle field. A plain defeat for both units.

    There were numerous occasions in the Vietnamese war where the US abandoned a battle field after a battle, allowing the NVA to reoccupy it. That is the very definition of defeat. Body counts really don’t matter, but that’s all the Army and Marines had.

  13. The writer, and most commenters’ are still under the erroneous belief that AMerica goes to war in places then AMerica wins or loses or wastes lives or kill children. This is the saddest part of the Yankee war machine: Americans joining the Army because they think theya re joining the fight to defend the American Dream.
    You-all are corporate gunmonkeys, fighting and killing and burning and bombing, not in the name of freedom or apple pie, but in the name of Gulf Oil, Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Monsanto, PHBBillington, whatever Devil Rumsfelt calls his sack of shit these days….
    America has not won any war anywhere, even their civil war was mostly just clearing the land for the banks. That is because it is not America at war, she just supplies the cannon fodder. And cannons. And radiactive scrapmetal to make bullets to mow down women and children in the name of Investor Confidence.
    But then, that is what your Zionist bible tells you to do, isn’t it?

    • Replies: @follyofwar
  14. Saggy says: • Website

    With our “democracy crusades,” we have been trying to conquer and convert people who do not wish to be converted. Moreover, we lack the patience and perseverance to change or convert them.

    I am a big fan of PB because of ‘Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War’ … and it is a mystery to me how he can write such idiocy as the above, and the rest of the article for that matter.

  15. Realist says:

    What Does Winning Mean in a Forever War?

    Winning a war is not in the interest of the Deep State. Being at war makes the Deep State more wealthy and powerful…not winning at war.

  16. Realist says:
    @Anon

    I just don’t think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it’s hopeless trying to “win.”

    If by the US you mean most of the people…you may be right. But the people in the US have no say in the actions of the US government…which is controlled by psychopaths.

  17. SteveK9 says:
    @Anon

    That is the exact opposite of what Buchanan said.

  18. SteveK9 says:
    @swamped

    Buchanan did not say that secular democracy or Christianity are better (although I’m sure he believes so), he simply said we cannot convert them, which is clearly the case and in some circles is still not recognized.

  19. anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:

    Afghanistan is hardly even a country as the average American might define one. There’s really nothing to “win”; we only occupy. The infrastructure is primitive so it’s not cost effective to try to take whatever natural resources they may have, if any, so there’s nothing they have that we want. The Taliban were not “ousted”. In the face of massive firepower they split up and scattered; they’re still there. After all, the US has been negotiating with them for a peace deal of some sort hasn’t it? “Democracy crusades” is just a propaganda fig leaf to bamboozle stupid Americans. It’s amazing that there’s people who actually believe stuff like that but PT Barnum had it right. “Eventually, we give up and go home”. That’s because they live there and we don’t. “They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers” willing to fight and die. They don’t want foreign robo-soldiers pointing guns at them in their own country. We have our own version, it’s called “Remember the Alamo”, men who stood their ground against the odds.

  20. @Anon

    If a country is not willing to do that, and I would hope the United States is not willing to do that, then they (we) should go home and leave the Afghans to murder each other without our assistance. If they return to supporting terrorism or go whole hog in producing opium, perhaps the US should decapitate their entire government and let the next batch of losers give governing a try. I just don’t think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it’s hopeless trying to “win.”

    The growth in opium cultivation correlates with CIA activities in the area and the $3 billion from American taxpayers which financed Mujahideen ‘terrorism’ against the Russians and their local proxies just to avenge the fall of Saigon.

    In 1980 Afghanistan accounted for about only 5% of total world heroin production. This was mainly for the local market and neighbor Iran.

    That is how you get forever wars.

  21. botazefa says:

    Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.

    Couldn’t the same be said of Imperial Japan, Pat?

  22. nsa says:

    We here in Ft. Meade have been snooping around Paddy the Papist’s email and discovered he has not emerged from under his bed in over two months for fear of wu-wu germs and is using our very own VFW lounge lizard, Rich, to ghost write his enthralling patriotic tributes to the courage and grit of the American fighting man. Why it’s a fact that even in the Civil War of the 1860s, Americans lost not a single battle. The greatest fighting men ever…….by comparison the Red Army, the Wehrmacht, the Viet Cong, the Roman Legions, the Mongols led by Genghis the Fag were a bunch of pussies and bedwetters. Turn loose the American fighting man and it’s game over for the enemy…….every time. The coming dustup with them Chink thumbsuckers should be over in less time than it took the Krauts to overrun the Snaileaters . The Chinks like the Frogs never bathe so you smell ’em before you see ’em. That is, if we aren’t stabbed in the back again by them vile liberals in commie Washington DC.

  23. Bob Gwen says:

    The US is not trying to “win” nor achieve a stable democratic peace. The US wants to either control ANY form of government, or maintain chaos and strife in any strategic part of the world. Because what does chaos in other parts of the world gain us? Continued use of US dollars and denial of use of resources to our enemies. But also, we get to say we’re not a shithole country because our buildings And society are not blown up.

  24. Rurik says:

    They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not ours.

    If I may..

    another way of looking at this, and I feel a profound respect for the Afghans, and only wish we were made of the same mettle. If only ((they)) could say of us..

    They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not (((ours)))).

    They are not trying to change ((((us. We))) are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

    IOW, we white Westerners, have proved willing to surrender and submit to all of it. Without nary a peep of protest. Even as ((they)) send us around the globe to kill people like these Afghans, for being slightly inconvenient to their agenda. [And so the CIA can reconstitute its global heroin trafficking operation$.]

    If only history would look back on this epic moment, at the last Death throes of the West, and say of whitey, that he refused to surrender his values and faith and traditions and tribe and God, and culture and civilization and honor.. to ((those)) who would pervert his values, and mock his faith, and trash his traditions, and exterminate his tribe, while mocking his God, and poisoning his culture, and destroying his civilization… and all because at the end of the day, he had no honor.

    These men may be backwater, illiterate villagers,

    but at least they have enough mettle and honor, to tell the Beast that they would rather die killing as many of the Beast’s stupid goons as they’re able, than ever sacrifice their sacred honor- or lands or sovereignty, or the destinies of their children – over to the fiend, which is more than I can say for Western “man”.

    They are not trying to change us. We are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

    Would that the Swedish people had a Nano-shred of the blood-honor of an Afghan, Barbara Spectre would be pounding sand.

    Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.

    Obviously, there is a great deal we need to learn from them.

    What will the Taliban do when we leave?

    They will not give up their dream of again ruling the Afghan nation and people. And they will fight until they have achieved that goal and their idea of victory: dominance.

    Um.. Pat. Whose land is it anyways? Is it such a horror that Afghans should be dominant in Afghanistan?

    The Taliban was welcomed into most of the regions it governed, because they drove out local war lords who often treated the villager’s children as their sex toys, and the foreign (CIA) opioid growers and traffickers. And it was the Taliban that put an end to all of that. They’re harsh, but they’re effective, and that is their land, not ours.

    Also, the Taliban offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden, if the West could provide a shred of proof that he had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. (he didn’t ; ) But the West had zero proof, (as the FBI admits to this day), that they have zero proof that ties Bin Laden to 9/11.

    And n0w that we all know 9/11 was an Israeli false flag, intended to use the American military as their bitch, to burn down ‘seven nations in five years’ .. that the Jewish supremacists wanted destroyed, our whole pretext for being over there has been a sham from day one. Duh.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    I remember long ago when I had a subscription to National Geographic and this photo came out, I cut the picture out, and stuck it somewhere to look at- it was so visceral and haunting.

    Leave them alone. I don’t care how many Jews at the WSJ demand whitey has to stay and die for Israel. (Afghanistan is on Iran’s border, and that’s why we have to stay, to menace all those anti-Semites over there, trying to gas all the Jews and make soap).

    Good on Trump for calling out the ((WSJ)).

    • Replies: @follyofwar
  25. @SafeNow

    If, as you say SafeNow: “Immigrants from NE Asia … readily and genuinely embrace US civics, democracy, the constitution, and the rule of law,” then they are way ahead of the citizens of this DYING republic, which has been responsible for killing untold millions since WWII.

    The country was dying, and circling the drain before covid-19, but this Gates-initiated, media driven FAKE pandemic has driven it into an orchestrated economic depression. If you are referring to countries like South Korea and Japan, they are most definitely “smarter and more decent” than us. The world will be a more peaceful and better place after the pathological US Empire collapses.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    , @Reg Cæsar
  26. @paranoid goy

    I very much doubt if many are joining the military to “defend the American Dream.” Most are more practical and are joining to escape poverty, even if it might cost them their lives. Recruiters will now be inundated with volunteers since there are no jobs in the covid depression.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  27. Exile says:

    If the neo-con clown car Trump has permitted to run foreign policy since his election gets us into a war with Iran and/or Venezuela before November, will Pat still be stumping for him, or will we see the return of non-election-year Pat?

  28. Svevlad says:

    Why fail to win the peace? Because America is a multiculti muttistan and the paragon of globohomo, and it takes a negative IQ monkey of an enemy to not use that – simply give the conflict an ethnic slant.

    “they wish to erase our culture and identity” – the instant this is said by whoever is american enemy, loss is guaranteed. You start being treated as an existential threat of the highest degree by the entire nation

  29. Excellent question Pat! Unfortunately there is no answer, we’ve been at “forever war” seemingly forever, and the whole point as Eisenhower so preciently warned us is THE objective.

  30. Rurik says:
    @follyofwar

    Recruiters will now be inundated with volunteers since there are no jobs in the covid depression.

    I hadn’t thought of that, follyofwar,

    You’re right, so much of this has played right into their hands, that you have to wonder.

    If there’s a massive swath of our young people who’re without any prospects whatsoever, well then there’s always being cannon fodder for Israel!

  31. @Rurik

    If only Trump could have gotten the troops out of Afghanistan, instead of sending in more. Excellent comment (as usual), Rurik, but what war has Trump ever stopped?

    • Replies: @Rurik
  32. It’s not ‘forever war’. It is Empire. Empire exists to continue and expand. War is about win or lose. Empire is about keep and dominate.

    US wars are not to win and then depart. It is to keep occupying and controlling.

    And US is rich enough to buy off the local elites as collaborators forever.

  33. “We have failed to reorient the defeated nations to our way of thinking. ”

    Not so hard when your “victories” are backstabbing brothers.

    “They tire us out, and, eventually, we give up and go home.”

    No you brainlet.
    There’s no home.
    Only greater Mexico.

    Which should tell you how wrong you are on the shared Christian value part.

  34. Rurik says:
    @follyofwar

    Thank you follyofwar,

    but what war has Trump ever stopped?

    none, but I suspect he’s trying.

    He tried to get out of Syria, and they had a conniption

    He’s been trying to disengage with Afghanistan, and as Buchannan points out, the Jewish supremacists at the WSJ will have none of that.

    Look at how they screeched ‘treason!’ when he spoke with Putin in Finland.

    Trump seems to be dancing on a razor’s edge with Iran. If he gets a second term, then we will all find out if he’s been a crazed ideological Zionist the whole time, just biding his time until he was entrenched in power, before he destroys the planet,

    or,

    If he wants a true legacy with the American people, that he turned out to be a good, (dare I say even great) president, if he ends the wars, and brings the troops all home..

    Indeed, if he did those things, while deporting the criminal invaders, and reigning in ((Wall Street and the Fed)), while prosecuting the Deepstate scum like Comey and Brennan and Clapper…

    he could turn out to be among the greatest president we’ve ever had, if not, the greatest!

    Donald J. Trump!, are you listening?!

    🙂

    • LOL: GazaPlanet
  35. T. Weed says:
    @peter mcloughlin

    “National interest”? Not in our interest, but some other country’s. All our wars in the Middle East can be summed up in a few words: No Israel, no Lobby, no Neocons, no war.

  36. After Carthage, the Romans grew softer and had to give up and build walls between them and those who refused to submit to them. Later Romans even started to invite the barbarians in to do the work they couldn’t get Romans to do.

    I hear History a’Rhyming.

  37. SafeNow says:
    @follyofwar

    I agree, Follyofwar. When I referred to U.S. civics, rule of law, etc. I should have added something like “although severely eroded.” Thanks.

  38. @Anon

    If they return to supporting terrorism

    The thing is that the Afghan government wasn’t supporting terrorism. Rather, it had no on-going control anywhere except the cities, which made the tribal areas useful hideouts / bases for a raft of groups.

    I well remember the prelude to the invasion where the US was demanding that its government (which merely happened to be Taliban that year) hand over OBL in 72hrs. The truth was that the US knew Afghanistan didn’t have the capability to do that and it merely wanted to use OBL as an excuse to invade and continue the encirclement of the old soviet states.

  39. mijj says:

    the US forces won’t withdraw until the powers that control the US align on a decision to do so.

  40. Alankg says:

    Its funny, Pat Always give the impression he prefers peace, but continue the often repeated delusions the US is here for the good of the world when it has been the number 1 rogue nation after WW2. No other country in history of the world has toppled as many governments, deliberately starved or killed as many people, threatened as many countries, cause as much misery, manufactured as many refugees as the Great US of A. Its no wonder Iran call it the Great Satan.
    For now he will give the impression its best to get out of Afghanistan for “ peace”, but give it a few days, and he will recycle the same ridiculous invectives on “ evil Communist China” and help sell even bigger wars again. I conclude that by now the love for wars by Americans is genetical, and came fron its history of successfully wiping out almost all natives of the North America, (then occasionally lamented about it). there is no cure for this global repeat homicidal maniac of a nation.

  41. jsinton says:

    We never should have been invading Afghanistan in the first place. Just like the Anglo/Zionist Empire never should have destroyed those buildings on 9/11 to dupe Americans into war. And bin Laden was just a CIA/Saudi creation dupe Americans into fighting the hybrid wars. But Pat always seems to have faith that America is the indispensable nation and we’ve got to make everyone see that, or at least submit to that. And we never lie, or at least never admit it. Pat makes me wonder if he’s just another dupe and really believes this shit, or is he a paid “dissenter” on the CIA payroll.

  42. LobeLog posted Iran-Iraq war veteran Habib Ahmadzadeh’s Letter to Donald Trump
    https://lobelog.com/a-letter-to-donald-trump-from-an-iranian-war-veteran/
    responding to Trump’s taunt that “Iran has never won a war nor lost a negotiation.”

    Ahmadzadeh listed five engagements that USA has not “won”, and further, that Trump and other American warriors fail to understand their adversary before engaging.

    He next asserts that “in 250 years Iran has not started a war,” nor stolen the resources, territory, etc. of another, but that Iranians have united in fiercely defending their homeland, as they did in the 1980s war. Ahmadzadeh was wounded and subject to chemical attack four times in the course of that war.

    He wrote:

    Iranians became one body and stood and defended their home and their families.

    The nation still mourns the far too many precious lives that were lost during that war. But, to this day and despite their differences, Iranians are proud of the eight years spent defending their homeland.

    Mr. President, this is how Iranians define winning and losing a war. In our lexicon, the one who starts a war is the only loser. The one who plans to steal the happiness, the lives, and the well-being of others is the one who suffers true loss.

  43. Michelle says:
    @Nikolai Vladivostok

    I don’t think he even read the column???

    • Replies: @anonymous
  44. anonymous[112] • Disclaimer says:
    @Michelle

    The column reeks of Exceptional! arrogance.

  45. It’s really very sad that a civic nationalist like Pat is STILL under the delusion that the USSA is a nation state. That ship sailed a long time ago. After President Russiavelt helped to win WWII for world Communism and helped found the Communist United Nations, Isramerica became a Globalist State.

  46. This is a good article that counters corporate media propaganda, yet it repeats some of it:

    Vietnam also came to be called a “no-win war.” Though U.S. troops never lost a major battle

    The USA lost lots of battles in Vietnam, like these:

    • Replies: @Alankg
  47. nocal says:

    I’m astounded, at the anti-Semitism, anti-Israel stances, of many of the comments. Silly me. The major fault of the Israeli government, is their excessive morality. They, more than anyone in the world, are aware that one can’t kill all of their Muslim enemies. They are probably the only government in the world, who will go out of their way to get more IDF members killed or maimed, to result in fewer Palestinians killed. They are the only government in the world who essentially tolerates rockets launched from Gaza into their country.

    To the writer who thinks the US will start a war with Iran, it’s far more likely that they will start one with the US, in the form of an “October surprise,” in a hopefully vain attempt to derail Trump’s re-election. The mad mullahs know they can’t win an outright, full blown war. That’s not what I’m talking about, as your sane readers/commentors, will know.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @MarkinLA
  48. Anonymous[361] • Disclaimer says:
    @nocal

    • Replies: @anonymous
  49. anonymous[286] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Standard one-and-done-with-handle: long, technically competent English, and directed to no one in particular. This one, though, strikes me as a (true sense) troll.

  50. MarkinLA says:
    @nocal

    You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool the commenters. We have had so many parody comments over the years that yours is hardly original.

  51. anonymous[521] • Disclaimer says:

    A permanent presence of 10,000 US troops who do not engage in much combat can prevent the Taliban takeover of all of Afghanistan. It will be worth it because the Taliban takeover will be a humiliating defeat as the same people who aided and abetted the terrorists who destroyed the Twin Towers will return to power. There are already US 800 military installations worldwide so the added burden of a permanent presence in Afghanistan is just a small fraction of the aggregate burdens of empire. You might reflexively reject this idea but think of the national despair that would at least last from 2021-2030 if the withdrawal from Afghanistan quickly leads to the Taliban taking Kabul and booting Americans out.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  52. I`m quite astonished by the number of commenters who seem to think that Pat Buchanan is saying that the forever war policies needed to be pursued with more ruthlessness or patience.

    Generously – you are skim reading a bit too quickly, folks!

    • Replies: @anonymous
  53. anonymous[267] • Disclaimer says:
    @Auld Alliance

    Reply directly to one of us, and we’ll see who’s been “skimming” the columns of Mr. Paleoconservative.

  54. Mathew says:

    This essay is full of errors. Some examples:

    “..Muhammad is his only Prophet…” Incorrect. Actually the most frequently referenced prophet in the Quran is Jesus Christ, whom the Quran instructs its readers to also follow.

    “While U.S. military forces can crush any Middle East adversary…” Incorrect. The U.S. literally just surrendered in Afghanistan to the Taliban. Also, the U.S. is incapable of attacking Iran or else it would have. Also, the U.S. has been soundly defeated militarily in Syria. In fact, it’s arguable the U.S. has zero military victories in the Middle East.

    More delusions from Uncle Pat.

    • Agree: bluedog
  55. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    “Winning means killing so many of them, men-women-children, that even the whisper of the word ‘Aryan’ will send shivers down their spines for a thousand years. In Europe, it means at least 6 million Juden dead. If the Reich is not willing to do that, it should let Chosenites murder each other like they are as kapos and sonderkommandos. If Matzonians return to parasitism…or go whole-hog in banking…the Fatherland should decapitate the entire Judenrat and let the remaining batches of losers enter ovens. I just hope Adolf has the moral fortitude to continue genocide to its end.” ~Himmler

    Are Afghanis the only “expendable turd-people” in neocon eyes? When will Billy Kristolnacht, Alan Perv-Douchewit, and Wasserman-Schitz entrain to Hotel Treblinka?

  56. bluedog says:
    @anonymous

    Guess you never read Chalmers Johnson books on what would happen if they didn’t close at least half of those overseas bases,he said it would bankrupt the nation and it has.From his first book ‘Blow Back” which deals with our interference in Afghanistan when the Russians were in there, to his last book “Sorrows of The Empire.Imperial Hubris’ which is where we are today I would recommend that you read them>!!!!!

  57. Vietnam also came to be called a “no-win war.”

    This is among the stupidest ideas in circulation. We were fighting to keep the Commies out of Saigon. The Commies took over Saigon. We lost. Got our ass handed to us.

    By illiterate savages with no air force who ate bugs and worms and lived in tunnels.

    What do they tell those guys going to West Point?

    • Replies: @anon
  58. anon[361] • Disclaimer says:
    @Morton's toes

    What do they tell those guys going to West Point?

  59. @follyofwar

    … this DYING republic, which has been responsible for killing untold millions since WWII.

    Your use of the word “since” is highly suspect. Are you discounting the millions we killed in not one, but two World Wars, the ones the Lindberghs warned us to stay out of?

    If you are referring to countries like South Korea and Japan, they are most definitely “smarter and more decent” than us.

    As they had been for the entire 20th century, right?

  60. a Forever War

    You can’t fix Afghan.

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