Tony Blair, in his resignation letter as published recently in the Economist magazine, speaks of having resolve in the face of those who distort the faith of Islam. He claims that if our resolve is stronger than theirs, we will win in the end.
It goes beyond mere resolve, however. The allied forces must show uniformity in the application of the principles that make Western democratic societies a role model.
Condoning the torture and murder of prisoners, as the Canadian Miitary has done in turning a blind eye to it, perhaps even encouraging it, goes against those principles.
Just punishment, even if culture dictates the death penalty, is okay. As is a fair judicial system and prison system free of torture and non-judicial-sanctioned murder. But that is not the case in Afghanistan.
Our resolve to transform Afghanistan is inherently good, but it must be followed through with the reslove to carry out that action. The government which has replaced the Taliban is seen as corrupt. Graft, which was virtually eliminated under the stringent Taliban, is now rampant. Torture and murder in the prison systems, carried out by corrupt elements willing to grant freedom for a price, devestates our hopes of rebuilding a better society.
While the initial invasion was a cakewalk. Rebuilding the country is seen by surrounding Muslim countries as an occupation. The new government is considered a puppet of the west. Never was this argument stronger than when the "coalition of the willing" attacked Iraq without provocation.
The legitimate argument for attacking Afghanistan, that they harboured terrorists who threatened non-Muslim countries, became even more blurred. Al Qaeda's cause for brutal Western resistance had gone from a small force who had to brainwash members, to a force overflowing with volunteers ready to stand up to the new crusade.
There was no legitimate argument. Iraq harboured no more terrorists than any other Arab country sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and had some patience been shown, Hans Blix's UN team could have come to that assessment. Furthermore, while a bad dictator, Saddam Hussein was not the worst.
While Tony Blair insists our resolve must outlast the remnants of the evil regimes and their distorted faithful, the world passes useless motion after usless motion that do nothing to bring an end to the attrocities in Darfur. If ever there was a reason to invade, change regimes, and fight for a just cause, it would be in The Sudan. The Sudanese government has used brutal war tactics for over twenty years to ensure Sudan's oil resources are controlled by the country's Arab Elite.
By pulling vital military and strategic resources out of Afghanistan, and putting them into Iraq, the Afghanistan mission is now in serious jeopardy. Instead of what should have been our original intention, showing the violent Islamic Fundamentalist movement that the West is a helping friend; we are on the brink of two massive failures.
Furthermore, the West no longer has enough clout to help where we are needed. Had Iraq never happened, there is a real possibliity that Afghanistan would be stable and on the road to success. We might even be out by now, leaving a strengthened democratic ally.
It's hard to keep our reslove when the situation deteriorates, as is happening in both Iraq and Afghanistan
I think rather, that western reslove should last only to a point where our presence becomes resented. America and Britain's continued occupation in Iraq is by many considered a blight. Their occupation in Afghanistan is becoming more and more that way.
And we are afraid to tread, unwanted, into another resentful Islamic hotbed; Sudan.
Tony Blair, resolve led to many a downfall and loss.
Germany invading Russia. The Bay of Pigs invasion. Russia's previous escapades in Afghanistan.
Resolve must be tempered with lost-cause logic. To me, that logic dictates getting out of Iraq and focusing on what can be salvaged - Afghanistan.