Osama Bin Laden has been dead for less than 48 hours, and already the victory has gone to U.S. Rep. Allen West's head. As a retired Army lieutenant colonel who built much of his hard-right political career on his military record, he made a very odd, liberal-sounding suggestion in this week's email to supporters. He advocated withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
The day is soon coming, at least in my assessment and perspective, when we bid farewell to [President Hamid] Karzai and his culture of corruption. My focus would be solely on executing precision strike operations against Islamic terrorist groups wherever they seek to establish sanctuary, no more nation-building, occupation-style warfare.
Now, this wouldn't be so strange, except that President Obama has already announced
plans to start withdrawing troops from the decade-long Afghan war this July. Which means West agrees with his archenemy. Is that even allowed in the Tea Party universe?
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As for the "precision strike operations" against terrorists, that's a lovely idea, clearly inspired by the successful Navy SEAL operation against Bin Laden. But it took American intelligence operatives ten years to locate Bin Laden's compound. That's not exactly an easily replicable strategy.
But once again, it's something Obama officials are already advocating. According to the New York Times:
The administration, officials said, was already moving away from this counterinsurgency strategy, toward one with more limited objectives for Afghanistan... Drone strikes and nighttime raids, of the kind that killed Bin Laden, would figure even more prominently in such a strategy, officials said.
Amazing! Twice in one week, West is forced to agree with the president. Hope this doesn't cause West -- or his followers -- to spontaneously combust.