Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

November 17, 2009

Modest Proposal: An International Women's Brigade For Afghanistan

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 8:57 am

Okay I’m not the right guy to do this. Make this suggestion. First of all I’m a guy and what I’m suggesting probably should be proposed by a woman.

Second, I believe that the Afghanistan situation is probably hopeless as it is. What I’m suggesting is not likely to be a “solution,” but I can’t see any other paths to a “solution.” If we stay in, tens of thousands will die for people who don’t seem to want to fight the Taliban.

In some ways I’m glad Obama’s “dithering”: there’s a wall in D.C. with the names of 60,000 people, many of whose children and families probably wished LBJ had dithered a lot more before committing us to a hopeless mission and death for those on that wall. I agree that “dithering” is not good for the troops there, but maybe he’ll dither his way to a better decision than LBJ, and many more current and future troops will be grateful.

I think Obama’s looking for a fast way out because he knows there’s no way to win. He was trapped into mouthing John Kerry’s disingenuous campaign ploy: Iraq, Bush’s war, was the wrong war; Afghanistan was always the right one.

And then there was the growing group of Afghan war enablers, the best and brightest bloggers on the liberal left who were entranced by “the cult of counterinsurgency.” Even though almost all predicted the surge in Iraq wouldn’t work they seem to have been so stunned by its “success” and became cheerleaders for sophisticated counterinsurgency (or COIN) tactics when General Petraeus seemed to use them to turn things around in Iraq. (Even though, as we now now, bribes and targeted assassinations played an equal or greater role than the brilliant COIN tactics and the “success” itself is looking more fragile).

But a kind of Boys Club of cheerleaders for COIN grew up around its evangelists and became enablers for the original McChrystal March master plan, now with its 40K troop addon, which Obama initially bought into and is now apparently trying to extricate himself from. With good reason.

But while I see nothing but tragedy and rising body counts in Afghanistan (as I’ve blogged here before), I still find the plight, and the pleas of the Afghan women, compelling. The girls’ schools being blown up by the Taliban out of their insane fear and hatred of women. Killing, stoning, and driving women back to the stone age of sharia law. It’s horrible.



  1. How about a brigade of female Israeli soldiers marching into the White House to bring the appeaser Obama to his senses about Hasan, Khalil Sheik Mohammed and Islamofascism?

    Comment by charlie finch — November 17, 2009 @ 9:51 am | Reply

  2. I like it. Inspired.

    Comment by bryan — November 17, 2009 @ 10:05 am | Reply

  3. […] Read the rest of the story here. […]

    Pingback by Pajamas Media » An International Women’s Brigade for Afghanistan — November 17, 2009 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  4. Bring out the Amazons!

    Comment by Noesis Noeseos — November 17, 2009 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  5. Ummm…will Liz Cheney be a part of this? Or will she, like her father during Vietnam, discover she has “other priorities”?

    Comment by Liberty60 — November 17, 2009 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  6. You are not the only country losing troops in Afghanistan, and considering that the ousting of the Taliban from power in Afghan originated as a US idea, fully supported in a large portion of the world community in the aftermath of 9/11, I think that your country has an obligation to lead, don’t you?

    No shame required.

    Comment by mitchel44 — November 17, 2009 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  7. “But what about this? Remember the International Brigades of volunteers, mostly leftists, yes, who sought to rescue the Spanish Republic from a fascist coup in the 30s? What about an in-international Brigade (or Brigades) of women volunteering to protect and rescue the women of Afghanistan? Forget the men. Let them fend for themselves and make excuses for their cowardice in the face of the Taliban. I bet women from armies around the world would want to join.”

    We’ll let’s think this through.

    How large of a force do you envision? How many real brigades would it be?

    How are they to be funded? Even a non-governmental pure volunteer force needs considerable funds for arms, munitions, food, radios, clothing, housing, vehicles, fuel, and other equipment.

    Would they have helicopters? Heavy weapons? Those are all extremely expensive systems. However, even a terrestrial force with just small arms would be quite expensive and need a steady inflow of currency to run.

    Where does this equipment come from? Who would sell to a non-governmental force that is taking upon itself to police Afghanistan to protect women?

    How does this equipment get in? Look at the problems the gigantic US military has in supplying landlocked Afghanistan. What methods would your Women’s Brigade use for supply? I suppose that depends on who its patron is, the UN? The US gov? The EU?

    Then there’s tactics, let’s assume the problems of funding, recruiting, training, equipping, and transporting are surmounted. What will they do exactly?

    What happens if they loose? What happens if they have to retreat? You don’t seem to inclined to see the current military force succeeding in Afghanistan, what makes this force different?

    Also, what about the current forces there? Would the US military provide support? Supply? Would they be gone?

    Will it be better than the current methods being used, or the methods being proposed?
    Or do you see the results are purely symbolic?

    “Maybe it would shame the rest of the world into realizing that standing up for women’s rights shouldn’t be the sole decision–dithered over or not–of the U.S.
    Wouldn’t it be inspiring to women everywhere who are being oppressed and put fear into the hearts of cowards who are doing it?”
    These are laudable goals, but… to what effect? Is the purpose of this brigade to help Afghanistan or cause guilt in the global community?

    As an aside I love the irony of you decrying US centrism you overlook the contributions of the other nations that are weighing the Afghanistan issue and their own support (Canada, France, UK, Poland, Australia, Japan to name a few).

    I find it so very interesting that the self-declared pessimist expounds on a self-admitted dream solution. I guess when the real world choices are ugly and uglier, retreat to fantastical options provides a nice salve.

    I guess that’s the moral of “this liberal democrat” when you can’t face the hideous reality, it’s better to make a poetic fantasy and pat yourself on the back.

    Also I enjoyed the scare quotes around dithering. Perhaps Obama is being extremely careful and not making a hasty decision. Perhaps this much time is required to set a direction. Perhaps the moral and strategic problems of an apparent lack of leadership in the short term will be offset by the long-term results of the plan he picks.

    However if you believe that… you sir are no pessimist.

    Then again you promote the President for not being a materialist but an idealist(Oct 30 post), and what pessimist worth his salt would take solace in that quality.

    Comment by Jack — November 17, 2009 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

  8. Obama is, as the NY Times reports, dithering in China by genuflecting to Premier Hu, and avoiding encounters with activists and even “ordinary people”. He is on his way to becoming one of the biggest quislings in history. He behaves as if he has no political capital whatsoever and his charisma is a smile and a suit, leading a 71 car motorcade. Someone with even an ounce of courage, which Obama lacks, would veer away from his Chinese masters and engage in a little spontaneity. God, even NIXON did that! Obama is proving himself to be the product of the worst kind of left wing academic environment: someone who sees people as abstractions in service to his grandiosity. He bows to the bankers, the insurance industry, the Saudis, the Chicoms, the emperor of Japan, anyone whom he should be using his mandate to battle. I cannot decide if he is a teleprompter reading automaton, the puppet of the Chicago machine, a minor dictator to his own supporters or the black Chauncey Gardiner. A few Democrats have stood up to him, such as Congressman Anthony Weiner who chastized Obama for his inaction on health care only to be told by the President (icily) that “this is your last time on Air Force One: and by Governor Paterson on Holder’s sadomasochistic terrorist trial plans. Obama could end up as the worst President in our history.

    Comment by charlie finch — November 17, 2009 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  9. It sounds like you want a modern and female version of the Teutonic Knights the origin of which is discussed in the Vanished Kingdom (Prussia) by J. Roy. Suffice it to say that these originally ‘Knights of St. Mary’s Hospital’ grew out of caring for the Christian soldiers injured in the, er uh, Crusades. This time however the ‘no discrimination’ sign is out.

    Comment by Michael — November 17, 2009 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

  10. I like this as a vision. Vision does arise from the interstices of tragedy. One big problem is obvious, though… the International Brigades in Spain were approved by the Republican government. I doubt that Karzai or his fellows see freedom fighting as a suitable role for many women in their domains. The U.S. never has had any intention of promoting such things, either.

    But, it is 3:30 a.m. here in Chicago and yeah, I like this vision very much indeed. The Monique Wittig Brigade…?

    Comment by Fred Mecklenburg — November 18, 2009 @ 2:46 am | Reply

  11. Hillary Clinton is over there assembling the femme brigade right now, but Karzai forced them into his secret harem at gunpoint. Obama said we wouldn’t interfere, while Holder indicted Hillary in Federal Court. We are all citizens of Freedonia, now, where Ron is the press secretary. Hooray for Captain Spaulding!

    Comment by charlie finch — November 19, 2009 @ 5:58 am | Reply

  12. There’s something happening here…an alliance between the left and the libertarian right. Passing the Ron Paul amendment to strangle the Fed” AMAZING…calling for Geithner to resign in House hearings…challenging the effete Holder for continuing New York’s suffering. More and more it seems that Obama (golfing with Tom Friedman, dissing human rights protestors in 5 continents, bowing to emperors) is the problem, not the people who elected him, who will now have to throw him out of office to fulfill HIS mandate.

    Comment by charlie finch — November 21, 2009 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  13. Well, Ron, it looks like you don’t know jack about what it would take to realize your fantasy but Jack does.

    Comment by Banjo — November 21, 2009 @ 7:34 pm | Reply

  14. Maureen Dowd nails Obama perfectly in the Times today. Perhaps she can lead Ron’s Fembot Brigade

    Comment by charlie finch — November 22, 2009 @ 7:08 am | Reply

  15. I’m a sort-of female soldier myself (the Danish Home Guard) but I just don’t believe it is a good idea. Those afghani, oppressed women are tending and raising their own oppressors in their own homes. They may think that the Taleban went a bit too far, their husbands probably do, too, but they do not want a free society. How do you ‘fight’ that?
    I would go there if I thought it would do any good in a reasonable time frame, but I am pretty sure it won’t.

    Comment by Ulla Lauridsen — November 27, 2009 @ 3:39 am | Reply

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