Sunday, October 17, 2004

(I've got the) Tora Bora Blues

Went down to Tora Bora
To beg Bush for a job
Went down to Tora Bora
To beg Bush for a job

I said I’d go get Osama
But Bush outsourced it to an Afghan mob.

What’s one to make of John Kerry’s curious insistence in the debates that Bush failed to catch Bin Laden because he “outsourced” the Tora Bora operation to Afghan warlords?

Is this charge a way for Kerry to cast doubt on Bush’s wartime credentials while appealing to worker anxiety over plant closings in Ohio? Talk about your bank shots. . .

Maybe he should bring up Saddam Hussein’s lesbian daughter as an example of Bush’s go-it-alone foreign policy.

Doesn’t Kerry realize that the entire Afghanistan operation was in a sense “outsourced”, that is, U.S. special forces units were imbedded into the ground operations of Northern Alliance forces as force multipliers, coordinating air strikes and providing real-time intelligence to commanders as Afghan partisans did the hand-to-hand fighting. The swiftness, completeness, and casualty-light success of the Taliban defeat was a direct consequence of this strategy, RW Apple, Jr. notwithstanding (remember how the troops were bogged down for the long winter outside of Mazar-e-sharif?).

The only quagmire here is in Kerry’s logic and second-guessing.

This blogger remembers watching the vivid images of American bombers dropping ordnance in a frenzied pace around the Tora Bora mountains as Geraldo dodged bullets in the valley. Elite units directed ground fighters up into the redoubts as B-2 bombers peppered the area. Tommy Franks has indicated all that could be done was done to corral the fleeing Al-Qaeda leadership. Muhammad Atef, chief Al-Qaeda military commander, and his family took a direct hit. Many remain convinced that Bin Laden himself is nothing more than a DNA-stain on a Tora Bora cave wall.

Kerry might be singing the blues about Tora Bora, but, had he been in charge, we'd be begging Kofi Annan for the job.