Turn on any cable news channel discussion of Afghanistan right now and you will hear three words from the liberal spokesman, whether it's a politician, Democratic party strategist or consultant, or pundit.
"Afghanistan isn't Iraq."
Well, yeah… But these words aren't just a statement of the geographically obvious. This is the retort when the discussion turns to the idea of a "surge" in Afghanistan and the idea of pursuing a counter-insurgency strategy similar to the one that was successful in Iraq.
This is actually an argument that has merit—if made in good faith. Iraq has had some semblance of a civil society in its history. It has been governed—however brutally, at times—by a central government. Despite deep divisions, there is also some nascent national identity. None of this is true of Afghanistan, much of which has not changed since the invention of gunpowder.
However, for most of the people making the argument, there is good reason to believe they speak with a forked tongue.
By the light of their current argument, a year ago they were in effect saying "IRAQ isn't Iraq."
In fact, not only did most of them say the "surge" would not work, they refused to admit it was working long after the proof was all but undeniable to even the most thick-headed.
Like the guy who is now taking his time deciding on a strategy, even after he has accelerated the pace of the war and the increased casualties that go with it: