Tuesday, December 1, 2009

George W. Obama?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Lee Siegel, of The Daily Beast, gives President a piece of his mind about his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan:

Well, what a coincidence. Two days before Obama is set to give a speech at West Point, in which he is expected to announce at least 30,000 more troops for Afghanistan, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee report is released that blames an insufficient number of troops for Osama bin Laden’s escape from American forces in 2001. You could be forgiven for thinking that the chairman of the committee, Sen. John Kerry, is serving his commander in chief's interests.

The report implies that it was the lack of American soldiers under the Bush administration that was responsible for, in the report’s words, “laying the foundation for today’s protracted Afghan insurgency and inflaming the internal strife now endangering Pakistan.” That was Bush’s policy, and since we all know Bush was evil, the opposite policy must be good. The aggressiveness that we associate with Bush is actually, in Obama’s hands, the righteous corrective to Bush’s aggressiveness.

Like Bush, Obama wants to wage an escalating war without worrying about how to pay for it—though no doubt, on Tuesday, we will be subjected to the same ludicrous vows not to increase the deficit. And it is almost uncanny to hear, this time from the liberal Obama, the same bloodcurdling rhetoric about nation-building and creating democratic institutions, and so on, that led us into implacably undemocratic Iraq. Warlord-run Afghanistan is nothing like Iraq. It is more like Somalia. Remember Somalia?

The media still use the word “surge,” which brings to mind heartening images of a positive rise in electric power, when the truth is that what the administration calls a “surge” is just another name for “reinforcements,” which brings to mind less heartening images of a losing battle. Indeed, just as Obama’s people speak of providing “exit ramps” for our deepening entanglement in Afghanistan—as if it were all a rational question of simple engineering; of road-building—the media have totally bought into talking about the war as if it were all a rational question of simple electrical contracting, what with an “insurgency” here, and a “surge” there, and a “counterinsurgency” everywhere. But war is notoriously foggy. It is impervious to sudden illumination, let alone to the impressive timetables of armchair strategists who think they can control the future with a "plan."'

Read more here.

Here's a little more war-related angst on the flip side: Meghan McCain with "My Anger at Obama." And, don't forget "The Afghan Speech Obama Should Give (But Won't)."

And here's a two-minute look at what it means to actually be on the front lines:

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