Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Afghanistan: declare victory and leave

In anticipation of President Obama's speech tonight, I think the time is right for me to address this issue.

Previously I'd been a somewhat reluctant supporter of wanting our country to focus on Afghanistan. I thought Bush's handling of the conflict was a mess from the very beginning, when our military had Bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora, but decided it was diplomatically advantageous to have the Pakistani army capture him. Of course, we never counted on the sheer ineptitude or possible enemy collusion that some in their army apparently displayed, and as a result we lost our first, and in retrospect, very best chance of capturing Bin Laden.

Then, when Bush manufactured a reason to go to war in Iraq, he took the focus off Afghanistan and pulled a large number of troops out to fight Saddam's army. In the intervening years, nearly all the positive results we've made there, both in the military and civilian sense, has slowly eroded.

The parallels to our nation's disastrous involvement in Vietnam are resonating strongly right now. I can't help but feel that we've already lost the ability to "win" in Afghanistan. We've missed our chance, and after eight long years of constant war with the US, not to mention a previous ten years fighting the Soviets, has shaped their county into something that will never be truly conquered. The likelihood of "winning" is basically gone, and now we should simply be looking at how to get out in as painless a way as possible.

So the prospect of listening to the President tell us that we're sending 35,000 more troops there effective immediately, and we'll be there at least another three years, is making me wonder if we'll EVER get out of there.

This isn't why I voted for you, Mr. President.

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Afghanistan, from Monday night:

3 comments:

oldswede said...

Steve Benin at Washington Monthly points out that Obama has been saying for at least two years that this is what he would do: Not Out of Left Field....
oldswede

lakezoarian said...

Sorry Bob, you got punk'd.

Osama died back in 12/01. The later "messages" were PSYOPS fakes, just look at the images; at least 3 different actors were used.

And this isn't a "war" at all, it's an Occupation for control of the territory and a way to bring business and money to the military-industrial complex. They will keep squeezing you and I as long as we let them...

Nice K.O. clip.

iBlog said...

Bob,

You are right on the money on this one. Great post.

Let's try to hold Senator Dodd and Reps. Larson, Murphy, DeLauro, Courtney and Himes accountable when they vote on funding for this military escalation to nowhere (and possibly vote, in effect, to DE-fund job creation, health care reform, education, etc.)

Otherwise, in five years we'll have to listen ad nauseum to their excuses for not acting sooner to stop the horrific mess we'll be in. ("We didn't have all the facts, I swear!" "Who knew that the bullets and bombs we were buying could KILL people? McChrystal never told us THAT part!" “Hello? What was the question again?”)

Cheers!