I have yet to get a clear sense from anyone in Washington what "victory" in Afghanistan would look like. No Taliban? Won't happen. A government with control over its people? Never yet. Half a million American troops killing ever more millions of innocent civilians out of sheer frustration while at home the Democratic party refuses to renominate the donkey-headed president? I wouldn't be surprised. If we're not out of Afghanistan soon, I'll be marching against him and I won't vote for him in '12.
America should not make wars unless it is attacked by another nation. No nation is stupid enough to attack us - it's only happened once in our history - that was in 1941. The Japanese were gambling, and knew it. They regret it now. America cannot win wars if they last longer than three hours with commercials - the American people won't fight them unless they are under threat. They are not being threatened by the Taliban. They weren't being threatened by Saddam either. These wars weren't just crimes, they were blunders - but the men who made them only wanted to get Bush elected; they had no other ambition, and they achieved it. Can we go home now?
We can't win a war in Afghanistan. No one else has since Babur, and he started in Uzbekistan and had Muslim sentiment on his side. Will the U.S.A. go the way of the U.S.S.R.? Breaking the bank for no purpose but making the military-industrial complex even richer, while we die for lack of health care at home?
If Obama could describe a rational, honest objective to this war, I might have some faith in it. He can't. It's not a war he'd ever have made given the opportunity. Is he really going to let every earthly ambition of his life and being go down because of someone else's foreign policy blunder? Yes, the Republicans will shriek bloody murder and traitor and everything else, scrounging votes, if he pulls out - but the answer to that is to denounce their treachery in declaring a war they couldn't win in the first place, committing America to a debt they never intended to pay. The answer is to stop being Obama and fight dirty. Or just resign and let Joe Biden handle it.
Once again, I'm not sure Obama is the man for this job. He gives every sign of wanting to be president to deal with problems he hasn't been able to get to - because of all the problems he'd rather not deal with that have piled up on his desk. Too bad. You don't get the term you'd like; you get the term you were elected to. Deal with this. It's a rough call, and the sooner we're out, the better.
Withdrawal from the war should come as soon as possible after health care goes one way or the other. And a bitter attack on Republicans should fit in there somewhere.
Peter on Reading Neoplatonists (part 1) - Imagine an ice cream factory that fills an entire city block. You have teaspoon. You go in the front door and you have to run as fast as you can through...
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