Potus on Afghanistan

I avoided the pregame and the post game, didn’t really want to dilute my impressions.

Helluva speech.  Sober.  Stark in it’s absence of soaring rhetoric , jingoism or sloganeering.  A departure for both the man delivering the oration, and a welcome contrast from the former he, whenever military matters were concerned.  The invocation of 911, succinct and as utility to reference just how bad they and the aforementioned he, fucked this whole thing up.

Yet another inherited Dick-in-Bush cat 4 shitstorm.

Extra gravy please.

Still, it did itch me a little on the bogeyman, fear and terror level.  Probably only because I’m so weary of it all.

More gravy please.

Clearly, his decision and defense of it is nuanced and exhaustively studied.  He’s thought long and hard here.  It is what I expect, it is what we deserve.  There was lots to like.  He went at some length to point out that economic power is the key to military might and global influence.  “Our prosperity is the basis of our power.”  He said our strength is “How we end wars and conflict.”,  as opposed to how we initiate them.  And that “we can’t count on military might alone.”  His goal is for “a responsible end”.  He stated flatly that America has no interest in occupying Afghanistan and merely seeks to bring an end to war and violence.  He went on to explain that it’s not analogous to Vietnam as we have clearer objectives and were attacked directly, not by the country but by a region in that country, that afforded and aided in an organization’s ability to prosper and gather strength to be used against us.

He believes that current troop levels equal the status quo and therefore a further deterioration.  Familiar theme.  The dual time frame for deployment and withdrawal allows for goals that are achievable at a reasonable cost, presumably in lives and treasure.  A trillion dollars had been spent on these wars when Obama took office.  “More than any other nation, America has underwritten global security for six decades.”  He then noted that we are not as young or as innocent as when Roosevelt was president.  I liked that.

He was saying very important things.

There lies also, the underlying rules.  No more blank checks.  No more no-bid contracts to notorious contractors.  A schedule for both the build up and the draw down.  Heavy handed congressional oversight.  A far more fiscally responsible war than we are used to.  Good stuff.

Yet, I disagree.  I’m of the opinion that Mr. Obama believes he has chosen the least worse option.  I am convinced he owns he’s doing the best thing under the circumstances.  I don’t think he is, however.  I want to be wrong.  I could be.  I’m no foreign policy expert, much less a military one.  I just can’t help but worry that given our economic anemia and historical amnesia, the fact that no major power has ever succeeded in wresting control from this dirt poor country and the plethora of wild card variables, I’m thinking we should walk away and not risk the blood that will surely be spilled and the treasure that will certainly be spent.

This coalition of some forty plus countries is bullshit.  Not like Desert Storm but very much like Shock And Awe etc……..  I was disappointed that my president even brought this up.  Doesn’t matter, It’s American kids doing the fighting and dying.  Please Mr. President, don’t play that card again.  Beyond my pale at least.

Otherwise, excellent stuff, a good honest speech.  He did well.  An appropriate and serious tone, again without the arrogant hegemony or any attempt at euphoric soundbite crapology.  I respect all that.  It tells me he’s studied the issue and rendered a decision rooted firmly in intellectual honesty.  I still think he’s wrong.  It is one serious goddamn bet.  I sincerely hope he knows more than I do.

Did I mention Hamid Karzai is the dirtiest of dickheads?

Part of the problem lies in the solution.  It smacks of a hail Mary pass.  It smells of desperation.  It is intended in part to show the world that we are serious, but tells them we’ll take our ball and go home before the sun sets and we can smell dinner.  It’s an incredible gamble to announce our exact intentions to an unreasonable and illogical enemy and expect it to behave predictably, in any save for the worse case scenario.

The neocons are filling their britches.  I hear Dick Cheney has already pissed himself.

What’s the worse case scenario?  They pull back, reduce violence, regroup and wait for us to tip out the door.  We broke it, they buy it at a sweet discounted rate.  That is my official prediction.  Everybody saves face.  We probably won’t hear about Afghanistan again until someone from there blows up something here.  Again.


Anyway, what happens if despite our best efforts, the whole thing continues to fall apart?  What if it’s half again worse a year from now?

Then there’s the morality.  Afghanistan is not a threat to us.  Pakistan looms but our theater of operations is entirely contained within the borders of Afghanistan.  Pakistan has nukes and is very unstable.  Unless the covert and unstated goal is to somehow achieve some sort of stability or control in Pakistan, then the President’s idea just might be spectacularly dumb.  If these are indeed legitimate objectives, someone please explain to me how they are even possible under the current military construct.

I’m sure he knows things I don’t, but.

This stinks to me.  I’m not buying it.  I think it’s a mistake, potentially big enough to be a Waterloo or an albatross of folly.  At the risk of trivializing the whole conflict I’m compelled to ask how it differs from a production of Punch and Judy.  Yes, Mr. Obama inherited a floating city steaming toward an iceberg and that sucks, but the option of killing the engines and taking a hard turn are still available.  I don’t see any good coming from this.

Maybe we could just bump up against it.

I believe the pooch to be screwed and accomplishments will me minimal at best.  Our Man is getting his ass handed to him.  I pretty sure he’s doing the best he can.  I don’t always agree with him and I even think I understand how and what he’s trying to do.  I wonder if he may be a little too fond of long odds.  He’s our first black president, his middle name is Hussein and his last name rhymes with Osama.  He’s fairly intimate with a tall game.

There doesn’t seem to be anything resembling a dearth of enemies these days.  Looks to be on the plus side.  You figure in the collateral homicide.  Then you understand they hate us.  Is there no one who can yell stop?

Maybe what we need to do here is get our personnel in uniform the fuck out and conduct covert missions on the border where they really need to happen.  Wage the war by remote, with missile bristling ships, drones and jets.  I can’t believe I’m suggesting this but if we’re going to fight this war, can we do it like this at least?

Our presence fuels the conflict and the death.  Don’t tell me that modern warfare doesn’t allow for us to be more surgical.  I’m sure it does but as long as they need soldiers they won’t admit it.  Can’t we just focus on those that would kill us?  We’ve got a telescope orbiting our planet than can literally look back in time, we have split the atom, we’re looking for the God particle, you know, Higgs boson, the so far non detected particle that lends everything mass?

You still with me?

We can’t solve this?

Drinks for my friends.

4 Responses to “Potus on Afghanistan”

  • Master Bacon:

    It’s Obama’s war now. 18 months is a set-up for 2012. If we can’t get the guy on dialysis in a cave by then, President Mike Huckabee will!

  • admin:

    Huckabee is toast and that’s too bad. Entertaining candidate. He’s got moxie!

    Yep, it’s his war and Osama just might be Santa Clause.

  • Austin Diggler:

    Obama is stuck between a rock and a hard place: he knows if he cuts and runs he’ll never live it down. If he beefs up and goes all out, he loses his base because he ran on a platform of voting against the war. It’s his war, no doubt. That’s why he took nearly 100 days to make a decision. Polling, tracking, deliberating. If he takes the recommendation of his on-ground leaders, then he’s a war monger, Bush-like prez. If he doesn’t, he’s a wuss. He goes to the middle…..send most of the troops, but also signal the withdrawal. Public Relations. Pure and simple. I truly believe Obama may be one of the worst presidents this country has ever seen. His actions are NOT in the best interest of the matter at hand. They serve the interest of his political endeavors.

  • admin:

    Understand that his actions are consistent with his campaign rhetoric. I do not believe him to be one of our worst presidents, we’ve already seen that movie. I think he chose the least path of suck. I disagree, but maintain that he’s doing the best he can.

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