This would be hysterical if it weren't so predictable.
What is hysterical–and not the good kind of hysterics–is that this impossible situation provides nothing but exploitation grist along all edges of the political coin.
There are grimy nuggets of fact, possibility, and maybe even truth to pretty much any point of view you want to take on this "war" that won't "end" until whomever is at the wheel is damn good and ready, "deadlines" or no [cf. Guantanamo].
But it never gets discussed much, what happens the day after we really do leave, having "won" this ephemeral "victory" we all comfort ourselves "must be" the goal.
Thank goodness we don't see ourselves as an empire, what with that graveyard of empire thing.
Simon Jenkins over at the Guardian is saying pretty much the same thing:
I've never understood why "telegraphing to our enemies" a withdraw date is bad. The military is a goal-oriented organization. The point is to win, right? If we've won, then there's no one to fight. Come the hell home.
If, for some reason, we haven't won by the date announced, then keep fighting.
Am I retarded, or is this just common sense?
A non-uniformed enemy can just sit home and drink tea (Victory!), then pull out the Kalashnikovs after we leave.
When your parents told you they were going out of town, you behaved until they left and then had the party. Right?
Which begs the question, are we fighting a non-traditional enemy with a traditional warfare mentality? If so, why?
Is it winnable either way? Should we first have tried non-traditional measures to find/isolate/kill enemy leaders *before* we a traditional invasion to weed out their sheep? Was Mr. Bush's 9/11 March to Revenge so strong that there was no hope for this type of stealth response (even if the US had the black ops manpower)? As this war ends, how do we do things differently from all the other times a war has "ended" in Afghanistan?
I don't know. But I do hope the Corps of Cadets is debating this in class today.
(Well, except for that clutch of first-class cadets I hope are walk, walk, walking all day, given the spectacularly crass way they clambered over the seats of Ike Hall to shake hands with the President after an internationally-televised speech).
I'm no student of these things (I'm a furriner) but is being Commander-in-Chief really the president's first duty? Far as I know the first thing he swears to do in the oath of office is defend the Constitution. This whole notion of the president being some five-star warrior general is one of the more disturbing trends from the Bush era.
Mmm, it's from long before that.
It's in Article II of the Constitution:
I know that, but lately there seems to be a ridiculous amount of emphasis on that aspect of the Presidency (I know, we're at war and all) which Bush used as an excuse for all kinds of shit.
Clearly we need to buy more yellow ribbon magnets for our cars.
So this is also part of his stimulus plan? I haz konfuzed.
opinions! everyone's got 'em. Sunday Styles chimes in: @euanrellie, We can be proud of Obama foreign policy, but he is not getting it right domestically. Healthcare needs aggressive cost cutting, tort reform
I'm still pulling for legal cultivation of poppies for medicine, like the program they used to help stabilize Turkey. Legal crops for Afghanistan, more oxycontin for us. Win-win! Make codeine not war!
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