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AdLib On December - 1 - 2009

030903-A-2140D-099The numbers appear to be leaked by The White House, 30,000 more troops for Afghanistan.

Some of the buzz from the MSM is that Pres. Obama will present this as a part of a plan for winning in Afghanistan and that we should be out by the end of his first term.

I’ve previously expressed my criticism of the whole concept of “winning” in Afghanistan, namely that it will always be nebulous as there is no concrete finish line. The Taliban can have a resurgence if beaten down as they have shown and the corrupt, dictatorial “democratic” government is a ticking time bomb.

However, in politics, one can either lock their eyes on the context of the current moment in time…or analyze it to determine the subtext, the big scheme and unspoken strategy lying beneath it of which this may only be a part.

This is all hypothetical but let’s consider Pres. Obama’s current position, the political landmines on Afghanistan and actually taking constuctive steps there in an attempt to explore whether this may in fact be a prelude to withdrawal.

In an environment where winning a Nobel Prize and spending a weekend with his family are considered by his foes as outrageous affronts to the American People, how would “We’re pulling out of Afghanistan!” play?

The Repubs would cry, “He made us lose!”, “We’re in danger of being attacked now!”, “He’s too weak on defense to protect us!”, etc.  Once Teabaggers removed the obstructions in their mouths, they would scream, “Traitor!”, “Surrendererer!”, “He let the terarists win!”, “If we’re attacked now, it’s his fault!”

And the Dem Party would be painted as weak on defense, palling around with “terarists”, leaving our country open to attack, etc.

So, my proposition is that in order to pull out, Pres. Obama may feel that we first have to go in.  There are goals and tactical missions that could be accomplished in a brief period to help the Afghan people and root out any remaining Al Qaeda. We could leave Afghanistan on a strong note of accomplishments which will be good for our relationship with that nation, other nations and of course among the teabag-less majority here at home.

If this was his goal, to settle things down there as the first step of a pull out, he could hardly make that known to anyone. Though he did start whispering something like that in my ear at that WH dinner I crashed but I was elbowed out of the way by this bleached blond who had a copy of “Arianna Huffington’s Guide to Getting Undeserved Attention” in her purse.

No, I am not happy that the 30,000 are being sent even if it is towards the goal of pulling out. Things don’t always go as planned and those troops and more could get bogged down, killed and wounded there for many years to come.

But I do hold out the slim possibility that there could be a silver lining to this unpleasant dark cloud.  At least we know, if Bush was still in office or if McCain was, this wouldn’t even have a remote chance of happening.

Only time will tell…

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

326 Responses so far.

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  1. whisperingn woods says:

    It is pure bs to employ armies against a concept. We don’t have money for HC yet find billions for such excursions. Media is complicit in misleading American public especially the faux news. IMO, all political talk shows should have a ticker stating that these are just opinions and not news.
    I am sick of lies and people who believe them.
    Can somebody ask Leiberman where is the money for wars coming from?

  2. whisperingn woods says:

    For all his dumbness Bush managed to convince us:
    1. We were attacked (attacked by which country?)
    2. We have an unseen enemy which can only be taken out by military

    I say, very smart move by those who benefits from these wars..

    Nowhere in the history armies have been employed to go after a concept and ideology.

  3. bitohistory says:

    If anyone is interested Senate hearings are on with Gen. McChrystal And Amb. Eikenberry. C-Span -3

  4. javaz says:


    “The already dire plight of women in Afghanistan risks deteriorating further as the US and its allies take steps to turn around the war against the Taliban, according to a report by Human Rights Watch today.”

    • bitohistory says:

      J’avaz, I looked at that and some of the report. Here is what has me confused: If we just leave how badly will the women be treated by the Taliban? Did they not go though that scene already?

  5. KQuark says:

    Mo c’mon man. 5,000,000 man insurgency? If NATO was fighting 5,000,000 insurgents the war would be over because we got routed.

    I understand and agree with parts of the moral arguments that people like Q are making. It’s not worth the blood and treasure that we are spending. I think the situation in Afghanistan can be contained long term but I don’t pretend to be certain about this.

  6. Kalima says:

    This article by Huff’s Bob Cesco made me realize once again why the reluctance of the military in Pakistan to deal with the Taliban and the remnants of Al Qaida on their northern borders, makes it imperative to see the war in Afghanistan to a more solid conclusion.

    This brings me back to the question I always ask when I hear about another terrorist attack in Pakistan, just how safe are their nukes and do we really want to leave Afghanistan unstable enough to allow the continued infiltration of the Taliban? iI so, why start this war in the first place, what do we say to the families of the fallen soldiers, what do we say to the families of innocent Afghans who had no choice in what has happened in their lawless country during the last 8 years?

    It could have been over but for George twiddling his thumbs, while Cheney and Rumy planned to steal Iraq’s oil to profit from their rich friends.

    I think that your President faced one of the hardest decisions he will ever have to make, although we are all tired of the fighting, can we not at least give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that after the 18 months, he will start to pull the troops out, must we all be armchair generals, could we do better?


    • Mogamboguru says:

      Hi, Kalima.

      I think, that a lot of what is going on (wrong) in Pakistan is another case of the “Egg versus Chicken”-anathema:

      How much of the violence in Pakistan is, in fact, going on,

      a. because US-troops are chasing Taliban-troops over the Afghan-Pak border into Pakistan? Or

      b. because CIA-Predator and -Reaper-drones kill droves of civillians in Pakistan, causing a huge uproar and insurgence of the victims’ next-of-kin against the America-friendly Pak-government, who allows the CIA to “do their job” unimpeded? Or

      c. people, who are chased our of their homes by Pakistani troops, who are “hunting Taliban” in Pakistan on American orders -- which the pakistani polulation knows perfectly well?

      I say, that the USA are much more than tne benign neighbors and passive bystanders to the Pakistani nightmare.

      I think, that Amerika is, in fact, once more actively stoking the fire and stirring the pot in Pakistan, to achieve their own political goal, which is:

      Destabilize Pakistan so much, that the USA will finally be justified to go in and take Pak’s nukes away, because no muslim country will ever be allowed to have the bomb.

      Cause -- effect, Kalima.

      • Kalima says:

        Let me ask you this Mo, when since it’s conception, has Pakistan ever been peaceful?

        I look at it like this this, Pakistan is a poor country, constantly in political turmoil, a corrupt and greedy government being financed by aid to stop the terrorists, which they are reluctant to do, and they have nukes.

        • nellie says:

          Kalima, you might want to rent “Earth,” the 1998 film directed and written by Deepa Mehta (starring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das). It is from her “Elements” trilogy and is about India and Pakistan. It offers a lot of food for thought.

          • Kalima says:

            Thanks nellie, it might be hard to track down here so I’ll see if I can order it on the net. I’ve made a note of the title and have seen quite a few documentaries over the decades about the formation of Pakistan, unfortunately this conflict has never ended nor will it end in my lifetime.

            • nellie says:

              Do you have something like Netflix in Japan?

            • Kalima says:

              Yes but foreign films are limited to what has already been shown in the theaters or tv here, the choices are very limited, we wait for things to show on cable here.

        • KevenSeven says:

          Is Pakistan even really a country?

          Or Afghanistan?

    • nellie says:

      Cesca is one of the few bloggers I still respect at HP.

      Reading around the web, I have come to believe that HP is woefully low on facts and insufferably overstocked on opinions…. uninformed opinions.

      I’ve spent the day listening to the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing, and it’s been very informative. I have to wonder if anyone on the staff at HP listened to this. Or read Juan Cole’s article. Or have sifted through any of the hundred of articles from the Defense or the State Depts about the region.

      On a side note… Evan Bayh is actually sounding pretty good today.

      • Kalima says:

        Hi nellie. The pros and cons of the information out there on the internet are that people tend to search for opinions very similar to their own and this in turn helps them to assert that they must be correct.

        The lack of media coverage of your President’s speech was mind boggling to me and of course the RW mumblings even more so.

        I find that Americans are quite impatient with many things, yet they demand a good outcome, sometimes without the extra effort, things go stale and rot. No one in their right mind likes wars, but we are there and should try our best to fix what the Bush administration left up in the air. I think that Obama deserves this chance too, he has already been trying to clean up the stinky droppings Bush left behind, this is one of them.

        • nellie says:

          Hey Kalima! It’s always good to see Japan’s morning arrive in the States.

          You’ve hit on a big problem. People searching for opinions instead of facts. I wonder if many Americans can tell the difference any more.

          An informed opinion is one backed up by facts. But so often we read opinions backed up by feelings, speculation, and pop psychology. A lot of that going on re the Afghanistan situation.

          • Kalima says:

            Oh what a dark and miserable Tokyo morning it is too.

            Hubby is at the Narita airport waiting to fly to Barcelona through Frankfurt. Guess what, it’s raining in Germany and in Spain too.

            The looking for opinions similar to our own seems to be the norm with some people and yet they will be the first to call out the Woo Woo’s for doing the same.

  7. bitohistory says:

    j’avaz, Chris Mathews just made an apology after getting “a ton of emails”. I will try to get the transcript link for you.

  8. KQuark says:

    Mo I think there are plenty of valid arguments why we should get out of Afghanistan sooner than later. I just don’t accept the Afghanistan is Vietnam argument whether you call it light or not. Actually I think it’s a great disservice to the almost 60,000 Americans and over 2,000,000 Vietnamese who died to always bring that conflict up with any US engagement. Nothing was like Vietnam in recent American history and we are still living with the scars of that terrible war. Peace alone should be strong enough justification for people who want to get out of Afghanistan without adding hyperbole to the argument for an emotional response. I just think that short term peace will make us feel better at first but we saw what short term peace got us after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan.

    • KQuark says:

      So Mo what superpower is funding the Taliban like the Soviets did in Vietnam?

      What major city in Afghanistan does NATO not control?

      Where are the 2 million NVA troops since the Taliban has 20,000 troops?

      What impenetrable cities do the Taliban control where NATO jets cannot even think to fly over?

      This is pure opinion and has nothing to do with a sober comparison of both conflicts. It’s fearmongering to boot.

      Like I said their are some similarities but many more differences. You can post 100 opinion pieces but it does not change the basic facts.

      • Mogamboguru says:

        M dear friend KQuark --

        thank you for giving me a taste of my own medicine: I notice, that you are recycling a Huffy post, just like I did myself down below… 😉

        But let’s check your points one by one:

        KQuark: So Mo what superpower is funding the Taliban like the Soviets did in Vietnam?

        Mo: Taliban and Afghan insurgents don’t need no bigger funding, than they already have. A Kalashnikov and 100 rounds of ammo cost 300 Dollar appprox. on any farmers’ market In the ME. The Afghan Opium Trade last year raised 6 billion Dollar. That’s 20 million Kalashnikovs with 100 rounds of ammo (in case one needed that many AK’s).

        KQuark: What major city in Afghanistan does NATO not control?

        Mo: NATO controls all 6 big cities in Afghanistan -- while the Taliban and Afghan Insurgents control all the rest of the country. The USA made the same mistake, to hold the cities for the whole country, back in Vietnam, already. Outcome known.

        KQuark: Where are the 2 million NVA troops since the Taliban has 20,000 troops?

        20,000 Taliban -- and add another 5 million furious and determined Afghan Insurgents. Distinguishing between Taliban and insurgents is completely acadamical. The bullet fired by a Kalashnikov doesn’t mind one bit, if it was a Taliban or an Insurgent, who pulled the trigger.

        KQuark: What impenetrable cities do the Taliban control where NATO jets cannot even think to fly over?

        NATO owns the sky, but the insurgents own the ground. NATO owns the cities, but the Insurgents own the countryside. NATO owns the day, but the insurgents own the night. NATO owns the supplylines and the trucks laden with goods and fuel -- but the insurgents own the IED’s to blow them to smithereens at will. Have you ever seen “Lawrence of Arabia”?

        KQuark: This is pure opinion and has nothing to do with a sober comparison of both conflicts. It

        • KQuark says:

          I don’t have a clue what huffy post you are talking about but it’s pretty ironic that most of your posts are other’s words.

          I know what’s funding the Taliban and obviously you think the Afghans warlords who are mostly growing the crop for their own benefit are very generous.

          Sorry 5 million insurgents is just factually wrong.

          I cling to no such propaganda like comparing two wars that are vastly different. I’m sober to all the difficult realities in Afghanistan. Containment is the only “victory” that will be achieved in Afghanistan and an all out withdrawal will not contain the situation.

        • Questinia says:

          Nicely put!

          Evil use of the word “clinging”, you naughty gorilla!!

          • Mogamboguru says:

            I am BAAAAAAD… 😉

            No, I am not. I only do not fall for a spin versus weighing the facts myself.

            • Questinia says:

              It would admittedly be very difficult to spin a classically well-engineered 300 lb. German gorilla and make him fall.

            • Questinia says:

              Since when can “stout” not be well engineered?

            • Mogamboguru says:

              Well-engineered? I am more of what the folks call “stout”, Questinia. 😉

              To give you an idea: I would only ride a Shire horse with a good conscience -- if you know, what I mean…

      • bitohistory says:

        KQ, I second that.

    • javaz says:


      NATO is in this time, see post below.

      • nellie says:

        Thank you. No, it does not sound familiar. Not even similar to Iraq.

      • Mogamboguru says:

        Hi, javaz!

        Reminding ourselves that we are all standing on the same side, you still don’t have to believe me.

        Instead, believe him:

        Vietnam-lite is unveiled
        By Pepe Escobar

        President Obama took pains in his strategy speech on Tuesday to distance his new Afghan policy from the traumas of the Vietnam War, but there are signs that his “war of necessity” is inviting history to repeat itself. Costing trillions of dollars, the surge will see occupation troops next year reach the peak level of the Soviet occupation. Still, it’s great news for the Pentagon and its agenda of full spectrum dominance.


        • KQuark says:

          So what is it with this author Mo. Is it like Vietnam or the Soviet occupation. Sounds like the author can’t decide.

          BTW You do know the Soviets fought 140,000 Mujahideen at the height of their occupation while we are fighting 20,000 Taliban?

          Those facts are just inconvenient little truths.

        • javaz says:

          President Obama made a promise last night on drawing down the troop levels within 18 months.

          I will wait and see if he does that.

          I support my president, even though I do not agree with everything he does, but I support him.

          • Questinia says:

            There’s a difference between support and enabling.
            President Obama should be given enough license to exert his plans and judgments.

            I also agree with patience. But one must be at the ready if he fails.

            His speech last night told me nothing except giving me a broader outline that Bush, if he wasn’t so verbally challenged may have given.

            The whole “we need to be there as prophlaxis against something that may happen” is too far removed from what is impacting people now.

            People are losing time, years in their lives while this country is spending billions in insurance against a potential threat.

            It would be like buying insurance for a patient who may have already died.

            And you can’t say he’s doing it for their “children”: A popular red herring, imo. Children need secure and stable parents now. Otherwise they’ll just grow up to become another crop of nervous wrecks that are easily manipulated.

            • KQuark says:

              President Obama now owns the war in Afghanistan.

            • nellie says:

              I think he certainly owns the outcome.

            • bitohistory says:

              I am having a difficult time taking you comment seriously, since you started out with this morning with something like “I don’t trust Obama anymore.” Then you followed up with stating that you are a cynic. So when I read your comments I think” ok, a bomb thrower”

            • Questinia says:

              How does that make me a cynic? That was my “opening large”. He’s disappointing me and I’m developing another potential view of him.
              I think it’s important to keep eyes open and update files as they need to be, as long as it’s tempered with faith and optimism, and not as a result of paranoia or impulsivity.

            • bitohistory says:

              Ques, No your opening remark was:I don

            • Questinia says:

              bitohistory: my opening words were

              Unless Obama has some kind of genius

            • nellie says:

              What I heard from the president last night was that the mission is three-fold — to train the Afghani military force to handle the Taliban, to defuse the threat of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and to defuse the threat of Al Qaeda in Pakistan. It’s hard for me to see these goals in the context of “something that may happen” since we have already lived through 911.

            • nellie says:

              I don’t believe there is any conflation. If I’m not confused, I know the president is not. And certainly the defense dept and the state dept are not confused.

            • Questinia says:

              In my mind there is conflation between the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

              All those points of the mission are wonderful. It may erase some discontentment.

              But Al Qaeda was a rogue group of losers who couldn’t play in the larger society to begin with. It has nothing to do with education. Top AlQaeda officials were surgeons!

              These are people who don’t need many to do what they did on 9/11.

              I see it as possibly a perfume, to disguise the stench of what we’ve already let out. Glade.

              I’m all for hope. I’ll be the first one to tilt more in Obama’s favor when he has convinced me he is beyond the flourish.

              He needed to be more specific.

              Too few specifics lead to too many areas of slipperiness.

            • Questinia says:

              In my mind there is conflation between the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

              All those points of the mission are wonderful. It may erase some discontment.

              But Al Qaeda was a rogue group of losers who couldn’t play in the larger society to begin with. It has nothing to do with education. Top AlQaeda officials were surgeons!

              These are people who don’t need many to do what they did on 9/11.

              I see it as possibly a perfume, to disguise the stench of what we’ve already let out. Glade.

              I’m all for hope. I’ll be the first one to tilt more in Obama’s favor when he has convinced me he is beyond the flourish.

              He needed to be more specific.

              Too few specifics lead to too many areas of slipperiness.

  9. bitohistory says:

    I have a problem that perhaps you, my friends can help me with solving :Who angers you the most with their asinine comments:
    Karl Rove, Bill Oh’Really, John McCain or Jon Kyl?

    • nellie says:

      Listening to the Senate Armed Services hearing, it’s Lindsay Graham.

      I wish one single Republican Senator could focus on the issues rather than on needling and finding petty ways to criticize a president whose decision they actually support. Although I have to hand it to Ms. Clinton — she has given them back more than double in needling about the incompetence of the previous administration.

      • bitohistory says:

        Sec. Clinton is sharp. Graham is not up to walking her dog, and cleaning up after it

      • javaz says:

        Last night on PBS ‘Nightly Business Report’ a financial adviser gave an opinion piece and it was excellent.


        “MAYA MACGUINEAS, DIR., FISCAL POLICY PROGRAM: As a political independent, I look at the disastrous state of affairs in governing and I think, it’s not all that surprising. Republicans are looking out for Republicans; Democrats are looking out for Democrats and who is looking out for the best interests of the country? Hmm. Having two opposing teams in sports, that makes sense. But setting up a government with two opposing teams, each of whom is trying to take the other down, does that really lead to the best outcomes for the country? I present the nation’s mess of a budget as exhibit A. Politicians are trying to outbid each other with spending programs and tax cuts. Neither party is willing to come clean with voters about the changes that will have to be made for fear of giving the other party the political advantage. What we need is collaboration. What we get is demagoguery and attack ads. In the words of Charlie Brown, good grief. Imagine if corporations set up their boards with a two-team structure. They’d then have the dual goals of protecting the company’s bottom line and making the other guys look bad — not exactly a recipe for corporate success. Parties made more sense when they helped voters navigate a host of complicated issues, but there is much more access to information these days and the need for these political clubs has been greatly diminished. We have a lot of hard policy challenges ahead of us, from dealing with the debt to reforming taxes, to rethinking our overstretched entitlement programs. The only way we are going to get things done is if politicians are willing to put country before party. That is the kind of change we need right now in Washington. I’m Maya MacGuineas.”

        • KevenSeven says:

          Perhaps only one party would be better?

        • nellie says:

          Fabulous link, javaz. I’ve seldom heard it put this well.

          A good argument for IRV — and giving third and fourth parties a chance. Politics should not be played the same way as a football game, but that’s what we get right now.

          • Questinia says:

            And this is where we converge. Obama, should have been a third party candidate, if one was viable.

            This country has two parents who need marital counseling. And the only third party is the children, to whom they say… “hush you’re only kids”.

            Meanwhile the kids are being neglected.

        • Mogamboguru says:

          Excellent post.

    • javaz says:

      None, as I expect them to be asses and make asinine comments.

      Chris Matthews angers me for his tingling leg and enemy camp crap.



  10. Mogamboguru says:

    Okay -- take this one from a 48-year-old german cynical, who lived through all of Vietnam as his first news experience in life, and who was absolutely stunned, once the Vietnam war was finally over, because he just couldn’t positively think of any other occurrence in the world worth airing in the TV-news instead of the Vietnam war:

    This Afghanistan experience -- Or should I rather say: experiment? -- will end absolutely badly.

    All the writing indicating this is on the wall already: That the USA finally leaving Afghanistan will evolve to yet-another Saigon-rooftop-departure, while Taliban-warriors are already roaming the streets of Kabul in american-made tanks they have seized from, or were handed over by the Afghan army, which dissolved into the population after the first Taliban will have launched his rocket into Kabul from the city outskirts in 2013.

    Compared to the NATO-pullout of Kabul, the soviet russian withdrawal from Afghanistan back in 1989 will look like a decent, well-planned and honourable military parade.

    There’s nothing -- NOTHING! -- to win in Afghanistan for the american people -- but EVERYTHING to lose.

    And yes: I am a staunch pacifist. How did you know?

    • KevenSeven says:


      A series of assertions without any arguments or facts does not persuade me of bubkis.

    • bitohistory says:

      No, I am not going to take it from a 48 year-old cynic!
      You may draw some similarities, but they are not parallel. The whole Nam thing began from European colonization. Nixon was at the end of a long line. I lost friends and saw many return “mucked” up.
      I have very little tolerance for cynics. I was one. Sitting on the stands and Yelling at everyone “You’re wrong” It solves nothing!

      • Mogamboguru says:

        All I am trying is to bring some people to put of their rose-coloured glasses, when looking at president Obama.

        All i can see is, that Obama is making his own life -- as well as the lives of tens of millons of other people at home and abroad -- miserable without necessity.

        Much -- REALLY much! -- of this sorry mess America is sticking in actually, could have been avoided, if president Obama had chosen his advisors ,as well as his political goals, with more common sense than he did.

        His “learning on the job” is costing people all over the world dearly -- up to their lives, to be precise.

        And I don’t think that this is something to be proud of.

        • bitohistory says:

          Whoa, Mo! How much is Obama supposed to cleanup after eight years of the last administration?
          What the hell has he been avoiding? Is he “making your life miserable”> How Is he making Germans lives miserable? Who’s life is he making so intolerable? When did this all start? What did he do that ruined “millions” of peoples lives so miserable? What action has he done to ruin you?

          • bitohistory says:

            Mo, I am still waiting on you to enlighten me on how Obama has made millions of lives miserable without just cause.

          • Kalima says:

            People thinks he can walk on water you know. In his first year he is expected to fix the economy destroyed by Bushy, give everyone including household pets affordable healthcare, stop global warming, personally go to Iraq and Afghanistan and get every single soldier out and on their way home, fix the energy crisis and somehow ensure world peace while people sit on their arses and criticize him for everything, including the occasional Sunday off.

        • KQuark says:

          No such rose colored glasses here Mo. I would have probably made a different decision on Afghanistan but then again I’m not in that position.

          I really don’t get the on the job training remark since Obama’s views on Afghanistan have not changed since the election.

          The big difference we have not heard before is a promise to withdraw troops from Obama that we need to keep him to. Bush never even tried in Afghanistan so I’m very wary of people who are so sure of what will happen in Afghanistan on either side of the equation.

          Remember the Iraq surge was never going to make a difference as well. Don’t get me wrong there where many contributing factors that is leading to the withdrawal from Iraq besides the surge but I never thought we had any chance of a stable conclusion in Iraq.

        • nellie says:

          But your posts are not presenting the facts, Mo. If you want some good arguments for getting out of Afghanistan, you should check out Juan Cole’s article. I find that persuasive. The comparison to Vietnam strikes me as playing to emotions and fear — and that is all.

          • Questinia says:

            Are they possibly of the same family if not next of kin?

            This country is probably run more in agreement than in disagreement.

            The agreement exists between the elites.

            The disagreement exists within the populace and it is promulgated by the media.

          • Questinia says:

            Are they possibly of the same family if not next of kin.

            This country is probably run more in agreement than in disagreement.

            The agreement exists between the elites.

            The disagreement exists within the populace and it is promulgated by the media.

            • nellie says:

              I don’t believe it’s that ephemeral. There are real reasons to stay in Afghanistan. And real reasons not to stay.


            • Questinia says:

              Oh, Believe me! I’m surrounded by so-called experts all the time!

              I shall, nellie, and thanks for wrasslin’ with me!

            • nellie says:

              Just learn a little about him before you have an opinion of him. That’s all I’m asking. :-)

              And anyone can be questioned. But some people are called experts for a reason.

            • Questinia says:

              To nellie,

              I’m not quite sure what that means. You’d have to say what you mean about “Juan Cole”.

              I’m serious. Why shouldn’t I question Juan Cole?

              Maybe Juan Cole would enjoy being questioned!! :)

            • nellie says:

              If you’re questioning Juan Cole, then I’m afraid you have some reading to do.

            • Questinia says:

              I always question the source of the facts.

            • nellie says:

              I think more facts about the situation are always useful.

            • Questinia says:

              Thank-you for the link, nellie. I will admit I need more input from anywhere I can get it.

              But if it’s speculation as a result of projecting upon opacity. I’m not sure I won’t see it as such.

              But that’s where I may need to beef up my willingness to suspend my own projections.

      • javaz says:

        48 years old!

        Why, he’s a just a kid!!!

    • KQuark says:

      Many of us remember Vietnam very well Mo. My brother fought in Vietnam. There are similarities with Afghanistan but many more differences. Pacifists need to stop bringing up Vietnam as some kind of specter every time the US starts a conflict because it dilutes the message. Vietnam was Vietnam and no other war comes close to the carnage that war wrought.

      Afghanistan is not going to end like Vietnam. In some ways it will be better and some it will be worse but it’s a whole new set of circumstances.

    • javaz says:

      So, what do you think about the German troops already there and the additional 120 being sent along with approximately 5000 more NATO troops?

      Is your chancellor, the PM of the UK, the PM of Canada, and the President of France and all other NATO heads of government wrong in sending more troops or just the American president?

      Seems like a joint decision made by NATO, unlike Vietnam.

      • KQuark says:

        That’s one of the big differences between the conflict in Vietnam and Afghanistan. We are fighting with NATO in Afghanistan. I can come up with at least a dozen other differences.

      • Mogamboguru says:

        All the countries you mention are either still run by leftover Neocons (Brown, Sarkosy, Merkel to an extend) or are helping NATO -- read: the USA -- out with grinding teeth because of USA’s armtwisting in the background.

        Merkel especially will feel the heat in the coming state-elections in NRW (one of the more left-leaning german states) which had been run by a conservative CDU government recently -- but only for the last social-democratic administration’s political blunders and embezzlement -- but may fall back to the Social Democrat Party SPD in May next year, thus completely turning the political landscape in Germany upside down again.

        The air raid at Kunduz, which cost approximately 150 Afghan lives after a faulty reccon and a miserably elaborated order of attack by a german Colonel, is beginning to hang around “Angie’s” neck like the proverbial Albatross.

        The dispute in Germany about the german participation in Afghanistan is far from settled yet. In fact, it has only just begun, and it’s outcome is still fully undisclosed yet.

        • Kalima says:

          We signed a treaty after the war and so did Japan, I don’t think that the minds of the people can be changed so easily.

          Both in Germany and Japan, we still feel the consequences of war and the senseless killing it produced. Morally, we can’t afford to bend the rules.

  11. Mogamboguru says:

    Hi, there.

    In case you notice that I used this following quote at Huffy already: Yes, I did. My bad.

    But the fact as such remains the same. Therefore I want to give you the opportunity to read, what the leading political magazine of my home country thinks about president Obama’s Afghanistan surge:

    From the leading german political news-magazine “DER SPIEGEL” --

    “Searching in Vain for the Obama Magic”

    Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America’s new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric — and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught

    • bitohistory says:

      Goodness, Mo, we have Karl Rove & John McCain here. We don’t need to go across the pond. No, really, good link.

    • nellie says:

      I’d rather hear someone discuss the facts rather than personal impressions of psychological underpinnings.

      I trade your link for this one:

      • Questinia says:

        What good are facts without the context of psychological underpinnings? (And vice versa). Wasn’t President Obama elected much on the basis of something psychological rather than what existed as fact?

        KQ?! In the mood for a headache?

        • nellie says:

          I voted for him because he’s a constitutional scholar, he wanted to work on health care, he recognized the breach in our constitutional protections, he talked about jobs, the economy, and education, he advocated for gay rights, and he intended to bring our military actions to a close.

          I did not like his environmental policies, did not like his economic leanings. Still don’t. But on balance, he was a good choice.

          All policy. All rooted in actions and outcomes. Not psychology.

        • bitohistory says:

          Is that how you voted? Psy 101?

          • Questinia says:

            Yes, what did you vote on. His record? His expertise? Or his promise of what a phenomenal President he could make based on all of your senses. Intellectual AND emotional.

            Yes you voted on the basis of “Psych 101” too!

  12. KQuark says:

    Another writer wrote. Obama is saying OK McChrystal here are your troops and you are going to get them in short order as well. McChrystal you said you could get the mission accomplished with more troops so get it done in short order. People are not going to forget the time line for withdrawal so that’s the bold move President Obama made which is uncharacteristic in this decision.

    • bitohistory says:

      I like this line from Sullivan’s piece:

      And the idea that permanent Western occupation of Muslim lands will decrease Jihadist terror is so insane only Dick Cheney could still believe it.

  13. KQuark says:

    I love what one of Andrew Sulivan’s readers wrote.

    “I love the time line that Obama has proposed for withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan. Crafty. The neocons (McCain for one) are already saying that it gives comfort to the enemy, that they will just wait until we leave and then attack again. And the reason this is bad is what?

    I think the hope of the White House is that the Taliban will lay low. If the Taliban want to wait until we leave, perhaps there is time for the Afghans to train and begin to defend themselves. If the Taliban attacks, there are enough troops to counter their attacks and weaken them by attrition. A win/win for us.

    Obama is also telling the Afghans in the street that we are leaving, which hopefully will say to them that we are not their enemy, not their occupiers, and hopefully keep ordinary patriotic Afghans from joining the Taliban.

    Very cool.”

    His “Morning After” take is very interesting as well.


    • bitohistory says:

      Good link KQ, McCain was “standing by” to get on the telly ASAP after the speech. Help me remember, did he lose the election?

      or this one

      • nellie says:

        He went on and on in the Senate Armed Services Hearing about “arbitrary date,” “conditions on the ground,” trying to make the president look foolish for setting a timeline.

        We are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO lucky this man did not win. Because he could have. But then he picked Sarah.

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          If someone put a $1 per gallon federal war tax on all alcoholic beverages, mandated to end at the end of our military involvement in Iraq, Afhanistan, and any other country in the middle east, I’m willing to bet that “Hundred Years” John would suddenly be all in favor of a quick and efficient withdrawal. Considering that Cindy and John McCain’s primary (honest) income comes from Hensley & Co (a beer and liquer distributorship she is chairman of) you can picture why suddenly withdrawal would become a “good thing”.

        • bitohistory says:

          What? We should thank S’arah? 😉

          • nellie says:

            Good things can come from unlikely sources!

            Why do people write Palin’s name S’arah, with an apostrophe?

            • bitohistory says:

              The Mudflats ran a post on it. Guess she had a flirtation with spelling her name that way. Pretty exotic, ya think?

            • nellie says:

              Ok, I’m a little obsessive so I looked into it. I think she’s going for the Tiberian spelling (here’s the wiki link) — which is the ancient and extinct Hebrew spelling.

              It’s all about the religious fundamentals.

              Sorry — I’m intrigued by the weird and unexplained.

            • bitohistory says:

              OK, j’avaz it is!
              Hey, girl!

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              Actually, just looks like a name from Dragonriders of Pern.

              Somehow I can’t picture Palin even having heard of Ann McCaffrey..

            • javaz says:

              I like it!


            • FeloniousMonk says:

              Just reminds me of the sound a snake wound make. SSSSSSSSS’

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