I was going to write a post on this latest development in the Afghanistan troop (non)surge, but as always Newshoggers did it already and did it better. newshoggers.com
It's pretty obvious Obama is between a rock and a hard place on this, which of course is the definition of his job. But still. I heard the morons on that Fox morning show pontificating the other day about how Obama is wasting time by not committing an additional 40,000 troops immediately, and if he'd done it sooner, the job could be done sooner, and how every minute he "wastes" is another minute Americans could be at risk. Blah blah. I'm sorry--you were hoping for a president who would rush 40,000 of our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers into a country with a semi-legitimate, fully-corrupt leader who has recently made all kinds of uncomplimentary remarks about the American presence in his country? Oh yes, Cheney, that's called "dithering" isn't it? Or. You know. It could be called doing the job correctly. Weighing the options. Seeing a shithole for what it is before you jump into it--or more accurately--issue the order to send 40,000 other people jumping into it, some never to get out. "But Obama needs to listen to the Generals!" Yes he does. But generals don't speak with unanimity (as this article proves), and no one is going to blame the generals if it all goes sideways. I guarantee you weeks of bellowing, frothing coverage of "the Afghanistan quagmire" on Fox, of Obama's incompetence, of his disregard for our soldiers, of his elite lack of knowledge of all things military. Those cats on Fox don't care about the military; they only care about ratings. Why else would they be cheerleading a rushed troop buildup in what is clearly a less-than-ideal situation?
Sending troops into harm's way is the most grave responsibility of the President of the United States. You can wish for the good old days of "We're gonna smoke 'em out!" followed by an immediate troop commitment, followed by a miserable conflict in which thousands of Americans are not "welcomed like liberators," but are instead killed. You go on with yourself and long for those days if you must. Me? I'll take the reality-based view instead: perhaps we cannot help a country rid itself of the Taliban if that country's leader is hated by his people, steals from his people, and doesn't seem too concerned himself with ridding his country of the Taliban.