Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Thieu for one deal in Afghanistan"

Here is the best comment so far on the President's decision re Afghanistan, articulated last evening.

For those who are interested, I didn't listen live, as I was at the Kristin Ross-Sitcawich fund raiser at Heritage Farms.  As they say down in Boston, all politics is local.

Reporter Carl Prine lays out five points for us:
  1. So what?
  2. Obama’s cuts do nothing to really address pacification.
  3. It does nothing to really address our Karzai kleptocracy problem.
  4. Over the next two years (Thieu years?), expect to see continuation of our 21st century Accelerated Pacification Program.
  5. Despite Obama’s latest waffling, he still hasn’t squared the domestic political problem with reality in Afghanistan, and that might ruin his legacy.
And, we get part of Poet Robert Penn Warren's Masts at Dawn Reporter Prine ends:
Expect today’s generals and Obama to continue to echo Ellsworth Bunker, the ambassador who kept insisting to Lyndon Johnson throughout 1968 that he was “optimistic” about the “steady, though not spectacular progress I have previously noted has continued and accelerated,” to the point that the “tide of history now seems to be moving with us and not against us.”

Well, tides ebb and they flow.  They wash great men and small, lift all boats and sink some, run shallow and deep into every harbor and sound, depending on the hour.

So also wash the forces of history.  Obama is not so rocky a jetty to withstand the relentless tides of the oceans of war he has cast us, a nation of driftwood deaf to the speeches presidents say.

As befell Johnson, Obama’s legacy shall drown in these vast seas of blood, a reputation knocking against the shoals of history like a dead cat caught in the surf, gulls wheeling and cackling at our folly, the fish of the bottoms feeding on it.
Due to not fully understanding Facebook I "liked" this article at Carl Prine's blog and someone then commented on my Facebook page and I had to track it all down.  So, I quote the comment:
It's always bothered me to see Johnson held ultimately accountable for JFK's war-mongering, as with the parting shot here. Nothing is ever that simple, and this mess not least.  This is not to excuse Johnson for holding the bag with the cat in it for so long, nor Obama for being one of the worst abusers of martial power in the history of this country, but to lament that JFK and Dubya will likely never carry as much blame as they deserve for designing the policy that undid their successor.  (Though Dubya will undoubtedly get more than the teflon JFK).  Ah, the cult of personality...
Just the other day I was thinking about how JFK gets the teflon treatment.  It is, however, a cultural elite tick we have to deal with.  The "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution" was LBJ's.  There are those who argue that after the 1964 election JFK would have wound it down.  Frankly, I doubt it.  I will say, in Dubya's defense, that he did take the time to check in with the people on Capitol Hill.

But, yes, those who have to clean up the mess, and in Obama's case he volunteered for the job, have that clean up as part of their job description.  It happens in industry also—one manager leaves and another comes in and has to actually finish the project and ship it.

That said, LBJ is a tragic figure in that he did so much and hoped to do so much, but yet was associated with bad decisions while trying to do good.  Viet-nam was one of them and the Great Society was the other.

Regards  —  Cliff


nealcroz said...

There are so many parallels between OEF and the "war" in SEA that it is simply astounding. And...the parallels continue with the Great Society and Hope and Change...except that this time, the social welfare programs are finally going to be able to bankrupt the Republic.

Obama's thinly veiled political play is deplorable. Just as the Taliban/AQ/Anyone else in the region who hates America forces are mounting a huge offensive not unlike Tet...Obama yanks out forces placed in the 'stan expressly to thwart such a move. Our casualty rate will soar because of this ill timed (militarily) move to score desired big political points just months before Obama is driven out of office.

In the meantime, the Queen and her princesses expend millions of tax dollars reading Seuss books to African kids and having a photo op with Nelson Mandella....all while the Administration wrings its hands over raising the debt ceiling. Tightening the WH belt......not this bunch!!

In fact, the Democrat demands for raising taxes (aka "revenue") has become so strident that Cantor walked out of Biden's so called budget talks.

But....I digress wildly.....sorry....but it is all hooked together....

Jack Mitchell said...

-snipAmerica, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.

In this effort, we draw inspiration from our fellow Americans who have sacrificed so much on our behalf. To our troops, our veterans and their families, I speak for all Americans when I say that we will keep our sacred trust with you, and provide you with the care and benefits and opportunity that you deserve.

I met some of these patriotic Americans at Fort Campbell. A while back, I spoke to the 101st Airborne that has fought to turn the tide in Afghanistan, and to the team that took out Osama bin Laden. Standing in front of a model of bin Laden’s compound, the Navy SEAL who led that effort paid tribute to those who had been lost –- brothers and sisters in arms whose names are now written on bases where our troops stand guard overseas, and on headstones in quiet corners of our country where their memory will never be forgotten. This officer -- like so many others I’ve met on bases, in Baghdad and Bagram, and at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital -– spoke with humility about how his unit worked together as one, depending on each other, and trusting one another, as a family might do in a time of peril.

That’s a lesson worth remembering -– that we are all a part of one American family. Though we have known disagreement and division, we are bound together by the creed that is written into our founding documents, and a conviction that the United States of America is a country that can achieve whatever it sets out to accomplish. Now, let us finish the work at hand. Let us responsibly end these wars, and reclaim the American Dream that is at the center of our story. With confidence in our cause, with faith in our fellow citizens, and with hope in our hearts, let us go about the work of extending the promise of America -– for this generation, and the next.

May God bless our troops. And may God bless the United States of America.