Do we have the resolve to finish the job in Afghanistan? That’s the question the Right is asking.
One of my favorite cartoons is a pilot walking down the isle of an airplane from the cockpit toward an exit whistling with his hands in his pocket and a parachute on his back. This is the same feeling I got from President Barack Obama’s speech. I loved, loved, LOVED IT.
President Dwight David Eisenhower got elected on a platform of ending the war in Korea. He put his hands in his pocket, started whistling and quietly ended the war. So, today we have North Korea to deal with. I guess Ike did not have the resolve to finish the job. President Richard Milhous Nixon got elected on a platform of ending the war in Vietnam: same action, same result. Now we have North Vietnam to deal with. Everybody get the picture?
President Barack Hussein Obama has his eye on an exit strategy. That’s where his eye should be. We will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011 and we will be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2012 just in time for the November election. Obama understands the reality of these wars and the simple fact that once we exit we will still have to deal with these countries just like we have to deal with Korea and Vietnam.
Eisenhower did not win; Nixon did not win; Obama will not win.
So, what is the big argument Fox is broadcasting morning, noon and night? Announcing a timeline gives our enemy, whoever they are, the necessary information they need to go into hiding and wait until we leave so they can rise up and resume their leadership. The fact that we have been in Afghanistan for over 7 years does not give Fox the necessary information they need to realize the bad guys will wait however long it takes until we leave, and then they will try to resume their leadership.
The question is whether or not the elected leaders of Afghanistan will be ready, willing and able to defend their country against this assault. They better be: we are leaving in 2012; Obama has given them fair warning.
Was this decision and timeline politically motivated? You betcha! Did the Republicans think Obama was going to end all our wars in 2013, or 2014? Obama could have gotten done by 2011. But that would leave a year for the Right to come up with another Monica Lewinsky. So 2012 is the perfect year
To be Brutal, to be Frank, no matter how fast or how slow we exit Iraq and Afghanistan we will have the same countries to deal with in the years to come after we exit.
The only difference will be what the elected leadership can do with these countries going forward and the quality of life the people can have. I recommend Iraq and Afghanistan split their countries into a North and a South and give the North to Bad Guys – whoever they are – so at least half the people have a shot at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Back to you, Greg.