“For a President, the unit of measurement is real life.” Der Speigel rips apart the tissue of lies served up to an increasingly incredulous public. The once pro-Obama daily called the speech his ‘least truthful address’. Boink. When we’re talking about politicians, ‘least truthful’ is saying a lot:
For each troop movement, Obama had a number to match. US strength in Afghanistan will be tripled relative to the Bush years, a fact that is sure to impress hawks in America. But just 18 months later, just in time for Obama’s re-election campaign, the horror of war is to end and the draw down will begin. The doves of peace will be let free…It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. The fast pace was reminiscent of plays about the French revolution: Troops enter from the right to loud cannon fire and then they exit to the left. And at the end, the dead are left on stage.
This speech did not, however conjure up images of Jimmy Carter, or George H.W. Bush, although those comparisons will be made. Lebanon, battleships, high-jacked airliners, truck-bombs and dead marines, instead flooded back: pilots and passengers imprisoned in the heat.
Just how much damage this feckless narcissist is capable of wreaking on the world has yet to be seen, but even Republicans concede he’s off to a good start. Cheney isn’t yet content and doubtless won’t be until US planes are flying missions over Tehran, and maybe Islamabad.
Blackwater mercenaries on the US payroll approved by a Dem Congress, with Dem oversight. The Dem White House authorizes private snatch and grab teams operating in Pakistan. This and the violence that 30,000 more US troops can generate will have to suffice. Of course, with all the firepower and troops on the ground, it’s hard to imagine a sudden outbreak of peace, but that could still happen. Well, it could..
The Taliban have a clear deadline when the US is planning to turn over power. Whether or not that deadline is binding is another question. Will the ‘situation on the ground’ compel merely a delay in withdrawal, or another surge, or perhaps even the draft. God knows Americans need jobs.
Republican Ronald Reagan took US Marines off the safety of their ships while launching broadsides from refitted ‘battle wagons’ cruising off the coast. Alert locals decided the right response would be to send a truck or two filled with explosives straight into the Marine barracks. Ronald Reagan needed to look tough and a whole lot of US troops ended up dead. But at least that part ended quickly.
Not my guy, Dems say. I oppose the Afghanistan surge, Dems say. Demonstrate against the surge, Dems say. The fact remains: Dems control the Senate and House. Republicans shut down government. Will Dems show similar backbone over war? I think we all know the answer to that question. The ‘progressive caucus’, tough on Fox, will bow and scrape; posture and preen in an orgy of pure CYA.
The speech at West Point truly was an historic opportunity. The speech could have been a clarion call to arms: we go in and stay to finish the job no matter how long it takes. He could have taken the boldest step and proclaimed: Campaign rhetoric is one thing, American lives are another; as President I’m authorizing the immediate withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan and Iraq. The days of the US being the region’s policeman are over. That didn’t happen Der Spiegel froze reality in time. The moment has come and passed. Even Eugene Robinson admits another US president stood before the American people and lied his face off.
No defense exists from a US President who can’t stand the thought of being seen as weak. And for that, I suspect, once again over the next three or four years we’re all about to pay a very heavy price.