Buried under the tragicomic inanity of the health care debate, there is yet another colossal f**k up endowed upon us by President Junior. Careful examination of the political maneuvering this last week reveals one fact, rather starkly: the war in Afghanistan is lost.
According to the White House, President Obama is considering an increase in troop levels there. But he is meeting resistance from a corner that casual political observers might find surprising: Congressional Democrats.
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee, sounded a little less than enthusiastic about a "surge."
"We should increase and accelerate our efforts to support the Afghan security forces in their efforts to become self-sufficient in delivering security to their nation -- before we consider whether to increase US combat forces above the levels already planned for the next few months," said Levin, who returned last week from a trip to Afghanistan.And this, from Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House:
"I don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in the Congress."This, I believe, is what might be called "retreat under cover."
The Democrats (both Congress and the White House) are handling this with amazing and uncharacteristic skill. Congressional leaders call for a lessening commitment (leading, ultimately, to complete withdrawal), while the President appears to support a renewed commitment. No one can then accuse the President of lacking the moxie to continue the fight, and the burden of selling an escalation falls to Republicans. The end result is that the GOP must either continue to carry Bush's dismal failure into the mid-term elections, or tacitly admit that the whole thing was a criminal (and I do mean "criminal") mistake. (Let's see if Big Dick shoots his mouth off this time.)
The Republicans, for their part, seem to recognize that Dick and Junior's Most Excellent Adventure is a bad political investment. They're treating the idea of increased commitment like the hot potato it is. Angry Senator John McCain (R-AZ) seemed none-too-eager to grab it. From Bloomberg:
Senator John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services panel who also met McChrystal in Afghanistan, said he would support an appeal for additional U.S. forces. McCain, an Arizona Republican, said in an interview he expects the request to be “substantial” and “controversial.”That's not exactly a quote made for prime time television.
"I also applaud the President for his continued support for the War in Afghanistan and for his commitment to provide the men and women in uniform, and the generals on the battlefields, the necessary resources to achieve victory." (Read the whole thing here.)Cantor's position is amusing. With the GOP base all whipped into a frothing fit of histrionics over the health care debate, he must still extend praise to the man whom the Scream Machine has all but labeled the Enemy of Mankind, President Obama. (What do you want to bet Minority Leader John Boehner pulled rank on ol' Eric? Can't you just see it? Boehner well into his 5th apple martini of the evening, slouches over on the bar stool and slurs, "Well, Eric, old boy, that's the Whip's job... looking like an assh**e, so I don't have to.")
Where we are today
In any case, after 7 years of war in Afghanistan, our presence there has produced neither political stability (there are wide-spread reports that the recent elections there were rigged in favor of Bush lackey, Hamid Karzai), nor military success (casualties are on the rise, and military leadership are raising alarms).
Further, all indications are that any further requests made of our NATO allies, who after all, have already done what might reasonably be expected, would get "lost in translation."
Thank you, Junior
Junior Bush in his cavalier, aristocratic way, started this war the way he did everything in his life: half-assed, and with no personal, emotional, or financial risk of repercussions. And, just as with Harken Energy, the Texas Rangers, and the State of Texas, the Idiot Prince f**ked it up, royally.
al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden holed up in Tora Bora? That may well have been the decisive moment of the war. A full scale offensive at that moment might have actually bagged bin Laden and much, if not all, of the al Qaeda leadership.
But, of course, there would have been significant US military casualties. And Junior and Cheney didn't want to spend that kind of political capital on this Afghanistan sideshow. They had something much bigger in the works and they didn't want to dull the American public's appetite for war with reports and images of American service personnel killed in action. So they bid the job out to rival Afghan tribesmen, who, truth be told, had probably cut their own deal with bin Laden. Net result? Al Qaeda survives, but more importantly (from Junior's perspective) so does the "war mentality" of the American public which Junior needed for his Iraq adventure.
Now, 7 years later, President Obama and all of us are left holding the bag. We've got a daunting mess to pay for. And we will pay in treasure and blood long after we withdraw. Suicide rates are exploding in the US military. Countless thousand of lives, American, Afghan, and others, have ended. Families are breaking apart. Between the myriad demographic and social factions of this country, vitriol and bitter recrimination are the stock-in-trade.
And that, for all you teabag monkeys out there, is what becomes of your "Support the Troops" bumper stickers.