Thursday, June 24, 2010

Afghanistan: Item #1 of the Bush legacy

 Old boss, new boss, yadda, yadda, yadda
About 9 months ago, I speculated that the war in Afghanistan was lost.  Well, here we are, 9 months later, with another 506 deaths among coalition forces, and an unspecified number of Afghanistan civilians (estimates are over 2000 this year alone) to add to the tally.  Beyond that, nothing has changed.

And again, even with the BP Oil Disaster still devastating our homeland, Afghanistan is thrust to the front of the national awareness.  It's like a terrible chronic disease that we can almost forget about for a little while, until the next crisis occurs.

Obama sacks McChrystal

Just today, President Obama sacked General Stanley McChrystal, the US Afghan commander, because of the general's exceedingly poor judgment.  (Read the explosive article by Michael Hastings:  The Runaway General.)  McChrystal will be replaced by General David Petraeus, the man who some say salvaged the Iraq effort.  

This is certainly not the first time that General McChrystal has been in trouble with his superiors.  Recall that, last year, General McChrystal conducted an Afghanistan policy review for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in which the general called for an increase of 40,000 troops.  Somehow, McChrystal's report was leaked to the press, raising the suspicion in some quarters that McChrystal was trying to bully President Obama into agreeing to the general's terms.

So, given General McChrystal's record, we can dismiss him as just another general who has trouble understanding the chain of command.  History is full of them.

What worries me, believe it or not, is the way the Republicans are reacting to this news.  Or rather, the way they are not reacting to it.  They have shown uncharacteristic decorum, refraining from criticizing the President's handling of the situation.

That can mean only one thing:  even Republicans know that we're stuck in a very bad, very dangerous war.  And no one can see a way out.

What now?

As General Petraeus assumes command, questions about policy and strategy are reopened.   The July 2011 deadline that President Obama set for withdrawal from Afghanistan looms.

It is clear that we will achieve nothing in that time.  Nothing, that is, beyond more deaths, more wasted billions, more devastation.

If the inertia of bureaucracy will not allow for anything sooner, then let this next year pass quickly.  We've got to get out.  We're only making things worse by staying. 

And let me just repeat what I said 9 months ago:
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*cked it up, royally.
Thanks again, Junior.

Please shut your face!
Shut up, Jeb

From Firedog Lake:
For months now, Jeb Bush has been listening as President Obama blasts his older brother’s administration for the battered economy, budget deficits and even the lax oversight of oil wells.

“It’s kind of like a kid coming to school saying, ‘The dog ate my homework,’ ” Mr. Bush, this state’s former governor, said over lunch last week at the Biltmore Hotel. “It’s childish. This is what children do until they mature. They don’t accept responsibility.”
Childish, you say?  Well, Jeb, since I know you speak Spanish quite well: ¡Yo cago en la leche de su hermano!  I have no patience for anyone who holds that the Bush administration, led by vile Dick Cheney, was anything other than an unmitigated disaster for this country.  For humanity!  And your mealy-mouthed effort at rehabilitation makes me want to vomit!

1 comment:

Dan Binmore said...

I was against invading Afghanistan in the first place. The fundamental mistake with the War on Terror policy that produced wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was thinking of it all as a war rather than a criminal act.