Thursday, December 3, 2009
Striking a blow for chubby bespectacled white guys everywhere.
Like most people on the left, I'm not in love with Obama's decision on Afghanistan, but it's the best we can expect from the moderate wing of the Democratic party, and that's what we got when we elected him. The meme of "we took our eye off the ball" was the same message we got from John Kerry in 2004. Americans say they have learned the lesson of Vietnam, but if that lesson really is "having the biggest, best trained army in the world doesn't mean you should actually use it to fight protracted wars", Americans will probably never learn it.
Like governments everywhere, Obama is blaming his predecessors for the mess in Afghanistan, saying that under Rumsfeld, Afghanistan was not a priority and we made no attempt to win. Rumsfeld calls this a bald faced lie. Admiral Mullen contradicts Rumsfeld. The "she said/he said" end of this is of little interest to me. The strong evidence is that we did not really secure Afghanistan, we were happy to have a puppet we could call the president of Afghanistan when he actually was barely the mayor of Kabul, and the objective of rooting out al-Qaeda from the strongholds was one of those war plans that change once the shooting starts because it was going to be too tough for the civilian and military brass at the time.
Into all of this steps Robert Gibbs, definitely not a military man, but someone at the press secretary podium who is finally willing to tell the truth. "You go to war with the Secretary of Defense you have." Gibbs said yesterday, paraphrasing Rumsfeld's dismissive comments about the army that he sent to both Afghanistan and Iraq.
It's nice to see that if you are melanin impaired, carrying a few extra pounds and of a certain age, it doesn't mean a man has to turn into a complete jughead like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.
Preach on, Robert Gibbs! Tell the truth, my chubby comrade!