Friday, March 16, 2012

Blame George Bush All You Want. The Democrats Have No One To Blame But Obama.

A synthesis of Barack Obama's deliberate sabotage of Afghanistan:

"Obama had to do this 18-month surge just to demonstrate, in effect, that it couldn't be done," says Douglas E. Lute, senior coordinator for Afghanistan on the National Security Council. "This is a house of cards."

"I can't lose all the Democratic Party," says Barack Obama. Vice President Joe Biden was "more convinced than ever that Afghanistan was a version of Vietnam." Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry: "Basically we're screwed." Richard Holbrook, the senior White house specialist on Afghanistan and Pakistan: "It can't work."

(When I say Joe biden is the dumbest vice-president since Dan Quayle, even Osama bin Laden noticed that. Osama wanted Obama whacked because Biden would assume the presidency, and Biden was "totally unprepared" for the job.)

By the autumn of 2009, Obama had come to agree with Biden. He reversed American policy and revived the most sinister elements of Donald Rumsfeld's disastrous approach: "[Obama] seems to have settled for a strategy in Afghanistan which is entirely oriented on US and not on Afghan goals, as he states in his 29 November 2009 'Final Orders for Afghanistan Pakistan Strategy, or Terms Sheet’ (published in Woodward’s book Obama’s Wars): ‘not fully resourced COIN or nation building, but a narrower approach tied more tightly to the core goal of disrupting, dismantling and eventually defeating al Qaida and preventing al Qaida’s return to safe haven in Afghanistan and Pakistan’. Not a word about human rights, democracy or such."

By then, there was absolutely nothing on the "Left" in the United States to stand in the way, and the Republican Party was no less a bedlam of the senile and the deranged.

That's what I meant here: Ever since Barack Obama was elected in 2008, everything the White House has done has had a smell about it that can easily be mistaken for the reek of sabotage and capitulation. And it's what I meant here: Barack Obama is the greatest American catastrophe to befall Afghanistan since Jimmy Carter.

Obama's most fervent supporters know this to be true. They know they can't hide it anymore. They just try to softsoap it.

Here's the Editorial Board of the Washington Post, just this week: "As they watch these moves, Afghans, the Taliban and neighbors such as Pakistan can reasonably conclude that the United States, rather than trying to win the war, is racing to implement an exit strategy in which the interests of Afghans and their government are slighted. . . If it’s evident that the president won’t defend the war, and is focused on 'winding down' rather than winning, why should anyone else support it?"

Pulitzer-winning Steve Coll, author of the indispensable Ghost Wars, in this week's New Yorker: "It can be tragic to be wrong; it isn’t shameful. What is shameful is to possess the capacity to recognize and fix mistakes but to fail to do so, out of pride, politics, or indifference to the suffering of others—in this case, the potential suffering of Afghans if NATO leaves behind another Somalia."

That is what Barack Obama is doing to Afghanistan.

I was in Kabul when Obama was elected. I hooked up with a gang of young Americans in the wee hours of the morning to watch the results come in on CNN. There were all utterly ecstatic.

It was hard not to get caught up in the moment and its historic resonance. America had just elected its first Black president in the largest Democratic Party landslide since the 1964 triumph of Lyndon Johnson, the year of the bloody voter-registration drive in Mississippi. Thousands of young Afghan voter-registration workers were at that moment starting their day, fanning out across the provinces of Kunduz, Faryab, Balkh and Baghlan, in just one more small movement forward for Afghanistan’s embryonic democracy. And at long last, America would assert some credible leadership in helping to build a healthy Afghan democracy.

It was nice to savour the moment while it lasted.

Ahmad Shuja: "It is now too late for the US and its NATO allies to change policies and come up with a panacea. The best – and the least – they could do is avoid further damage by a hasty, thoughtless pullout."


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