Eva Knott 10:44 a.m., May 18
I think Obama just signed his defeat card. He has so screwed up his chance of winning re-election, and Afghanistan is the reason.
JFK and LBJ bothl learned that you can not set a time of departure in a war. Not when the end of the war is in doubt, as it is now.
All the other side (both the Republicans and the Taliban) has to do is wait you out. This is now, officially, a quagmire. Kennedy set two time-tables, never met them. LBJ had two, never met them. As for Nixon? He had a fake peace agreement, and won partly because of it in '68. (The death of Bobby Kennedy being the chief reason he won, at least in my opinion)
Obama says he will bring the troops home in 18 months. That is the deadline; but deadlines in politics/war hardly ever work. Eighteen months from now, a year and a half, will be summer of 2011. The next Presidential cycle will be starting to rev up. What is going to happen if things in Afghanistan are not going smoothly, and even Pelosi-Murtha-McCain have their doubts,as do I, then what does Obama do? Extend the troops? Retreat? If he extends, the Republicans are all over him, and some of his own party are going to nail him. Michael Moore--Jerry Brown--Murtha, maybe even others (who don't want to go down to defeat with Obama over a quagmire) will roast him. But what if he withdraws in 18 months? The Republicans will still be all over and then this happens;
Can you imagine the footage coming out of Afghanistan during the final days we leave? Women, who had a little freedom there, will be shot, cained, as the "clerics" retake control. The schools we built will be burned, and all of this will be on the news, not only here, but over there. Can you imagine us closing down our embassy, and the last diplomats being carried out as throngs of Islamic hoards rush the complex just as that last helicopter leaves? It will ruin Obama, and it will also ruin our credibility.
Sure, this may not happen, and is a bit cliche, but I think something like this will happen; but no matter what happens, if we withdraw? It will be ugly. Obama claims he is getting white in his hair because of the war? He's going to look like Morgan Freeman at the end of DRIVING MISS DAISEY when this is all over.
I think the USA will ultimately abandon the Afghan war. The government in Afghanistan is a sham, as the one was in Vietnam. Obama's big mistake will be withdrawing towards an election cycle in 2011-2012. The memory will be fresh.
Here is what I would have done if I were Obama (if I was serious about being re-elected). I would have made a determination the first week in office after coming to office in January 2009. I would have decided whether I wanted to win this war; or not.
If I wanted to win the war, and after I was safely in office, I would have done a 180 degree turn, and sent THE ENTIRE ARMY. Not the 5000 here, and the 5000 there, and now (Dec 2) the 20000 more. I would have done the Colon Powell strategy of Gulf War 1. Send a million men, and just take over that country and kill all the bastards; overwhelming forces. IT WORKS. Yeah, the left (and I bet 90% of the Reader's base) would have been all over him? But so what? This is politics. Time heals all wounds!
If I didn't want to go that way, a full invasion, then I would have cut and ran in March of 2009. I would have said things like "Bush invaded this country, he set up the government. Its corrupt and there's nothing we can do about it, short of invading with the entire army, and I'm not going to do it because peace is the way to go."
I would have taken my lumps in March 2009, blame it on Bush (like the economy), and get it over with. (I said then he should have done that, and I even SUPPORTED going over there).
I work for the military and it was clear to me, after the first sham election there last year in Afghanistan, that it was a lost cause. You can't expect to change hundreds of years of culture in five years. Not with a trickle of an army.
Obama; one term. I could be wrong, you never know. But it was JFK who said that "we can't know where we are going, until we know where we have been." Obama = LBJ. The Vietnam War cost LBJ. His numbers were so low, he didn't even want to run for re-election.
By the way; Obama's numbers are starting to go down already. Eighteen months from now? poof!
GOD, whoever you are; (Christ) (alah) (Buddah) (William Shatner) !!! I hope I am wrong.