When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!
Rudyard Kipling, The Young British Soldier
Further proof that Trump can give a good speech when he wants to.
Almost sixteen years in Afghanistan. The attempt to reform Afghanistan was a noble effort, but now stands revealed as complete folly. In certain areas on Earth all you can do is raid them if they give sanctuary to your enemies and get out as quickly as possible. Afghanistan is one of those places. In Afghanistan governmental corruption is not a crime, but a time-honored way of life. It is impossible to eliminate the loathsome Taliban because of their sanctuaries in Pakistan. The Taliban draw their recruits from the Pashtuns. There are 13 million Pashtuns in Afghanistan and 30 million in Pakistan. Pakistani military intelligence give support to the Taliban. Not all Pashtuns support the Taliban, but enough do so that throughout our sixteen years we have often been able to take territory from the Taliban but eventually they always come back. They can’t hurt us much. Last year 14 Americans died in the War. However, they believe they can outlast us and that is their clear strategy. If Trump can shut down Pakistani support, the Taliban may wither away, especially if support is given to non-Taliban elements among the Pashtuns. I doubt if that is possible and stasis will result until the Americans tire of this unending conflict and withdraw.
Lara Logan of CBS News gave an incredible speech earlier this week in the video above detailing the lies of the Obama administration regarding defeat in Afghanistan and the resurgence of Al Qaeda throughout the Middle East. One of the more mindless mantras of the Obama re-election team was Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. That is why the Obama administration was in fraudulent denial for so long that the Benghazi attack was a result of terrorism and instead attempted to blame the Mohammed video. Rather than destroying Al Qaeda the Obama administration has presided over a debacle in the Middle East where the jihadists are rising in strength with Benghazi being a symbol of their renewed power. Bravo to Lara Logan for putting Journalism first and leaving politics aside. Continue Reading
I believe that President Obama has been a notable failure in most ways as President, but he is a champ in regard to abject, groveling apologies to those who hold us in contempt:
President Barack Obama apologized to Afghans on Thursday for the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base, trying to assuage rising anti-American sentiment as an Afghan soldier gunned down two American troops during another day of angry protests.
The U.S.-led military coalition says the Muslim holy books were sent by mistake to a garbage burn pit at Bagram Air Field and the case is under investigation. The explanation and multiple apologies from U.S. officials have yet to calm outrage over the incident, which has also heightened tension between international troops and their Afghan partners.
Thousands of protesters, some shouting “Long live Islam!” and “Death to America!” staged demonstrations across Afghanistan for a third day. Protesters climbed the walls of a U.S. base in the east, threw stones inside and adorned an outside wall with the Taliban’s trademark white flag.
At other sites, demonstrators burned tires or American flags. Afghan police and international troops fired guns in the air to disperse the crowds.
Such apologies simply play into the hands of the enemies of the US who use mock outrage as an excuse to go on murderous rampages. Two US soldiers were murdered by an Afghan government soldier during the current on-going riots and of course no one has apologized for that true outrage. There is a time for diplomacy and there is a time for blunt speaking. Time, past time, for some blunt speaking to our enemies and our “friends” in the Islamic world. In that regard, I believe this is an appropriate apology from Kira Davis to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan. (Content advisory: harsh language and refreshingly undiplomatic sentiments.) Continue Reading
President Obama has replaced General McChrystal with General Petraeus.
I haven’t really thought too much about General McChrystal’s comments regarding President Obama, but I am of the mind that American generals should have complete respect for the authority and the office of the presidency while in uniform. We are the United States of America, not a second rate banana republic.
General McChrystal should have been smarter than to express his negative opinions of President Obama, though harmless, it is a small step towards chipping away of the established civilian controlled military.
I am almost feeling sorry for my fellow Hawaiian Barry Obama. His healthcare push has grinded to halt his legislative agenda and the oil spill is ruining his presidency. He’s certain to lose one or both houses of congress this November and then General McChrystal’s expresses his private sentiments of an inexperienced presidency which most Americans are coming around to view him as.
“The Vatican” endorses the Blues Brothers.
North Korea embraces neoliberalism (baby steps).
Matt Yglesias is my kind of liberal.
The Onion channels Bertolt Brecht.
Israel further loosens border restrictions with Gaza.
A lot of people seems to think this is good news for Afghanistan. Have they never heard of the resource curse?
The menace of friendship. Paging Eve Tushnet.
In regard to President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan this week, I thought he made the cardinal error of basically telling the Taliban that if they keep their heads down for the next year and a half they can pretty well count on us being out of Afghanistan before he is up for re-election in 2012. It is immoral to tell troops to die in a struggle that the Commander-in-Chief has clearly written off, and I think that is the reality behind Obama’s speech. Rule one of fighting a war is to win it, but I suspect that is not Obama’s intent. But for the political consequences of Afghanistan quickly becoming terrorist haven number one, I doubt if Obama would do anything other than withdraw all American troops as quickly as possible.
At any rate, as a war speech by a President I would rate this a solid D. If he wants examples of better speeches, he might try something like this minus the cussing.
Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal has Lincoln adopting a similar policy to Obama’s during the Civil War:
After months of what his opponents called weakness and indecision, President Abraham Lincoln announced a new strategy for ending the war with the rebellious Southern states to a group of reporters today.
The Army of the Potomac, now under the command of Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, will be granted an additional 35,000 troops, well short of the 200,000 requested by Grant several months ago, for the invasion of the South which will begin next spring.
Declaring that, “Unions and freeing slaves and such are one thing, the lives of brave young Americans quite another,” the President also indicated that the United States committment would have a definite time limit.
If the seceding states cannot be persuaded to return to the Union by August of next year, Washington would begin to withdraw US forces. Asked if this implied eventual recognition of the Richmond government by Washington, the President declined to comment.
The indispensable Iowahawk gives his interpretation of Obama as war President here.
Our enemies are not idiots. Based on the evidence I think they have reached the obvious conclusion that Obama is weak and vacillating. They will now act accordingly. We are in for interesting times.
Pvt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho
Please pray for the safety and relase of Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho, captured and presently held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Islamic militants released a video of the captured American soldier, whose identity was confirmed by the Pentagon on Sunday (Los Angeles Times).