Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Take Your Time Mr. President

I've been very busy with work and home and have not had time to post, but I have to take a moment and discuss a blog entry I read on the The Huffington Post. It is by Tony Blankley, a columnist for the Washington Times. Tony is one of the four regulars on Public Radio International's "Left Right and Center", a political talk show. I believe he is intelligent, thoughtful and generally one of the spokespersons for the Republicans/Conservatives that I can tolerate.

However, after reading this, "To Die for an Exit Strategy", I have to comment. Click on the title link to read the article for yourself or click here.

Essentially, Mr. Blankley's criticizing Mr. Obama for his recent decision to require an "exist strategy" from the military commanders in concert with the discussions around additional troop deployments. For several weeks now, the discussion in the media has been "How many?" Some said if he doesn't send 40,000 additional troops, he's not taking this seriously. Some said we don't need any. Some said something in-between.

Additionally, the usual Republican mouth breathers like Dick Cheney castigated the president for "dithering". Of course, Mr. Cheney and his ilk would think nothing of sending another 40 thousand or 100,000 thousand to fight. That's part of their collective consciousness. I would be incredibly surprised if a rational thought came out of that crowd.

These people haven't read history. If they had, they'd have realized that many people have attempted to subjugate the Afghan countryside and its people and have failed to hold it. From Alexander the Great, to the Mongols, to the British to the Russians, and now us. We have been there for 8 years, and still have not seen the original objectives attained: Democracy (real), Mullah Omar (remember him?), Osama Bin Laden captured (remember "dead or alive"?, heckuva job there Georgie), the Taliban wiped out. All efforts have failed.

Now this president, 10 months into his presidency wants to take some time and think through the problem. Think through the problem. Wow, there is an interesting thought. Now, this president wants a viable exit strategy to get out of this morass before committing additional troops. Remember, we've been there over 8 years now. We are past the halfway point of our engagement in Viet Nam. It's starting to look more and more like that fiasco of 30 years ago.

Mr. Blankley thinks that in the words of George M. Cohan, "we won't come home til it's over, over there". The lyrics are from that old patriotic song "Over There" that Cohan wrote for World War I. He thinks soldiers will fight on and on if we just tell them it's what we believe in and what we need to do. Fair enough. Some soldiers are engineered to obey orders, however ridiculous and short sighted they may be. That is their job. However, it's not our job. These kids need us to cut through the Bull Shit that people like Mr. Blankley spews and say "Enough!". I hope he's not trying to use this as a political tool and simply has a straight policy argument with the administration. I fear otherwise, as these Republican sharks sense some blood in the water. Oh, and to Mr. Blankley and Mr. Cohan: It's really never "Over, Over there" is it?

Mr. President, take your time and think this through. No US Soldier should be ordered into combat without clear objectives, and yes a clear exit strategy. To do otherwise is dangerous and costs lives. You owe this to your forces and you owe it to the country.

Mr. Blankley, for all your erudition, your article sounds like the clap-trap coming from Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh. I thought you were better than that. Evidently not.



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