Sunday, December 5, 2010

More of the Same War

I read about President Obama's sudden trip to Afghanistan and the speech he made to the troops that, "He's staying the course." Where and when have we heard those or similar words about a war? Like GW Bush about the war in Iraq? But we'll eventually phase out of there leaving the world's largest embassy in Baghdad.

We've been in Aghanistan since the winter of 2001 and we'll be there until after Obama's first term and more likely his second term. We're in an endless, no-win war there with one of the world's most corrupt government, all at our expense. They're getting rich with our money and the drug cartel's money. We're paying contrators paying the Taliban. Gee, pay your enemy to fight us.

No, I'm referring to President Johnson. Remember him about Vietnam in the mid 1960's and the buildup to half a million troops, before we had Mr. Cheney counting only "combat" troops and contracting war, logistics and other stuff to contractors for profit and fraud. We have somewhere around 300,000 personnel in Afghanistan of all types, government and civilian, with no end to these except promises about withdrawls if conditions on the ground are there.

Like that's going to happen. No, I'm referring to Johnson and his hell-bent strategy in 1965 to "stay the course" against communism, and the escalation to the peak in 1968 (they year I faced the draft). Obama is simply rehashing his words then only this time it's Al Qaeda, all of about 300 in Afghanistan and mostly Pakistan, and maybe a few thousand Taliban.

Obama is simply changing the tune and tone, but the song is the same, endless war with no victory realistically possible. So what happens when the public who already is tired of this war and want the troops home? Vietnam didn't have a 9/11, but the rhetoric using it to continue a war draining this country is unrealistic and unacceptable to the American public and voters.

Obama had better get wise or, and I hope, face a Democratic contender from the left who will argue for ending this war. All the experts say Al Qaeda won't re-establish in Afghanistan. The Taliban who will regain control with the current President who can't defeat them without us and will negotiate integration, and why he's not pushing for independence of us or NATO.

We're his meal ticket, just like the "elected" leaders in South Vietnam in the late 1960's. A propped government which won't last very long without us. Then the VC and NVA eventually overran the country and Saigon to hasten our exit. The VC had the NVA and China. The Taliban has some support from Pakistan but not military support. Just a safe haven and intelligence information.

In the end though, I wonder how long Obama can keep up the right wing hawkish rhetoric before his base decides he was and is a fraud. Moving right of center wasn't what we expected and voted for with him. While he's moving to capture the center-right, he's leaving his left base who can and will seek someone who will challenge him.

So who's going to be the Robert Kennedy (1968) or the George McGovern (1972) of 2012, someone to capture the hearts and minds, and votes, of the left who want the change they expected? I hope someone does if only to wake the President up we're angry at him and his policies.

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