Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Dan Froomkin reported this yesterday:

Members of Congress with any inclination to balk at President Obama's massive emergency war-funding request have found their case strengthened by two recent reports that question many of the administration's key premises and assumptions.

The reports from the Congressional Research Service and Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction raise concerns ranging from the existential to the procedural.

Just for starters, there's the lack of an exit strategy, signs of a slipping timeframe for troop drawdowns and the mixed results thus far of the troop "surge." ...

In his December announcement, Obama declared that the troop surge would enable the U.S. to "seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan." He said troops would then start coming home in July 2011.

But ... the Congressional Research Service report raises serious doubts about Obama's promised timeframe....

There isn't going to be a drawdown anytime soon. I never believed there would be -- when the president announced his plan and the most reasonable-sounding analysts expressed severe doubts about accomplishing all of his goals in the timeframe, I assumed Obama knew he'd be able to take an incomplete if the efforts fell short and no one would try to stop him -- letting at least one of our wars drag on endlessly is the only thing he's doing as president that isn't being attacked by the right. And that's exactly where we seem to be headed.

Lefties could put millions of bodies in the streets demanding an end to this war and it would accomplish no more than it did in the Bush years with regard to Iraq. Our GOP/Fox News overlords would finally have a visible hippie enemy to punch. If Obama had any thought of withdrawal, the right's theatrical howls of outrage would drag him to the right. Nothing would change.

You know what it would take to finally end this war? America has to elect a Republican president -- and we have to engage in no anti-war protests whatsoever. Just play possum -- then it will be fine to pull out (our president is a Republican, after all, so pulling out won't be considered treason), and there won't seem to be anything to be gained by staying in (no hippies in the streets to punch, so no potential for domestic political gain). It's a bleak prospect, but it may be the only hope we have. (Or, of course, our entire economy could collapse, which might force the issue.)

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