Daniel G. Anderson just spent a boatload of munny to take out an ad in today’s The Washington Post.
It is headlined “A Letter To Our President,” Re: Afghanistan/Pakistan.
I’m not going to replicate the entire ad here. Mr. Anderson didn’t write me a check, after all. But there are some notes worth discussing.
…when al-Qaida and the Taliban were in retreat, when General McCrystal asked for 40,000 additional troops to “finish the job”, you wavered and stalled for months.
It’s no surprise that instead of retreating further, the Taliban reorganized and began again to kill American soldiers.
First: It’s “McChrystal.” If you’re going to spend a ton of dough to take out a quarter-page ad in The Washington Post, why not splurge and hire someone to proof it for you?
This is funny. An opinion piece in the very same newspaper in which Anderson’s ad ran sort of barks back at what Anderson wrote. Stephen J. Hadley, remember him? He was in the Bush administration and junk? Hadley notes specifically in his column that the situation in Afghanistan began to deteriorate in 2006, with suicide bombings, corruption, and a spike in poppy production. Hadley goes on to defend his former boss, of course, that’s specifically why he bothered to sit down to type anything. But Hadley does a pretty good job of rounding up the situation in the ‘stan and how it got that way, including Pakistan’s attempts to intervene and its subsequent political missteps. And it had nothing to do with how many thousands of American troops were there.
And let’s at last dispense with this foolish notion that President Obama “stalled.” That’s just more Dick Cheney bullshit. Obama conducted a thorough review of U.S. policy in the region. And, let’s remember: McChrystal’s report was made public—which it should NOT have been—on Sept. 20, 2009. Obama announced his new policy on Dec. 1, 2009. It’s unreasonable for a CIC to take a two months and change to commit to those troop levels? You’re out of your mind.
Finally, you have given us a new plan which almost no one understands.
Funny thing. See, in the same issue of The Washington Post in which you placed your ad, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Eugene Robinson summarizes the policy better than anyone I’ve read yet. He writes:
Obama decided on a double gamble. He gave Gen. Stanley McChrystal most of the troops he requested — not just a contingent of trainers to try to whip the Afghan military into shape, but also combat forces to smash and “degrade” the Taliban insurgency. And he set a deadline of July 2011 to start bringing the troops home, hoping that would spur Afghan President Hamid Karzai to make desperately needed reforms.
Obama saw this course of action as most likely to create the conditions to bring the greatest number of U.S. troops home at the earliest possible date, the senior official said. But several administration officials have made clear in public statements that July 2011 is meant to mark the beginning of a withdrawal, not the end, and that Obama’s policy doesn’t anticipate a day when the last U.S. soldier turns out the light and closes the door behind him.
I’d say that Eugene Robinson understands the policy. I’d say that people who read Eugene Robinson also now understand it. Perhaps you should read Eugene Robinson, you old soldier.
For months you have apologized for this great nation. You have belittled our military. I am told you haven’t visited our embattled troops in Afghanistan since your inauguration.
Mr. President, you are their Commander-In-Chief!
Obama has indeed adopted a more diplomatic stance on the world stage. He’s only done what has been necessary ever since the swaggering antics of Idiot Boy. You don’t sneak a back rub on another head of state; you don’t say “bring ’em on.” Our last executive was a downright embarrassment, so yes, this one has had to exude a bit of elegance. I think it’s a damned refreshing change.
No, Obama has not gone to Afghanistan. I suppose he could have shown up with a plastic turkey and taken a couple of photos just to make you happy with him, but I also reckon you didn’t notice that Obama recently went to Dover to be present when the fallen came home, something that Idiot Boy wouldn’t do. Oh, and by the by: This President is actually requesting a bump in defense spending, not a cut, as the neo-con liar shit-heads enjoy saying.
Why do you continue to waffle? The Joint Chiefs and Gen. McCrystal are among the finest and most experienced combat strategists in the world.
|Um…remember the speech? December 1? He’s already sent 17,000 troops and will send 30,000 more? Remember? Stupid? Hi. THAT’S NOT WAFFLING!|
Here’s the paragraph that slays me:
Every important mission requires a strong, unwavering leader. You are not required to bear arms, but you must provide us with that tough leadership and unwavering energy to move forward to a final Victory.
America has never lost a war it wanted to win!
“You are not required to bear arms?” WTF? And, forgive me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Johnson and Noxin both wanted to win pretty badly in Vietnam until Ford and Congress finally put an end to that nonsense.
Anyway, Daniel G. Anderson, old soldier, your ad was certainly an interesting approach. I frankly think your check would have done more good made out to the Iran and Afghanistan Veterans of America. But what do I know.