Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Withdrawal" symptoms

Well, the president finally has decided what to do regarding Afghanistan and, to nobody's surprise, it seems to be another of his bloody "compromises." Announced as an "acceleration" of troop withdrawal, by the end of next year it still will leave more than twice as many troops in Afghanistan as there were before the "surge."

The military, needless to say, really didn't want any troop withdrawal at all. First, as long as we're over there killing Taliban (and any civilians who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time), we can deny that we've lost the war. I imagine there are those who hate to think the 1500 American troops killed in action haven't "died in vain" — although, of course, they have died in vain, and the thousands more with severe combat related disabilities have been disabled in vain. Another factor important to the careerists is that combat is where the promotions are to be found, and a less bellicose United States would hinder their advancement.

As for Obama, I suppose it's not politically expedient to call it quits before the next election, considering all the bug-eyed, meat-rending Republicans who would call him both a sissy and a betrayer of American values — and also considering what a big deal he made in the last election about how Afghanistan was the right war to fight. On the other hand, perhaps he should pay more attention to the growing number of Republicans joining the Democratic left in demanding immediate withdrawal — mostly for fiscal reasons, but for other reasons as well. "If we're going to leave," said Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), "we should leave. The centralized system of government foisted upon the Afghan people is not going to hold after we leave. So let's quit prolonging the agony and the inevitable."

Hear hear!

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