Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ich bin ein hawaiianische Chicagolander

The recently arrived-at conventional wisdom that by releasing troops from Iraq, the dire situation in Afghanistan will somehow magically improve also requires a more rigorous scrutiny. McCain and Gates are talking about deploying an additional 10,000 soldiers or three combat brigades there; Obama would send two. That would take total US and Nato force levels to, at most, 82,000 troops, plus 145,000 Afghan army and police of varying reliability. But to attain a lasting improvement in security while creating critical breathing space for reconstruction and institution building, a much larger presence may be deemed necessary. General Dan McNeill, a former Nato commander in Afghanistan, has estimated 300,000 well-trained, disciplined security personnel are needed. Some US counter-insurgency experts say an additional 150,000 fighting soldiers are required. These huge numbers should give pause, especially to Obama. Having opposed the Iraq quagmire and scored political points for doing so, the Democrat is in danger of putting his name to another escalating foreign military adventure that while arguably more justified, is just as likely as Iraq to go badly, bloodily wrong. Simon Tisdall - Guardian
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It's true: Barack Obama reminds one of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The grace, the glamor, the "soaring" rhetoric; it's all there.

The ecstatic Berlin crowds (the "extras") complete the picture.

I loved JFK... I was only sixteen when he got elected, I was heartbroken when he was killed. American politics have never recovered from that trauma.

However, part of my growing up politically was to sadly discover that JFK was probably the worst president of my lifetime. Much worse than Jimmy Carter, even worse than "The Decider" himself.

And paradoxically, part, probably the greatest part, of what made JFK so bad, was how well he spoke.

He literally talked the United State of America into Vietnam.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge—and more.
How do you like them apples?

Of course, we found out that we couldn't "pay any price" or "bear any burden" (although we could get a hernia trying) or "meet any hardship" or "support any friend" or "oppose any foe"... Nothing like it...

It was all bullshit and it cost the lives of a couple of million South East Asians and 50,000 Americans and it ruined the dollar and ruined American politics.

If there was any lesson the American people should have learned, it was that one.

Hot off the wires:
This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.(...) People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time.(...) It is in pursuit of those aspirations that a new generation - our generation - must make our mark on history. People of Berlin - and people of the world - the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. Let us build on our common history, and seize our common destiny, and once again engage in that noble struggle to bring justice and peace to our world.
How do you like them apples?

If you stop and think about it, isn't it wonderful, truly God's gift to Americans and to the people of the world at large, that George W. Bush is such a lousy speaker?

Because, have no doubt:

I come before you to say, that this is our time.

This is the moment.

People of Berlin and of the world.

This is the moment

The moment, that when, and if, this young and brilliant man gets elected President of the United State of America,

That will be the moment,
proud citizens, that our time will have come... again... to talk ourselves into some mighty deeeeeeeeeep and righteous shit sir... and that's a natural fact. DS

1 comment:

Mike Doyle said...

Perhaps Obama's main threat will come from his "jumping the shark" on this world trip and being increasingly lampooned and ridiculed because of his main skill - oratory.
Baker is the US Editor of The Times (owned by Rupert Murdoch).

A more scary take is Obama's embrace of Bush's GWOT and going after all the bad guys in Afghanistan. Is Brzezinski the puppet master?