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10 October 2009

Krauthammer - Young Hamlet's Agony

Charles Krauthammer has written a well-done commentary on Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan called Young Hamlet's Agony.  He says:
When the Iraq War (which a majority of Senate Democrats voted for) ran into trouble and casualties began to mount, Democrats followed the shifting winds of public opinion and turned decidedly anti-war. But needing political cover because of their post-Vietnam reputation for weakness on national defense, they adopted Afghanistan as their pet war.
Summarizing his argument:
  • "Brilliantly crafted and perfectly cynical, the "Iraq War bad, Afghan War good" posture worked. Democrats first won Congress, then the White House. But now, unfortunately, they must govern."
  • Obama chose a civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan in March after an extensive review and much consultation with military commanders.  He made a big deal of this.
  • He picked Stanley McChrystal as the ground commander in Afghanistan to implement the strategy.
  • McChrystal requested 30,000 to 40,000 more troops to save Afghanistan on 30 August.
  • The Commander-in-Chief and his foremost military experts, Rahm Emanuel and Joe Biden, all gagged.
  • Obama dithered and now we hear that it because we have no strategy.
  • General Joe Biden has chosen a counter-terrorism strategy and is eschewing the counter-insurgency strategy decided on in March.  He wants us to fight only with cruise missiles, predator drones, and special operations troops.
  • General McChrystal is the expert who did just this kind of counter-terrorism effort in Iraq for 5 years, but he is now recommending the kind of counter-insurgency strategy that worked in Iraq under General Petraeus, who wants that strategy used now in Afghanistan.
  • Whose advice makes more sense, that of Generals David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal or that of Generals Emanuel and Biden?
OK, Krauthammer did not use the Generals title before the names of Emanuel and Biden.  I just could not resist throwing that in.

Krauthammer observes:
Less than two months ago -- Aug. 17 in front of an audience of veterans -- the president declared Afghanistan to be "a war of necessity." Does anything he says remain operative beyond the fading of the audience applause?
Obama is rather like Peter Keating brought up as a Marxist.  This gives him a great many twisted reference points and always has him peering at reality through a muddy, translucent window.  He surrounds himself with the advisers he is comfortable with and all of them are as removed from reality as he is.  Their view of reality is so hazy that their dreams and whims take over in helping them develop their ideas of what is out there.  They are all Platonists, more precisely Marxist Platonists.

Meanwhile good Americans are dying in Afghanistan and are removed from their families without adequate support as Obama, Biden, and Emanuel stir their tea leaves in a pot and try to read them through natural sphalerite lenses for advice on a strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

Sphalerite is crystalline ZnS, commonly found with pyrite (Fool's Gold, FeS2).  It is commonly found in a range of colors from yellow to red-brown to black.  When reacted with HCl, it gives off H2S, the rotten egg smell.

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