Report from Kabul Hill
GATEMOUTH (4/14/06): In the end, I want a member of Congress who’s wrestled with, and lost sleep over the question of under which circumstances the deployment of American forces in battle is justified. “Just say no” is not an adequate answer...
GATEMOUTH (1/20/09): I am thankful to those on the left, like Katrina vanden Heuvel, who supported Obama understanding that he differed with them on the use of residual forces in Iraq, the escalation of the US military presence in Afghanistan, and the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. I am also thankful to those on the left who supported Obama in part because they didn’t realize he held those positions, or believed Obama didn‘t really mean what he said and was really one of them. Clearly, in the crazed atmosphere of the Bush administration‘s unilateral imbecility, Obama was the right choice for such people, as well as for those holding views closer to my own.
But, those who expected a foreign policy team of “progressives” and instead had to settle for a team of rivals comprised of realists and liberal internationalists, should be thankful (as I am) that there are no neo-cons, and understand that they are on now on notice; when, at the beginning of our great nightmare in Iraq, Barack Obama told an antiwar rally. “I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances….After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administrations pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again,” he really meant it.
Perhaps the vanden Heuvals will explain to their less savvy allies that they are allowed to feel anger, but not betrayal.
Unexpectedly, the first salvo I received over the internet came yesterday morning from one of Brownstone Brooklyn’s last living moderate Republicans. Tellingly, it was entitled “Michael Moore and Me.”
JOE: Obama deserves to be HAMMERED today and tomorrow by the media -- this bubble has got to end.
GATE: Joe, you have the right to disagree with the policy, but not the right to declare that the country was fooled. Obama was crystal clear about Afghanistan/Pakistan to anyone who actually listened.
The dialogue continued after the speech.
JOE: Obama made fairly direct campaign promises about changing the course of these 2 very unpopular wars. (He hasn't brought in OBL, either.) The troops have been raised over 100% in Afghanistan in his Admins. -- and there's no one reporting what the per month/billions will be, across the next 1/2 year, etc. The White House cannot blame Bush, now.. I believe this is it,the Honeymoon is over tonight.
GATE: As to the delay, maybe. But act in haste, repent in leisure.
The present policy was clearly unsustainable, and I, for one don't think the American people would stand still for any further open-endedness. And, after all, we are a democratic polity, so a policy without support cannot be sustained over the long haul. As such, I'm willing to support this, with trepidations galore.
However, Waters was really no worse than Georgia Republican Jack Brinkley complaining:
“After three months of indecision, the President now comes up short of what his hand-picked commanding general requested.”
Yeah, Jack, the ELECTED leader of our nation listened to all the advisers WHO WORK FOR HIM, and then made the choice HE felt was best.
America, what a country!
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